(WSVN) - Food and drinks are the main attraction at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, but the real stars are the students who benefit from the event.

All of the net proceeds from the event will benefit the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University.

“It is an exciting time. We’ve been planning for this,” said Mohammad Qureshi, the school’s associate dean, “looking forward to a great festival and all the benefits that it provides the school.”

“They’re working with exhibitors, they’re working with restaurants, they’re working with local restaurants,” added Qureshi. “The best thing that comes out of it, to be honest with you, is that they come out of their shell.”

The festival’s motto: Eat. Drink. Educate. Without FIU’s 1,000 students and festival volunteers, that wouldn’t be possible.

“I hope to work with a lot of the chefs at the South Beach Wine and Food Fest and get a lot of connections and network,” said Eliana Casas, a student chef.

The idea was made possible by festival founder Lee Brian Schrager, who started it all 18 years ago.

To date, the festival has raised $28 million for the school.

“I really enjoy being in the festival and being part of FIU family,” said student Patricia Falcon.


South Beach Wine & Food Festival

FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

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