Organizers and volunteers for the 7th annual Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival are primed and ready for the biggest food event in Palm Beach County that begins Friday, December 13 and runs through the following Tuesday. Lectures, tastings, dinners, a chef band, dine-arounds and pop-up events are set at restaurants, hotels, in a shopping plaza and on a farm in the area.
It’s grown from a 3-hour dine-around featuring local restaurants at the Esplanade on Worth Avenue, to a nationally recognized event that features award-winning chefs from around the country as well as celebrity cooks from the Food Network.
“We listened to the community to see what they wanted in a culinary event, and we’ve added events that include families and those under 21,” said David Sabin, organizer and head of the event planning group that handles the festival.
He’s excited about the Kids Kitchen at the Four Seasons Resort on Saturday, designed for young cooks six to 14, along with their parents. The hands-on event has surprises for the youngsters, Sabin said. They’ll cook with TV star Robert Irvine and Momofuku Milk Bar pastry chef Christina Tosi.
The Chillin’ and Grillin’ event is the one most likely to attract the biggest conglomeration of chefs and notables who’ve traveled to attend and participate, Sabin said. It’s the kick-off party at the Four Seasons hosted by TV personality Ted Allen, and featuring the hotel’s executive chef Darryl Moiles, and returning talent Robert Irvine. They are joined by Jeff Mauro, Mean Max, Marc Murphy, Johnny Iuzzini, Elizabeth Faukner. Expect great burgers and a laid-back event oceanside as a late lunch.
Savannah at The Breakers; farm event a hit
Saturday night will see The Breakers hotel transformed into a slice of Savannah as chefs honor “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Marc Summers, host of the Food Network’s Unwrapped hosts.
The Southern Comfort event at Swank Farms on Sunday signals one of the unique venues – a working farm in Loxahatchee, where many chefs get their produce. A tour of the farm, along with jazzy cocktails and a different chef for each course, plating on stage, makes this one of the favorite spots on the calendar, Sabin said.
A trio of Treasure Coast chefs will compete against one another for a $10,000 prize (half goes to their charity of choice) at the Chef’s Throwdown, part of the Grand Tasting finale. It’s at 150 Worth, full circle to where the event began seven years ago. It’s one of the most popular of the week.
Other chefs and restaurants participating include Michael Schwartz, of Michael’s Genuine and a James Beard award winner – he’ll host the High Tea afterparty on Saturday late night at the Four Seasons; Daniel Boulud, hometown chef, opens Palm Beach’s Cafe Boulud for Daniel and Friends on Friday for cocktails and more; Tim Lipman of the Coolinary Cafe in Palm Beach Gardens brings the Real Food Revolution Sunday night.
“Really, there’s something for everyone this year; we’re really tried to bring a variety of culinary events that will hit all levels of interest,” Sabin said.
For tickets remaining and information, go to the website at Pbfoodwinefest.com.
Here’s the event schedule at a glance: