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Florida International University School of Hospitality Enjoys Another Savory Success
at the 2010 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

$2 Million Raised for FIU School of Hospitality

May 2010 - The ninth annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, February 25-28, 2010, was yet again, a spectacular extravaganza. More than 50,000 guests attended the four-day event, and over $2 million was raised for  Florida International University (FIU) School of Hospitality and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center.
“This year’s Festival was an unparalleled success. The schedule of events was top notch, as expressed the number of sold-out events. Most importantly, the Festival raised much needed money raised for our school,” said FIU School of Hospitality Interim Dean Joan Remington. "We are so fortunate to have Southern Wine and Spirits and the Festival’s sponsors support us so profoundly. They along with the talent play a vital role in keeping this Festival relevant. It's true a testament to Lee Brian Schrager’s leadership and to everyone working on the Festival committee that we had such a successful year in these challenging times."
Formerly known as the “Florida Extravaganza”, proceeds from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival benefit FIU’s School of Hospitality. Over the past 10 years, over $10 million dollars has been raised to enhance the students experience at the School of Hospitality by expanding the School of Hospitality Teaching Restaurant and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are set aside for student scholarships.
Said Chef Michael Moran, the Festival’s culinary coordinator and Chef Instructor at FIU, ``It's a highly choreographed dance where everything has been planned, from figuring out what and how to feed the students to minute-by-minute preparation of the food served at the events,'' said Moran. Chef Moran led a team of 150 student associates who worked side-by-side with guest chefs to prepare 26,000 portions served to 3000 people attending the Bubble Q BBQ.
One thousand students benefited from real-world experience at the 2010 festival. Responsibilities ranged from processing, scheduling & managing the 1000 Student Associates and Golf Cart Management to fulfilling thousands of ticket orders to restaurant solicitation, sponsorship fulfillment to preparing and working along side chefs to meeting and greeting guests at myriad activities throughout the annual four-day Festival.
FIU Hospitality graduate student Rachel Reppert, assistant culinary manager at the 2009 2010 Festival was responsible for managing Student Culinary Associates working the FIU tent at the Grand Tasting and, for serving as a Chef go to person for the Burger Bash, knows first hand the value of working with industry leaders in a real-world experience. “The experience was unparalleled,” Reppert said. “It’s like nothing I have ever been a part of before. The work, the contacts, the pace, it’s amazingly exciting to be part of this Festival.”

At this year’s Festival Rachel was honored with the Barilla Best FIU Student Chef Award, and a $2500 cash prize. “Rachel has a great attitude, and is always willing to help where she can,” said Associate Dean Mohammed Qureshi who nominated Rachel. “We are very proud of her community involvement in Common Threads, as a teaching assistant and as a student leader at both the 2009 and 2010 FIU School of Hospitality’s annual fundraiser, South Beach Wine & Food Festival.” Barilla established this award to recognize students at FIU’s School of Hospitality and who exhibit their commitment to and passion for the culinary arts.

“The  FIU students are the real winners of this festival. They provide tireless support for the four-day weekend of events while reaping indispensable real world industry experience,” said Dean Remington.
The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Food &Wine is produced by Florida International University and Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.
For more information on FIU’s School of Hospitality please visit
Media Contact:

Lisa B. Palley
Palley Promotes
305 642.3132

Also See: Florida International University School of Hospitality and Carnival Cruise Lines Celebrate Groundbreaking for New Carnival Student Center / April 2010

Florida International University School of Hospitality Students Honored by Barilla and Buckhead Beef of Florida at 2010 South Beach Wine & Food Festival; Barilla Best FIU Student Chef Award, 2010 Presented to Rachel Reppert / March 2010

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

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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