Miami Beach

Beach Buzz: Wine and Food Fest going to the dogs

Rachael Ray and Isaboo. Rachael will host Yappie Hour on Saturday, Feb. 21.
Rachael Ray and Isaboo. Rachael will host Yappie Hour on Saturday, Feb. 21.

Finally, there’s a South Beach Wine and Food Festival offering exclusively for canines and their companions. “Yappie Hour,” hosted by Rachael Ray, will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday bayside at The Standard Spa Miami Beach.

The event is one of several new additions to the 2015 schedule. The 14th annual SOBEWFF takes place Thursday through Feb. 22.

Yappie Hour was inspired by Ray, known for her love of dogs, and Lee Brian Schrager, founder/director of the SOBEWFF. He’s also a doting dog lover (of Charlie, an Old English sheep dog and Stanley, a French briard).

The party will feature snacks and treats from Ray’s line of pet food, Nutrish for dogs, while humans enjoy drinks and snacks compliments of The Standard Spa. An interactive photo booth and other dog-friendly activities will entertain guests, courtesy of BarkBox.

Warning: Dogs must be socialized with other dogs, remain on a leash at all times and have up-to-date tags/vaccinations. Also, owners are responsible for picking up after their pooches.

Tickets are $95, with a portion of proceeds going to Rachel’s Rescue, benefiting the local nonprofit Fairy Tails Adoptions.

Other new events on South Beach include “Italian Al Fresco” hosted by Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcoson opening night (7 to 10 p.m. Thursday); “Tacos After Dark” (10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday) with Aarón Sánchez at Loews and “Q presents Meatopia” hosted by Guy Fieri and curated by Josh Ozersky (beachside at the Delano on Saturday).

For a complete list of events (there are more than 75) and/or tickets, visit


Approximately 800 volunteers are expected to participate in Temple Beth Sholom’s 20th annual Mitzvah Day on Feb. 22. “Mitzvah” in Hebrew means “good deed.” This year’s theme is “Feeding the Hungry, Body and Soul”.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration and breakfast, followed by 41 community service projects held during the day at locations throughout Miami-Dade County including Shadowlawn Elementary School, Overtown Youth Center, Miami Jewish Health Systems, Chapman Partnership, Ronald McDonald House, public parks and more. A daylong blood drive and bone marrow testing will also be held.

New this year is the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Challenge in partnership with Feeding South Florida. Community members are encouraged to commit to eat for $1.40 per meal or $4.20 per day, as people who receive SNAP benefits do. The challenge (which will take place April 12-18) is designed to raise awareness of food insecurity as well as to raise funds for Feeding South Florida.

At 2 p.m., the synagogue will host its second annual Not Your Bubbe’s Chicken Soup Contest. Amateur chefs will share their homemade soups (made from secret family recipes) vying for Best Tasting Soup and Best Chef. Guests will cast their votes alongside culinary experts including Zac the Baker and Chef Michael Meltzer. Cost to participate is $5 per adult; $1 for kids. All proceeds benefit area food banks.

“Over the past 20 years, one mitzvah has led to another and another and another,” said Rabbi Gayle Pomerantz. “Hundreds of volunteer Captains have lead over 800 mitzvah projects, serving literally thousands of individuals and agencies.”

Co-Chairs for Mitzvah Day 2015 are Heidi Cooper and Jaleh Bast.

Temple Beth Sholom is at 4144 Chase Ave., Miami Beach. Mitzvah Day is open to the public. Volunteers are encouraged to register for projects in advance to guarantee a spot.

For details, call 305-538-7231 or register online at


Bloomingdale’s in Aventura will host a champagne brunch and Fashion Show from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 22 to benefit Young Israel of Bal Harbour Sisterhood.

“Breakfast at Bloomingdale’s” — modeled after “Springtime in Paris” — asks attendees to don “Parisian” inspired frocks and features a DJ spinning tunes reminiscent of old Paris. Bloomingdales’ VP of personal shopping, Marion Goodman, will emcee a fashion show featuring designer spring collections.

Following the brunch, supporters can take advantage of Bloomingdale’s Fashionable Fundraiser savings (two days before the sale is open to the public), with 10 percent of sales that day going to YIBHS, according to Event Chair Amy Benishai of Bal Harbour.

Tickets are $100 for members; $125 nonmembers. Space is limited. To attend, RSVP to: or call 917-940-5385.

Young Israel of Bal Harbour is currently undergoing construction on its new $10 million facility in Surfside (across from Saks Fifth Avenue in the Bal Harbour Shops), slated to open in September 2015. To learn more about the synagogue, visit

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, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.