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Chef-Instructor Michael Moran Leading Students in Preparation of
Florida International University's 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival

January 2010 - When FIU chef-instructor Michael Moran puts on a party, he wants only the best at his side. Take the high-profile South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the wildly popular, FIU-co-sponsored event that takes place from Feb. 25-28, 2010. As chef and culinary coordinator he'll rub elbows with some of the biggest names in the industry, among them Food Network chefs Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay. It's his own students, however, that Moran considers critical to success.
“It really is about finding a core of people who have this tremendous passion,” Moran says of the hundreds or so undergraduates who sign on for his course in “quantity food production.” In addition to other chores, the students take direct responsibility for getting ready all of the meals consumed during the 2009 Bubble Q BBQl:1800 pounds of pork, 1500 pounds of beef filet, 1000 pounds of chicken, 1200 pounds of fish, 800 pounds of cabbage, and turning out several hundred pounds of nouveau potato salad, cole slaw and other side dishes for arguably the festival's most glamorous attraction: the Friday night, champagne-drenched barbecue for over 3,000.

Video: 2009 FIU South Beach Wine & Food Festival
It took 3500 man hours to prepare 22,500 portions of food served to 3400 people attending the 2009 Bubble Q BBQ. Ordered were three tons of food for the 25 participating chefs, each preparing 900 portions.
The prep work takes place in the Miami Beach Convention Center’s hot and cold commercial kitchens, after which the food is packed into four refrigerated, 65-foot 18-wheelers and delivered to the fashionable Delano hotel on Miami Beach . There the students assist a veritable Who's Who of professional chefs from around the country as they help cook and serve the ultimate outdoor feast.
Overall, some 850 Hospitality majors—most with excellent internship experience already under their belts—will work in a variety of key capacities both before and during the festival, from fulfilling thousands of ticket orders to meeting and greeting guests at myriad activities throughout the long weekend, among them wine and food seminars and a celebrity golf tournament.
For the most part, Chef Moran is educating not just would-be chefs, but the future managers of restaurant groups, hotel chains, cruise lines and related companies—this is a business school, after all. Moran wants to make sure his charges know how to bake chocolate chip cookies, prepare relatively simple dishes like arroz con pollo and, by the end of the semester, quickly build an entire dinner around ingredients he hands them in class. His self-stated goal: “I have to take away the intimidation of the kitchen.” Come festival time, they're usually ready for anything.
But it's not just cooking the veteran chef covers. “I'm teaching the whole individual,” explains Moran, who trains students how to work together, respond quickly to commands and generally get comfortable with the frenetic pace often associated with meeting the public's expectations.

At the 2009 Festival, students were paired with in a mentorship style the following chefs: John Besh (Restaurant August, New Orleans), Kenny Callaghan (Blue Smoke, NYC), Todd English (Olives, NYC), Roger Herring (Socca/Chicago), Elizabeth Karmel (Hill Country/NYC) Adam Perry Lang (Daisy May’s BBQ, NYC), Emeril Lagasse (Emeril’s/New Orleans), Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro/Ft. Worth), Missy Robbins (A Voce/NYC), Aaron Sanchez (Centrico/NYC), among others. (For a pictoral review of the 2009 Festival please visit: )

Chef Moran who has an established relationship with Miami’s Daily Food Bank, was able to, with his team, recover 6495 pounds of food from the 2009 Bubble Q, Burger Bash and the Grand Tasting demos, which translates to 38,970 meals. “This is truly incredible!!” exclaimed Chef Moran.  “So much more than double last year. I’m proud that the food was not wasted, and that so many people were able to eat their fill of fine home-made food.”
Almost $2 million dollars was raised for FIU School of Hospitality to award student scholarships, and to enhance the experience of students by investing in program, faculty and facility enhancement.
With partner Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida, a division of the country's largest beverage distributor, FIU presents the South Beach Wine & Food Festival annually as a fundraiser in support of its Teaching Restaurant Program and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, both located on FIU's Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami . The event also provides an opportunity for the nationally ranked School and its students to contribute to South Florida 's reputation as a world-class travel destination and a great place to live.
“We're part of the community. We want to make the community more successful,” Moran says. “One of the things we can bring to the table is the planning and creation of an environment to have a great time.”
Visit for additional information.

About Florida International University
Florida International University is a Miami-based, multi-campus, research university serving South Florida, the state, the nation and the international community. It fulfills its mission by imparting knowledge through excellent teaching, promoting public service, discovering new knowledge, solving problems through research, and fostering creativity.   For more information on Florida International University, visit

About Florida International University School of Hospitality
Collaborating with vibrant faculty, exploring a breathtaking array of real-lie opportunities in and outside of the classroom, and living the global experience in a one-of-a-kind metropolis -- this is the Florida International University’s School of Hospitality, home to one of the top six ranked hospitality and tourism programs in the US, as reported by the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.  The school offers a Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality management. It also offers a Master of Science degree in hospitality management (available on campus and via long distance learning). In addition, the school offers an Executive Master of Science in hospitality management (available via long distance learning), as well as certificate programs in numerous specializations.   The school’s building on FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus includes state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for product and service development, research and testing facilities, and food management instruction. The 45,000 square foot building houses the school’s administration and faculty, the Hilton Training Kitchen, the practicum dining room, the Angostura Culinary/Lecture/Demo Classroom, the Statler Foundation Distance Learning Classroom, the Herbert W. Joseph Lecture Hall, the Jay W. Weiss Wine & Spirit Lab, the Marriott Executive Seminar E-Studio, the Sheraton Auditorium, and the Carnival Resorts Conference Room. The School is also home to the state-of-the-art Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, a 4,500 square foot facility that features the latest technology for beverage tasting and analysis.  For further information, visit

Media Contact:

Lisa B. Palley
Palley Promotes
305 642.3132

Also See: Culinary Convergence of Greatest Names in Industry to Benefit Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Annual Fund Raiser; 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival / December 2009

Burt Cabañas Appointed Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board at Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management / March 2009

Burt Cabañas, Chairman & CEO of Benchmark Hospitality, Honored with Two Awards from Florida International University / July 2006

The Tianjin University of Commerce Completing $30 million Complex Where Students Will Study Hospitality and Tourism Management in a Joint Program with Florida International University / October 2005


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