Unless you can boast a bottomless stomach and a bottomless bank account, it should be impossible to visit all 80 celebrity-rich tastings during this year's South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
But no matter: South Florida's best chefs and culinary cognoscenti will be all over Miami, Miami Beach and Broward County's dinners, demos and tastings this week. Here are five food gatherings worth visiting:
Barilla's Italian Bites on the Beach, 7-10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, at PMG North Venue, 1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, behind the Delano. $150. SoBeFest.com/ItalianBites
Food Network's Italian-cuisine czar Giada De Laurentiis and 30 national chefs (Bill Bruening of Fort Lauderdale's Fork and Balls, Massimo Giannattasio of Miami Beach's Cibo Wine Bar) will prepare antipasto, perciatelli and chicken, and other small plates, paired with Campari Italian Spirits and Folonari wines.
LEAST EXPENSIVE (TOSSUP)
Grilled Cheese Happy Hour, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at Cibo Wine Bar, 200 S. Point Drive, Miami Beach ($95); SoBeFest.com/GrilledCheese
Lucky Chopsticks: An Asian Night Market, 6-9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at MG North Venue, beachside at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, 1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach ($85 with Groupon). SoBeFest.com/LuckyChopsticks
The classic grilled-cheese sandwich, which has evolved over the years from playground lunch to serious adult meal, is the focus of a happy hour hosted by Miami's own Ms. Cheezious and James Beard-winning author Laura Werlin. Meanwhile, the Andrew Zimmern-staged Lucky Chopsticks features samples of dim sum, sushi and dumplings prepared by chefs from BAO Bar and Asian Kitchen, SuViche, Kapow! Noodle Bar and others.
Amstel Light Burger Bash, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at PMG North Venue, beachside at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, 1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach. $250. SoBeFest.com/Burger
Among South Beach Wine and Food Festival's great traditions is this Rachael Ray-hosted comfort-food fight, this year marking its 10th anniversary, in which 31 local restaurants square off for meaty supremacy. The fight card features Pincho Factory (2015's People's Choice Award winner), El Rey de las Fritas, MEAT Eatery and Taproom, 5 Napkin Burger, STK Miami and Quality Meats. Famous mouths will judge the burger-off's entries, including Andrew Zimmern, Neil Patrick Harris and NBC-6's Natalie Morales.
Grand Tasting Village, noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at 13th Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. $225. SoBeFest.com/GTSat
Most of the festival's events sell out fast, but the Tasting Village, found at the foot of 13th Street in Miami Beach, often sells last-minute tickets. Under the quarter-mile-long tent will be cooking demos by celebrity chefs Andrew Zimmern, Emeril Lagasse, Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri, Masaharu Morimoto and Robert Irvine. Also on hand: cocktails, DJs and booths representing areas such as Wynwood, Brickell and Fort Lauderdale.
IN FORT LAUDERDALE
New Style Remix Dinner, 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at Kuro at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. $200. SoBeFest.com/Remix
The festival's big Fort Lauderdale extension is highlighted by this meal, hosted by Justin Warner (Food Network's "Food Network Star") and Kuro executive chef Alex Becker. DJ Felix Da Housecat will provide the beats, while both chefs will prepare a multicourse dinner and serve high-end sakes.