Forbes - Lifestyle

South Beach Wine And Food Festival Hosts Its First-Ever Filipino Dinner

This year’s The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) is taking place from May 20 to 23, 2021 in Miami. While the festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has had to make several important changes to ensure guests’ health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also introducing many exciting events and collaboration dinners. One such is its first ever Filipino sit-down collaboration dinner on May 22 (Saturday) between two James Beard award-winning Filipino-American chefs: host chef Paul Qui (Best Chef, Southwest 2012) of his namesake Pao at Faena Hotel Miami Beach and guest chef Tom Cunanan (Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic 2019), who will be flying in from Washington D.C. This will be held on May 22 (Saturday) from 7PM to 10PM at the restaurant’s outdoor terrace.

The multi-course dinner will include dishes like tinapa mousse, pinipig-crusted prawns with aligue sauce, and banana suman from Cunanan, which he shares are “completely new dishes and a sneak peak of Hermie’s,” his upcoming fine dining concept, slated to open in 2022. Qui will be serving some of his Pao signatures like oyster kinilaw, uni-corn tostada and live scallop aguachile, among others. The dinner is priced at $275 per head, inclusive of wines.

“I’ve always been a fan of Tom’s work and proud of the fact that he represents the Filipino community,” shares Qui.

Cunanan is credited for bringing his former restaurant Bad Saint to great heights, including being named the No. 2 Best New Restaurant in America by Bon Appétit magazine when it opened in 2016, as well as earning a three-star review by New York Times’ Pete Wells. He recently opened PogiBoy, a Filipino fast casual concept with chef Paolo Dungca, and soon, he will be opening Hermie’s honoring his late mother, who inspired his culinary career.


Qui, born in Manila, Philippines, is trained in classic French and Japanese cuisines. These days, he also maintains several concepts in Austin, including East Side King and Thai Kun, and the recently opened Soy Pinoy, a nod to his Chinese-Filipino roots. He is also looking to do Soy Pinoy private dinners, to benefit mental health in hospitality.

Apart from the intimate dinners, SOBEWFF will be hosting its signature events like Best of the Best at Fontainebleau Miami Beach (this year, outdoors), the Grand Tasting Village on the sands of South Beach, and this year, a new “closing” event Best of the Fest, where chefs will be recreating crowd favorites from past festivals.

All proceeds from the Festival benefit the students of the Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. For more information on the events and to purchase tickets, visit

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