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From the Desk of Lee Schrager: Some Opening Notes on Sobe WFF '09

The South Beach Wine & Food Festival kicks off in just 15 days, so we figured it was time to check in with head honcho and organizer extraordinaire Lee Schrager to see what's new on the agenda this year and how it's all coming together. Take it away Lee.

2008_02_lee_schrager1.jpgWhat's new in 09: The dinner honoring the King and Queen of Spain; the Oscar party hosted by Bobby Flay and his wife Stephanie March; the Dolce Brunch, hosted by Katie Lee Joel and Anne Burrell; the Joes Stone Crab brunch; the Screaming Eagle seminar.

What am I most excited about: The dinner honoring Emeril with Bobby, Mario, Ripert, Van Aken, Trotter, and Nobu cooking and the diner with the king of Spain.

On Friday night, where will I be: Burger Bash or the Royal Dinner?: Both. I'll be starting at the Burger Bash and ending with the king.

First event to sell out: Rachael's Burger Bash.

Most asked question I get: Did Katie Lee really win NY Burger Bash, and yes she did.

Biggest scandal" All quiet so far. We've had the usual travel changes, but nothing major.

Toughest ticket to get: Amex and my after party on rooftop of Gansevoort after the Emeril dinner for all chefs and vips.

How are sales in this economy: Up 9 percent from '08 in ticket sales, down slightly in sponsor dollars. All in all a good year, flat is new good to me.
· All South Beach Wine and Food Festival [~E~]
· SOBE Wine & Food '09: Previewing Katie Lee Joel's Logan County Burger [~E~]

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