Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival is Brimming with Flavor

The Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival is taking culinary presentations to new heights this year with 16 gastro-centric events scheduled during the five-day lineup running December 13-17. Celebrating its seventh year, PBFWF has become one of the most anticipated foodie events of the year and social season must.

Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival - 2013 - The Breakers

This year’s expanded festival lineup presents some of the hottest names in the culinary industry. More than 50 chefs and foodie celebs will bring their talents to South Florida, including some Food Network heavy hitters like Ted Allen (Chopped), Robert Irvine (Restaurant: Impossible), Jeff Mauro (Sandwich King) and Marc Summers (Unwrapped), along with some of the finest culinary minds on the eastern seaboard—Daniel Boulud, David Burke, Todd English and Marc Murphy to name a few—and regional favorites like Lindsay Autry, Tim Lipman and Clay Conley. Each will lead tastings, participate in discussion panels or prepare fantastic meals for a variety of low-key, inventive and over-the-top dinners. With 16 events dotting the calendar this year, there is certainly a taste for every palate, but a few events really pop off the chart. (For a complete listing of events, times and prices, click here.)

On December 14, the kids get their day in the kitchen as Restaurant: Impossible guru Irvine and pastry chef extraordinaire Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar) lead two Kids Kitchen events at the Four Seasons Palm Beach, presented by Whole Foods Market. At 9 a.m., Irvine will take 25 student chefs on a 90-minute crash course of the kitchen, teaching them how to prepare a kid-friendly dish. At 10:30 a.m., Tosi will lead 25 aspiring chefs in a 90-minute baking lesson, teaching them how to make her decadent classic cake truffles in three fun flavors: birthday, chocolate-chip passion fruit and chocolate malt.

  • Limited to 25 students per class.
  • Tickets cost $45 per person
  • For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival - PBFWF - foodie events in South Florida - Gourmet Events

On Saturday, December 14, The Breakers will transform the Circle Dining Room into Savannah’s famed Mercer House for “An Evening in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Hosted by Summers, the evening will feature a four-course meal of southern staples like shrimp and grits and fried oysters prepared by The Breakers’ Executive Chef Jeff Simms. Master Sommelier Virginia Philip will pair the wine, while attire is totally seersucker.

  • Dinner runs from 7-10:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 14.
  • Tickets cost $250 per person.
  • For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

On Sunday, December 15, dining’s original concept—farm-to-fork—takes on a southern, hydroponic twist. Swank Specialty Produce is turning the farm over to the cooks, as Autry, Sundy House‘s executive chef, leads a cast of celebrated chefs for an afternoon of fresh bites, spirited sips and a special performance by Phil Roy and Marc Verti/Sounds Good – Tastes Good. On the plate: a multi-course lunch using fresh ingredients from Florida farmers, ranchers and artisans, followed by a guided tour of the farm and grow houses. For a special treat, Jack’s Grumpy Grouper master mixologist Charles Steadman will be shaking up some specialty cocktails.

  • The farm-to-table “Southern Comfort | A Hair of the Dog Experience” runs from noon to 3 p.m. at Swank Specialty Produce.
  • Tickets cost $200 per person.
  • For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival - Swank Specialty Farms - Charles Steadman - signature cocktails

The PBFWF extravaganza culminates on December 17 for the main event, the seventh annual Grand Tasting at 150 Worth, where the festival found its footing back in 2007. More than 30 chefs and restaurants from Miami to Palm Beach will showcase their culinary acumen in the two-story courtyard, lining the posh pavement with small bites and specialty cocktails for hundreds of hungry SoFlo foodies.
The event culminates with the gastronomic rumble, the Grand Chef Throwdown, a three chef cook-off in which a mystery ingredient is revealed just moments before the competition begins. Celebrity judges will be on hand to crown the winner of the head-to-head-to-head cooking challenge, now in its fourth year.
This year, Creekstone Farms is supplying the contestants with a prime cut of a beef as the mystery ingredient, while each is also allowed to bring one personal signature ingredient to use in the competition. At 8 p.m., griddles are fired as the chefs get 30 minutes to cook and plate one main dish, then present it to the judges, who will be evaluated based on taste, presentation and creativity. Emcee Jay Cashmere of WPTV will be on hand to give a little color commentary to the competition while knives and spatulas fly.

  • Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival’s coup de grâce, the Grand Tasting at 150 Worth, will run from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17.
  • Tickets cost $100 per person.
  • For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

Photos by LILA PHOTO

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