The South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the annual dining event that sees a slew of celebrity chefs hosting cooking seminars and tastings, will return May 20 through May 23, but attendees will have to show proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination upon entry.
The annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival hosted in Miami will return with COVID-19 restrictions in place. (iStock)
“Expect to provide proof and/or attestation of a negative PCR COVID-19 test dated no more than 72 hours prior to the event(s) you will be attending or alternatively proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination,” the guidance on the SOBEWFF website says. There will also be an on-site health screening, including temperature checks.
Events currently on the roster include a “Sunset Happy Hour” hosted by Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar; a SOBEWFF “20th Anniversary Celebration” hosted by Martha Stewart, and an “Italian Bites on the Beach” event hosted by Giada de Laurentiis, among others.
Every event with the exception of one will be held outdoors, with capacity limited to 50% or under, according to the health and safety protocols. Attendees must wear masks at all events, and will also get access to PPE and contactless ticketing.
And in the age of the pandemic, there will be no buffet or family-style food events. Dining areas will also be socially distanced, and venues will have proper sanitizing and disinfecting protocols in place.
The return of the annual dining extravaganza comes at a time when restaurants and chefs are on the rebound from revenue losses due to shutdowns in 2020. As a result, SOBEWFF founder Lee Brian Schrager wrote in a note to prospective attendees the event was a way to help support local chefs in the industry.
“Now – more than ever – the need to support the supremely gifted chefs, mixologists, event planners, and small businesses located right here in our own backyard is extremely evident to us,” he wrote.
“The past year has by no means been easy for our beloved hospitality industry, leaving thousands unemployed and permanently shuttering the doors of hundreds of businesses. It is with this in mind, that we made the decision to move forward with the 20th annual edition of the Festival – to do our part to further propel the recovery of an industry that has given so much to us,” Schrager continued.
The festival’s heightened health and safety protocols come after 150 people were arrested in Miami Beach over the weekend, the New York Post reported. The city currently has a midnight curfew during the pandemic.