Jamaican-born Chef Irie to Participate at the 22nd Annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Jamaican-born Chef Irie to Participate at the 22nd Annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival - 3

Hugh Sinclair aka Chef Irie will be participating in the 22nd annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (SOBEWFF®) taking place February 23-26, 2023. Chef Irie is the CEO and Executive Chef of Chef Irie Spice, Inc. – Private Chef and Catering Services, providing food services to the tri-county area of South East Florida. He was born in  Jamaica, where he grew up on a sugar estate. Before settling in Florida, Chef Irie first migrated with his family to New York. He completed his college career at the University of Florida earning a BS from the renowned School of Architecture.

Hugh always had a passion for cooking and felt right at home in the kitchen. After working several years as an architect, the yearning to create culinary masterpieces vs. architectural aesthetics overtook his desires. It was then that Hugh enrolled in Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Arts program embarking on his culinary journey. Graduating with an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts, he has taken on the South Florida culinary landscape by storm! Being a Personal and Private chef has allowed him to work with entertainers, professional athletes and many of South Florida’s elite.

Widely recognized as America’s favorite gourmet gathering on the beach, the four-day Festival returns to the sand with more than 100 events spanning Miami-Dade and Broward counties. For the 22nd installment, Food Network personalities, Grammy-winning musicians, and more than 450+ chefs and wine and spirit producers will come together for an unforgettable celebration comprised of walk-around tastings, intimate dinners, late-night parties, brunches, lunches, master classes, wine seminars and more!

The Festival kicks off on Thursday, February 23 with iconic chef, restaurateur, television personality and cookbook author, Emeril Lagasse, as he hosts the 16th annual Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons® with a special performance by Grammy-nominated country music group, Midland.

Jamaican-born Chef Irie to Participate at the 22nd Annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival - 1

Sprawling several blocks on the sands of South Beach, the Festival’s two iconic open-air tasting tents – North Venue and Grand Tasting Village – return to showcase the nation’s most talented chefs and lifestyle personalities who are supported by more than 1,200 student volunteers from Florida International University. Events include:

From Overtown to Wynwood to Hallandale Beach and the Miami Design District in between, the Festival has curated a series of events to showcase the vibrant local cuisine and culture of these neighborhoods and the profoundly important role they have had in shaping the South Florida of today. Event highlights:

There is nothing like the Magic City by day and the Festival put together a sensational line-up of brunches and lunches to shine a light on the bright and vivacious scene. Those looking to shop and dine should snag seats at the Bal Harbour Shops ACCESS: Fashion Show & Luncheon hosted by Geoffrey and Margaret Zakarian which will feature a fashion show presented by Balmain, the Parisian Fashion House. Two-time James Beard Award winner Mashama Bailey will take over the Festival’s headquarter hotel, Loews Miami Beach, to host Our Sunday Table: Brunch with The Grey and Friends part of The NYT Cooking Series featuring an eclectic roster of local and national chefs. A piece of Nashville’s “hot chicken” empire will make its way to Miami with a Lunch hosted by Hattie B’s taking place at SGWS Wynwood. Lunch hosted by Cédric Vongerichten and Tyson Cole at Wynwood hotspot, Uchi, will showcase both chefs’ layered approach to multi-cultural cuisine as they deliver a menu with fresh, exotic flavors of the East. Pablo Zitzmann and Wilson Tang will team up to host a Dim Sum Brunch at Coral Gables outpost, Zitz Sum, recently awarded a Bib Gourmand by The Michelin Guide. Close out the weekend at the North Beach Bandshell with an extravaganza of epic proportions – Drag Brunch hosted by David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris featuring Miami’s very own Athena Dion and the queens from the R House Wynwood’s show-stopping weekend drag brunches. Following the brunch, will be the first annual Tea Dance and Drag Show hosted by Kalen Allen with a special performance by Thelma Houston, the Grammy-winning Motown legend who’s slated to perform a set of chart-topping hits alongside the one and only Symone, season 13 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Guests looking to sharpen their cooking skills alongside the experts should snag seats to one of the Festival’s Master Classes! Choose from a variety of classes such as a Pierogi-Making Master Class hosted by Martha StewartSushi-Making Master Class & Lunch at Gekkō MiamiCroqueta-Making Master Class with Eileen and Jonathan AndradeBBQ-Making Master Class and Lunch hosted by Smoke & DoughDumpling-Making Master Class hosted by Temple Street Eatery, a Master Class and Happy Hour hosted by Flour & Weirdoughs and more! Wine enthusiasts looking to master their inner sommelier can choose from one of the Wine Spectator Wine Seminars taking place throughout the weekend at the Eden Roc Miami Beach.

The Festival’s crown jewel, Tribute Dinner presented by Capital One and part of The NYT Cooking Dinner Series, will take place on Saturday, February 25 and honor the outstanding accomplishments of the culinary community’s beloved and iconic Alex Guarnaschelli, along with Alexandre Ricard of Pernod Ricard. 2018 Tribute Dinner honoree, Bobby Flay will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening and a stellar cast of chefs including Eric AdjepongAntonia LofasoScott ConantAyesha NurdjajaDuff Goldman and Geoffrey Zakarian will serve up dishes to pair perfectly with some of the finest wines from the Pernod Ricard portfolio.

A plethora of unique one-night-only collaborations hosted by some of the country’s most critically acclaimed chefs and paired with a variety of high-end wines and spirits from the Festival’s exclusive provider, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, will accent this year’s Intimate Dinner Series. Participating chefs and personalities include Giada De LaurentiisTommaso De SimoneJuan-Manuel BarrientosManeet ChauhanMichael SymonAndrew ZimmernKatie ButtonZak SternGabriel KreutherEsther ChoiTimon BallooJet TilaAntonio BachourBrooke WilliamsonJonathan WaxmanLindsay Autry and Marc Vetri.

To date, the Festival has raised more than $34 million in support of its educational mission to cultivate future leaders of the hospitality industry at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU). Between SOBEWFF® and its sister NYCWFF, more than $48 million has been raised to benefit the respective charities of each Festival. Beyond the funds raised, both Festivals draw attention to the vibrant dining cultures of their respective cities, provide economic stimulus in their communities, and serve as a platform to drive awareness and engagement for a wide array of philanthropic activities.

The complete line-up of events for the 22nd annual Festival is now available online at Stay up to date all year long by following along with the #SOBEWFF hashtag on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

EAT. DRINK. EDUCATE. All proceeds from the Festival benefit the students of the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management who also assist Festival organizers with sponsorship fulfillment, restaurant and exhibitor recruitment, logistics, and inventory as well as working alongside some of the world’s greatest celebrity chefs and winemakers. To date, SOBEWFF® has raised more than $34 million for the School. In November 2021, BizBash named the Festival the #1 Food & Restaurant Industry event in the United States for the ninth year in a row.

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival® is produced by Florida International University and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, with the support of the Miami Beach Visitors & Convention Authority and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information about the Festival, visit or call 866.271.8540. For more information about Florida International University visit, for the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management visit and for more information about Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits visit

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