South Beach’s Food and Wine event #sobewff — a history lesson.

South Beach, Florida has seen a lot of things. Snow covering the sands of Miami Beach – on Jan. 19th 1977 – was not the most unique of the event that happened.

The discovery of the New World started in the Caribbean but eventually came to the shores of South Florida. Just like those great explores we are now hosting culinary explorers on our shores. The South Beach Food and Wine experience has changed a little since its inception on Lincoln Road……

Just like immigration changed the culture and cuisine styling’s of Peru, France and Japan; South Florida has had been influenced by world travelers.

20 years cooking at the Taste of South Beach #sobewff

At first SoFlo was the land of frozen turbot and flounder- from New England – that South Beach and Downtown Miami flaunted on menus, later it was the new cuisine styling’s of France’s nouveau cuisine that drove SoFlo chefs in the mid-1980’s

Later the forward thinking and influence from regional and “fresh from the ocean” cookery led us to be described as America’s greatest culinary discovery since the time of Columbus (circa 1992-5). Funny this is the same time that the “Taste of South Beach” gained prominence on Lincoln Road.

After the Taste of South Beach out grew its “road” status it became clear that this organized event needed a new venue and FIU was the adapted venue site for the “Taste of South Beach“. Of course it had to be renamed and, the Food and Wine moniker was adapted (#sobewff).

Since the influence of the name had changed its importance to the Foodie community as a whole, the F&W experience ( #sobewff ) was adapted by its greatest supporter F&W magazine. So the Taste of South Beach returned to South Beach after the FIU campus left out an important detail to the entire overall experience of SoFlo cuisine, the BEACH.

As the beach became the venues location once again, we can celebrate the RIGHT WAY. ….with a libation in hand, hob-nobbing with the glitteratti of the foodie world once again on the pristine sands of the Strand of the Atlantic Ocean – that SoFlo loves so dearly.







Food Network’s South Beach Food and Wine Festival

The Food Network’s South Beach Food and Wine Festival features local chef and author Michael Bennett


Chef Michael Bennett
Chef Michael Bennett ready to do some cooking at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival

Laurenzo’s Italian Market | Cafe | Wine Shop

Michael Bennett, born in Fort Lauderdale to first generation Floridians, had spent most of his childhood trekking to Laurenzo’s with his Grandparents for Saturday afternoons filled with pampering.

Michael began working for his Fort Lauderdale restaurateur family where he absorbed his family’s work ethic and respect for Italian foods. Michael’s grandfather the first in the family’s restaurateurs propelled Chef Michael’s professional cooking while he attended college. He ultimately transferred to The Culinary Institute of America to pursue his true passion and then again found himself in South Florida grinding out 10 years of O.J.T. under the tutelage from Miami’s most well-known and high-powered chefs. On each of these journeys Chef Michael was fortunate enough to have Laurenzo’s Gourmet Market with their distinguished Italian wines, gourmet pastas and cheeses to rely upon.

In his current position with Laurenzo’s, Chef Michael loves the daily commune with inquisitive want-to-be chefs and multi-generational Laurenzo’s shoppers, guiding their probing foodie requests with timeless gastronomic retorts and eager well being advice.