These restaurants were local favorites. Then SOBEWFF made them international stars

Sebastian Fernandez, 33 Kitchen's owner/chef, will be trying to make the most of his first ever invitation to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. It can be a game-changer for a local chef to become nationally known, alongside 59 other chefs from around the country at the Best of the Best event.Carl Juste

Sebastian Fernandez had to sit down and read the email twice.

When the message from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival popped up on his phone, telling him he had been invited to show off his cooking skills for the first time at this year’s Best of the Best event, Fernandez’s eyes well up. His Coconut Grove restaurant, 33 Kitchen, just got called up to the big leagues.

“I was like, ‘I’ve got to sit down. Read it twice. Digest the whole idea,’ ” he said. “Very emotional.”

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

For a local restaurant chef, being invited to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival to cook alongside world-renowned and celebrity chefs can be a sword tap on the shoulder. His restaurant is knighted. It instantly goes from having local following to an international one. The festival opens today with a pair of events in Fort Lauderdale and continues through Sunday. The Miami Herald will have live coverage from events daily on Miami.com.

FULL STORY: These restaurants were Miami favorites — then SOBEWFF made them stars

The 16th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival

What: The five-day festival opens Wednesday, Feb. 22 with a pair of events in Fort Lauderdale and continues through Sunday with locations throughout Miami and Miami Beach. The Miami Herald will have live coverage from events daily on Miami.com and on Miami.com’s Instagram page, @Miamigrams.

Tickets: Passes for available events can be purchased online at SobeFest.com, or by calling 877-762-3933.

More information: The Miami Herald and Miami.com will be covering the South Beach Food & Wine Festival through social media with photos, Facebook Live and updated news. Find us on Instagram at @Miamigrams and on Facebook at Facebook.com/MiamiHeraldFood

 

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