Grand Tasting Village: How to Navigate the SoBeWFF Big Event

Bring a backpack. Be sure to carry a large empty bag. Backpacks are best (despite their general lack of fashion appeal). Trust us, you'll need your hands free to snag the massive quantities of swag -- and to eat and drink yourself into a stupor, natch. It's not easy to balance a glass of wine, a plate of snacks, an iPhone, and a handful of gratis goodies.

Plan ahead. If there's a certain chef demonstration you're hell-bent on seeing, stake out a seat early. There's nothing worse than the painful regret of missing Robert Irvine strip off his shirt or Anthony Bourdain curse out a do-gooder.

Eat everything. Put on your adventuresome-eater hat for a day or two, and skip the gluten-free/no-dairy/low-sodium-detox jazz. It's not every day you get to dive mouth-first into such a smorgasbord.

Be celeb-ready. Stock a Sharpie (for autographs), a camera (or at least a phone charger so your smartphone doesn't die at the worst possible moment), and a list of conversation starters in case you get a chance to banter with your favorite chef. You don't want to sound like an ignorant ass when face-to-face with Martha Stewart.

Know your hashtags. In the age of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, half the fun of #SoBeWFF is posting pictures of epic edibles to the jealous, hungry hordes on social media. If you're ready with assorted hashtags, you won't have to waste time fumbling with your smartphone when you could be procuring another cocktail.

Oh, and this year, New Times' food blog, Short Order, is making the Grand Tasting Village even more interactive. Attendees will able to vote for their favorite dishes via text. The winner will receive the first annual "Short Order's Best Bite on the Beach" award. So don't forget to remember which ones you liked best.

Enjoy your epic eating adventures. We'll see you out there, brave soldiers.

The Grand Tasting Village takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. February 23 and 24 at 13th Street and Ocean Drive. Tickets cost $225 per person.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

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