The South Beach Wine and Food Festival returns for its 15th year, from Feb. 24 to 28, with more than 80 events, including several new additions:
Fireman Derek’s Midnight Breakfast begins 11:59 p.m. Feb. 26 and runs through 2 a.m. at the National Hotel, 1677 Collins Ave., hosted by supermodel Chrissy Teigen and Miami firefighter Derek Kaplan.
Kaplan (AKA “Fireman Derek”), 32, grew up in Miami. A firefighter for more than a decade, he has been cooking and baking since the age of 15. Renowned for his pies (Key lime is his personal favorite), in 2014 Kaplan opened Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop and Café in Wynwood.
Kaplan says he equally loves baking and being a fireman (“it’s like yin and yang”). At the firehouse, he cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner for 20 other firefighters (“I enjoy the challenge but it’s definitely a lot of work”).
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The Midnight Breakfast will feature a cooking competition between firefighters from six local firehouses, including brother and sister, Michael Viera and Michelle Viera of the Miami Beach Fire Department. Tickets are $95 each.
“I’m excited to do this and it’s going to be a fun time. Too bad Chrissy is married, eight months pregnant and can’t hang out with all the firefighters,” Kaplan laments.
Other new events at the 2016 SOBEWFF:
▪ Feb. 26: “Grilled Cheese Happy Hour” from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Cibo Wine Bar, South Beach; hosted by Laura Werlin and local grilled cheese sensation Ms. Cheezious.
▪ Feb. 27: “Sweet 15 Dessert Party” 10 p.m. to midnight at the former Versace mansion, featuring “Ace of Cakes” Duff Goldman; and “Croquetas & Champagne” hosted by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Palm Court, Miami Design District.
▪ Feb. 28: “Lucky Chopsticks,” 6 p.m. Asian Night Market with Andrew Zimmern (host of Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods) beachside at Ritz-Carlton South Beach; and “Like Water For Chocolate,” also 6 p.m., movie and dinner at Loews Miami Beach beachside, includes conversation with screenwriter Laura Esquivel and a Mexican-themed meal hosted by renowned Chef Rick Bayless
Also new this year: a “Taste Fort Lauderdale Series” offers dinners at various Broward restaurants with celebrated chefs/culinary personalities. It begins 7 p.m. Feb. 24 with “Seaside Eats” hosted by Robert Irvine at the historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and culminates noon Feb. 28 with a “Bloody Mary Brunch” featuring the cast of Chopped at The Ritz-Carlton, Ft. Lauderdale.
To date, SOBEWFF has raised more than $22 million for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.
For a complete list of events, prices and availabilities, visit www.sobefest.com.
SAVE A CHILD’S HEART
Save a Child’s Heart Florida hosted its first local event on Jan. 28 at the Miami Beach home of Ami and Jack Glottmann. The Israeli-based foundation recently established a regional office in Miami. Ami Glottmann serves as the Southern Regional Chair.
“I became passionately involved with the foundation after visiting the hospital in Israel. One of my children was born with a congenital heart disease. We are blessed that he is healthy and thriving,” said Glottmann.
The reception was held to increase awareness about the international humanitarian organization, which works to improve the quality of pediatric care for children suffering from congenital heart disease in developing countries and to create medical centers of competence in these countries. Since 1995, the organization has treated more than 7,500 children from 50 different countries.
Speakers included co-founder Professor Arie Schachner and Dr. Lior Sasson, the organization's chief surgeon, who traveled from Israel to be there. In attendance were Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman, Dr. Judy Schaechter, Dr. Madeleen Mas and southern regional director Michele Burger.
To learn more about the organization, contact Ami@saveachildsheartus.org.
TASTE OF THE GARDEN
Rain delayed Miami Beach Botanical Garden’s 11th annual “Taste of the Garden” but didn’t dampen its success. More than 200 guests attended the fundraiser on Jan. 29 (instead of the originally scheduled event on Jan. 28), enjoying tastings from a variety of chefs and beverage providers plus an extensive silent auction (chaired by Marianne Nation and Margo Holfeldt). The event raised $25,000 for the Miami Beach Garden Conservancy and Miami Beach Garden Club, according to Botanical Garden Executive Director Sandy Shapiro.
Up next: the 15th annual Miami Beach Garden Tour and Flower Show on March 12. For ticket prices and information, call 305-673-7256, ext. 201 or visit www.mbgarden.org.
▪ More than 900 guests attended the Feb. 4 grand opening of French 27, a new eatery at 850 Commerce St., South Beach (formerly Porfirio’s). Executive chefs are Andreas Trilk and Yahnn Rio. The menu features freshly sourced products representing all 27 regions of France (thus the moniker). Dinner nightly from 5:30 pm. For reservations call 305-764-3948 or visit www.French27.com.
▪ Leading Ladies, a sponsor of Miami Transplant Institute, will host a Valentine’s Day fundraiser, “Eat, Drink, Love” from 5 to 10 p.m. Feb. 14 at Temple Solel in Hollywood. Chairwomen are Jackie Edwards, Myrna Goldman and Phyllis Green. Tickets to the black-tie optional event are $125, including open bar, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dancing and entertainment. For reservations, call Elaine at 305-937-7447.
Beach Buzz appears every other Sunday, and focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.