Wire Magazine Issue 1.2023 South Beach Wine & Food Festival Special Issue

Page 1





Publisher Rafa Carvajal previews this year's SOBEWFF®.


We interview SOBEWFF® founder Lee Brian Schrager, Athena Dion and Bianca Del Rio to preview the Drag Brunch and the Tea Dance & Drag Show.


Enjoy the sexy centerfold photo of this week's cover model Panda Daddy by Photo Studio Miami.


We interview Celebrity Chef Jeff Mauro about the 2023 Festival, his career as a chef, and his latest projects.


Check out some of our talented local chefs participating in SOBEWFF® events.


We preview some exceptional new, must-attend Festival events, plus everyone’s favorites year after year.

Visit wiremag.com to read all our past issues of Wire Magazine with beautiful men and interesting lifestyle content for the LGBTQ community.

Publisher/Editor in Chief/Design Director

Rafa Carvajal


Alfredo Barrios

Alyn Darnay


Albert Bravo

Official Photography Studio

Photo Studio Miami

Staff Photographer J.R. Davis

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Wire Magazine is published, produced, and owned by Wire Media Group L.L.C. All Rights Reserved. Distributed in print in Miami, The Beaches, and Fort Lauderdale, and digitally worldwide through wiremag.com

The views, opinions or positions expressed by contributors to and interview subjects of Wire Magazine are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of Wire Magazine, its staff or publisher.

Cover photo by Jorge Freire & Abel Cruz


Model: Panda Daddy

Swimwear by BANG!


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Welcome to our annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF®) special issue! This year’s Festival will be taking place February 23-26, 2023 with over 100 events going on in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. SOBEWFF® will bring together Food Network personalities, Grammy-winning musicians, and over 450+ chefs and wine and spirit producers for walk-around tastings, intimate dinners, late-night parties, brunches, lunches, master classes, wine seminars and much more.

The 2023 SOBEWFF® will commence on Thursday, February 23 with iconic chef, restaurateur, television personality and cookbook author Emeril Lagasse leading the charge as host of the very popular Burger Bash, which will include a very special performance by Grammy-nominated country music group Midland. Another important highlight of the Festival will be its crown jewel Tribute Dinner, which is part of The NYT Cooking Dinner Series and will honor the outstanding accomplishments of the culinary community’s beloved and iconic Alex Guarnaschelli, along with Alexandre Ricard of Pernod Ricard, with 2018 Tribute Dinner honoree Bobby Flay as the Master of Ceremonies.

This year, SOBEWFF® has curated a series of events that will showcase the vibrant local cuisine and culture of some of the unique neighborhoods that have shaped our South Florida of today, from Overtown to Wynwood to Hallandale Beach and the Miami Design District. In this issue, we showcase some of our very talented local chefs who lead restaurants in these neighborhoods and the Festival events they will be participating in. In addition, we bring you a SOBEWFF® events preview that includes some exceptional new, must-attend events, plus everyone’s favorite events year after year.

As a proud media partner of SOBEWFF®, we also interview Festival founder Lee Brian Schrager, Athena Dion and Bianca Del Rio to preview two fabulous events for our LGBTQ community and our allies who loved to have fun: Drag Brunch hosted by David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris, and Tea Dance and Drag Show hosted by Kalen Allen with a special performance by Thelma Houston! In addition, we sat down with Emmy-Nominated Celebrity Chef Jeff Mauro to chat about the 22nd SOBEWFF® and his very successful and out of the ordinary culinary career. Jeff was determined from an early age to become the funniest chef in the world.

This month’s very sexy cover model is Panda Daddy photographed by Photo Studio Miami. I also encourage you to support Latinos Salud by attending their 2023 Evolution Gala on February 25. Visit gala.lsalud.org to buy your tickets. This esteemed community organization is making a great difference in many people’s lives.

Bon appétit!


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RC: Tell our readers about the SOBEWFF® Tea Dance and Drag Show.

LBS: Each year we transform the Miami Beach Bandshell for an extravagant Drag Brunch with top-notch performances, brunch dishes by Miami’s best chefs and amazing cocktails by AbsolutUs. Tea Dance is a new and fabulous extension of our Drag Brunch taking place on Sunday, February 26. These events represent a way for the Festival to honor and celebrate all things Pride and Miami’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community while putting on a great party.

RC: Who are the drag performers and talent participating in this year’s SOBEWFF® Tea Dance and Drag Show?

LBS: We have all the icons starting with Mistress of Ceremonies Athena Dion, Miami’s very own Greek Goddess and an FIU Chaplin School graduate. Hosts David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris helped us secure the best drag performers today, including RuPaul's Drag Race alums Bianca Del Rio, Trinity the Tuck, and Ginger Minj. TV sensation Kalen Allen will serve as the host of Tea Dance, which will feature a special performance by Grammy-winning Motown legend Thelma Houston who will serenade us with a set of her chart-topping hits! Plus, we couldn’t do this without our local culinary talent including R House Wynwood's Chef Rocco Carulli, Blake Warman from The Bakery and others.

RC: For those readers who don’t know, how did you make your mark on Miami Beach in the late 1980s and early ‘90s before creating SOBEWFF®?

The SOBEWFF® is once again having a Drag Brunch which will be hosted by David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris featuring Mistress of Ceremonies Athena Dion, with special guest appearance by the incomparable Bianca Del Rio. In addition, the Festival has added a new event: Tea Dance and Drag Show hosted by Kalen Allen featuring Mistress of Ceremonies Athena Dion with special performance by Thelma Houston. We interviewed Festival founder Lee Brian Schrager, Athena Dion and Bianca Del Rio to preview these two fabulous events for our LGBTQ community and our allies who loved to have fun, presented by ABSOLUT® Vodka.

Rafa Carvajal: Why did you decide to add the new Tea Dance and Drag Show event hosted by Kalen Allen to this year’s SOBEWFF®?

Lee Brian Schrager: When I owned a club on the Beach back in the day, our Tea Dance was a hit! I’m always looking to refresh our event line-up and I haven’t been to a great Tea Dance in Miami in years, so I thought, why not revisit the early South Beach days?

LBS: Prior to the Festival, I owned several businesses in Miami Beach including The Spot on Española Way, which I co-owned with actor and former boxer Mickey Rourke, Chow, the popular health food restaurant, and Torpedo, a gay bar known for its Tuesday and Thursday night parties and Sunday afternoon tea dances! Everyone from Gianni Versace, Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier frequented Torpedo. It became a Miami Beach institution and a haven for the LGBTQIA+ community at that time.

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| Photos Provided by SOBEWFF®

RC: What else would you like to share with Wire Magazine readers?

LBS: With more than 100+ events to choose from, the Festival has something for everyone! Make sure to check out all the events at sobewff.org

Rafa Carvajal: What are you looking forward to the most as Mistress of Ceremonies of the new SOBEWFF® Tea Dance and Drag Show event hosted by Kalen Allen?

Athena Dion: Kalen is an absolute hoot to work with, always bringing in all the sunshine and energy that we need, and who doesn’t love a good tea dance. We are going to have special guests from television and local queens entertaining our guests! It’s sure to be a fun and amazing event. Get ready to dance and let your hair down!

Rafa Carvajal: What do you think will be the best part of being the Mistress of Ceremonies of the Drag Brunch hosted by David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris?

AD: I am so honored to be returning as a Mistress of Ceremonies for this year’s Festival. I know that Neil and David have a few tricks up their sleeves for this year’s show. I’m most excited to have a backstage sneak peek at those surprises. I can’t wait to share the stage with all the magic that’s about to unfold.

RC: What should guests expect to experience during this year’s Drag Brunch?

AD: Anyone who has been to one of my fabulous brunches should know that we always deliver the best drag show in town… This year‘s Festival Drag Brunch is going to be one for the books with special celebrity guests like we’ve never had before and all kinds of new fun surprises. It’s definitely going to be the highlight of the Festival and I can’t wait to show off what we have planned. I can guarantee a lot of fabulousness, fierceness and heart stopping performances. You’ll probably be out of your seat dancing and singing along the whole time.

RC: What is new with you and what are you up to these days?

AD: My life is a never-ending roller coaster! We are building our fabulous shows at R House in Wynwood! The Friday and Saturday night dinner shows have been taking off and, of course, our Saturday and Sunday brunches are always the talk of the town. We are actively renovating and upgrading our venue with a new stage, new lighting, and all kinds of new stuff to make our show and the experience for our guests even better. We hope that everybody can come by and catch the best drag show in town.

RC: What else would you like to share with Wire Magazine readers?

AD: I hope everybody has a fun and safe Festival weekend. We are living in some crazy times and it’s easy for us to get knocked down, but I encourage everybody to keep your spirits high and look out for one another.

Spread kindness and love, and, of course, when in doubt a good drag show always helps make life just a little bit better. Thank you and see you out on the town!

Rafa Carvajal: What are you looking forward to the most during your special guest appearance at the Drag Brunch? Bianca Del Rio: Sun, fun, and obviously lots of wine. They know how to lure me into a gig. Put ‘wine’ in the title, and

RC: What should guests expect from the great Bianca Del Rio during this year’s Drag Brunch?

BDR: Expect the unexpected because it's a wine festival. After a few glasses/bottles of wine, there's no telling what will come out of my mouth. But I guarantee there will be lots of shade thrown and it'll be lots of fun.

RC: What are your other plans for this year’s SOBEWFF®?

BDR: Eat, drink and be merry, Mary!

RC: What’s new with Bianca Del Rio? Are you working on any new projects for 2023 that you want to tell us about?

BDR: I'm hosting the current season of The Pit Stop , the official recap series of RuPaul's Drag Race . I'm also involved in a brand-new television show which will be coming out soon, and Hurricane Bianca 3 starts filming in March. And I'm considering running for First Lady in 2024.

RC: What else would you like to share with Wire Magazine readers?

BDR: My nudes if you'll print them.

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Photo by Matt Crockett
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Emmy-Nominated Celebrity Chef Jeff Mauro will be participating in the 22nd SOBEWFF®, so we sat down to chat about the Festival and his career as a chef. Jeff was born and raised in Chicago and was determined from an early age to become the funniest chef in the world. He cooked for many years in different restaurants, graduated with honors from Culinary School, performed on stage, and then his career took a turn when he earned a spot on Season 7 of the hit show Food Network Star . After winning the competition by showcasing his passion for both cooking and comedy, Jeff earned his very own series, the Emmy-nominated Sandwich King , and then went on to co-host the daytime hit and fourtime Emmy-nominated Food Network show The Kitchen He was also the host of the prime time game show Kitchen Crash on the Food Network, and is the author of the cookbook Come on Over

In addition, Jeff is the creator of the Mauro Provision brand that provides all the foods he and his family grew up cooking, eating and enjoying, and is the host of the hit podcast Come on Over with his little sister and producer Emily. Jeff still lives, as he puts it, “in the same damn neighborhood he grew up in” with his wife Sarah, his son Lorenzo and their two dogs JoJo and Pinot G. His favorite color is pastrami, and his favorite smell is meat smoke.

Rafa Carvajal: Why did you decide to pursue a career as a chef?

Jeff Mauro: I was always a comic and performer from a very young age. I have consistently cooked to support myself. I realized quickly that feeding people is very similar to making people laugh. When I would watch someone chew… they eventually smile while nodding their head with pleasure, that brought me pleasure, as much as getting a laugh.

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RC: How did you make the transition to becoming a celebrity chef on television?

JM: My goal was never to be the greatest Michelinstarred, fine-dining chef on the planet, and I certainly was not the funniest comedian on the planet, but… I could most definitely strive to be the funniest chef on the planet. This was in my very early twenties, and once I had that epiphany, I knew that a career on the Food Network was the pinnacle, and I engineered my life and hustled to make it a reality.

RC: What experiences and skills helped you with your goal of becoming the funniest chef in the world?

JM: I come from a decades long deli background and the deli case is analogous to the stage. It’s completely interactive and well lit. I’d slice your meat, build your sandwich, toss your chopped salad while interacting with you, laughing, asking you about your dogs, your vacation, throwing in some zingers, all while also providing you with delicious food that I truly had a connection to.

RC: What events are you participating in during the 2023 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival?

JM: I am the auctioneer at Alex Guarnaschelli’s Tribute Dinner, which is the greatest gig imaginable. Not only am I raising a boat load of money for a great cause, but I get to be on stage in front of all the top brass, top talent and big shots in our industry. I’m basically doing a tight 30 minute set with plenty of crowd work. It’s thrilling. I’m also emceeing the first ever celebrity pickleball tournament, as well as demo and book signing on Saturday.

RC: What are your top two favorite reasons for participating in the SOBEWFF®?

JM: Meeting all the great fans and seeing all my friends. I truly love connecting with the people that pay good money to come on out and to meet us. I make sure every interaction is a special one.

RC: Describe your style of cooking for our readers.

JM: I cook with a balance of color, texture and flavor. Each ingredient must shine.

RC: Tell us about your Food Network shows.

JM: Sorry, no new Kitchen Crash season. We do have many more episodes and seasons of The Kitchen , every Saturday and I’m co-hosting, along with Anne Burrel, a brand new season of Worst Cooks in America , premiering this spring!

RC: What do you enjoy the most about being a chef on the Food Network?

JM: I love being able to connect with such a large, passionate audience through food and humor. It truly is the best place to learn about food.

RC: Any new and exciting projects you are working on at the moment?

JM: My food brand Mauro Provision’s is my baby. I’m shipping across the country my favorite foods that I grew up eating: craft giardiniera, prime Chicago-style Italian beef kits, steaks, sausages. The best versions of these classic Chicago-style foods that I am so so proud of. You can order it all at mauroprovisions.com.

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The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival is world famous for all the great chefs, and culinary personalities who are part of its outstanding events and intimate dinners. Several of our most talented local chefs will be part of the 450+ chefs and wine and spirit producers participating in this year’s Festival. Visit sobewff.org to read the complete lineup of chefs and talent in the 2023 SOBEWFF®.

Chef Eileen Andrade

Finka Table & Tap

Events: Hosting her own Croqueta Making Class, Swine & Wine, and Best of the Best

Chef Mariano


Vinya Table

Event: Best of the Best

Toro Toro

Event: Steak and Whiskey. Toro Toro is also hosting the FIU Embrace Dinner with Richard Sandoval and Andrew Zimmern

Chef Rocco Carulli

R House Wynwood

Events: Drag Brunch and Tea Dance (host of Tea Dance), and Steak and Whiskey



Event: Sunday Table Brunch

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Chef Armando Febles Chef Valerie Chang Cumpa Chef Jorge Gutierrez Lona Cocina & Tequileria Event: Tacos & Tequila

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The four-day SOBEWFF® will feature over 100 events in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, which will include walkaround tastings, intimate dinners, late-night parties, brunches, lunches, master classes, wine seminars, and much more. Visit sobewff.org for complete details and to purchase tickets.


Burger Bash hosted by Emeril

Lagasse with special performance by Midland

Drag Brunch hosted by David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris featuring Mistress of Ceremonies Athena Dion and special guest appearance by Bianca Del Rio

BACARD ĺ Carnival hosted by Andrew


Chicken Coupe hosted by Michelle Bernstein

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives LIVE hosted by Guy Fieri

Fontainebleau Miami Beach presents

Wine Spectator's Best of the Best sponsored by Capital One

Goya Foods' Grand Tasting Village featuring engaging Publix Culinary Demonstrations by Food Network personalities and the nation's most celebrated chefs

Goya Foods' Swine & Wine hosted by Enrique Santos and Fernando Desa

Oyster Bash hosted by Tyler Florence

Tacos & Tequila presented by Tequila

Cazadores hosted by Danny Trejo

Tribute Dinner honoring Alex

Guarnaschelli and Alexandre Ricard hosted by Master of Ceremonies

Bobby Flay


Craft-y Happy Hour and Bites at Bayshore Club hosted by Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives After Dark hosted by Hunter Fieri

Farmer’s Market Brunch hosted by Michael Schwartz


Our Sunday Table: Jazz Brunch with The Grey and Friends hosted by Mashama Bailey

Overtown EatUp! hosted by Marcus Samuelsson and Amaris Jones

Smorgasburg After Dark hosted by and special performance by Rev Run

Tea Dance and Drag Show hosted by Kalen Allen featuring Mistress of Ceremonies Athena Dion with special performance by Thelma Houston

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Photos Provided by SOBEWFF®
• • • • • • • • • •
The Cookout hosted by JJ Johnson and D-Nice • • • • • • • • •
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