Florida International University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management announced today that the recently concluded 10th annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, presented by Food & Wine, successfully raised more than $2 million for the school.
Monies raised will be immediately re-invested in the hospitality industry’s future via student scholarships and other programs to enhance the school’s infrastructure. In addition, the more than 1,000 students who participated also received a once-in-a-lifetime experience by taking their classroom learning into the real world at one of the most internationally-recognized gastronomy events. In addition, the School’s “Students for Social Responsibility Team” carried out important environmental initiatives throughout the Festival that will directly affect the South Florida community.
“Our students eagerly dedicated long hours to be able to take part in the 2011 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, demonstrating their staunch commitment towards becoming future stars in the hospitality industry,” said Mike Hampton, dean of Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “These students epitomize FIU’s Worlds Ahead mission of going beyond what is expected, and we are extremely proud of their professionalism and dedication displayed throughout the Festival.”
Logging over 30,000 hours, FIU School of Hospitality and Tourism Management students were involved in the Festival in a variety of ways including human resources management, sponsorship activation, operation and logistics, serving food and drinks on-site, and prepping for featured chefs at two of the Festival’s signature events.
In the days leading up to the Festival, more than 100 students helped prepare for the anticipated Amstel Light Burger Bash, presented by Allen Brothers and hosted by Rachael Ray under the leadership and supervision of FIU Chef Instructor Roger Probst. Furthermore, more than 100 students helped organize shipments, prepare food, and assist chefs for the Perrier-Jouët BubbleQ, presented by Allen Brothers and hosted by Bobby Flay and Friends, sponsored by Miami magazine, under the leadership and supervision of FIU Chef Instructor Michael Moran.
Scholarships were also presented during the multi-day event, including the “Barilla Student Chef of the Year,” which was awarded to FIU School of Hospitality and Tourism Management senior, Laura Mañón during the Barilla Interactive Lunch hosted by Bryan Voltaggio and Claire Robinson. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Puerto Rico, Mañón is currently pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management, and is a teaching assistant for FIU Chef Instructor Roger Probst. As a teaching assistant, Mañón is in charge of over 120 students in a kitchen setting, enabling her to polish her culinary and management skills. Some of Mañón’s past experience in the hospitality industry includes the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, as well as the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival in 2010, where she received the Certified Angus Beef Scholarship and Idaho Potato Commission scholarship awards.
Five FIU School of Hospitality and Tourism Management students also received a total of $2,500 in scholarships from the Certified Angus Beef ® brand and Sysco Specialty Meat Companies. The winners, Eduardo Suarez, Nicole Richaud, Mallory Cayon, Max Albano, and Emilio Collyer received $500 each.
Social responsibility was another area of focus of this year’s Festival, with approximately 30 students taking part in the inaugural “Students for Social Responsibility Team.” For 2011, an estimated 30,000 plastic bottles were recycled, 28,000 pounds of food were donated to Miami area food banks through Feeding South Florida, and 1,500 pounds of food scraps were taken for a composting program with Fertile Earth.