Schrager: SOBEWFF ’24 Boasts Best Ever Lineup

The Florida Extravaganza, which began as a modest single-day event, has flourished into one of the most prominent food festivals in the United States. The mastermind behind this transformative journey is Lee Schrager, who continues to breathe life into the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) even after more than two decades. The 2024 iteration of the festival runs from February 22 to February 25. The event will be spread over various locations in areas including Miami Beach, Hallandale Beach, Wynwood, and other points.
“It’s all still very exciting to me here 23 years later. At this point, we’re always looking to make it better and not necessarily bigger. With that, and for this year, I think we have one of the best lineups we’ve ever had in terms of the level of diversity and talent,” says Schrager.
During its four-day run, the festival will host more than 100 events, featuring over 500 chefs and industry insiders. The festival’s Signature Tribute Dinner, honoring Italian luminary Massimo Bottura and Luca Garavoglia of the Campari Group, is a highlight. Additionally, Schrager is particularly excited about the Best of the Best event at Fontainebleau, which will showcase more than 60 chefs and close to 70 wineries from all over the nation. The Sushi Omakase Collective event, now sold out, is set to gather some of Miami’s top Japanese omakase eateries like MILA, Nossa Omakase, and Sushi by Scratch under one roof. Schrager appreciates the continued involvement of such significant participants.
Despite the festival’s growth over the years, Schrager acknowledges that the task of organizing the event has not become formulaic. Each successful execution of the festival requires tremendous commitment. However, his team is always ready to rise to the occasion. He mentions, “People move around, venues change management, and the industry is always changing. We’re always looking at new marketing and advertising strategies. Every year is a new year, and we always strive for the best.”
Schrager fondly reflects on SOBEWFF’s contributions to Miami’s culinary map. He recalls a time 25 years ago when Miami had fewer dining options. “Now we have huge names and big companies opening up, with dozens upon dozens of great places to eat every single night. The festival can’t take credit, but it has certainly helped in putting Miami on the culinary map.”
South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The festival runs from Thursday, February 22 to Sunday, February 25 at various locations. Tickets can be purchased online at sobewff.org. Ticket prices vary.

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