This December, the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival returns December 8 to 11, celebrating its decade mark with an expanded celebrity chef lineup and the addition of several new foodie-focused events.
Headquartered at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, this year the 10th-annual festival will offer everything from intimate dinners, wine and cocktail tastings to cooking demonstrations and books signings to seminars discussing the latest culinary trends, many featuring some of the world’s most renowned chefs.
Returning chefs include Daniel Boulud, Robert Irvine, Marc Murphy, Johnny Iuzzini, Elizabeth Faulkner, Anita Lo, Jeff Mauro, Mike Lata, Jonathon Sawyer, Dean Max, Stephen Stryjewski, George Mendes, Ken Oringer, Brad Kilgore, Giorgio Rapicavoli, Timon Balloo and author Michael Ruhlman. They'll be joined by Palm Beach County favorite chefs Clay Conley, Tim Lipman, Julien Gremaud, Josh Thomsen, Sean Brasel, Tory Martindale, Jeff Simms, Andrew Schor, Rick Mace, Zach Bell, Lindsay Autry, and Aaron Black.
But there will also be a number of newcomers, including Top Chef season 13 winner Jeremy Ford, James Beard-recognized chefs Michelle Bernstein and Lee Wolen, Amanda Cohen, Richard Hales, Jose Mendin, and for the national music headline talent, Coolio.
Festival events begin Thursday, December 8 with dinners held simultaneously at two of Palm Beach’s most popular restaurants, and continue over the subsequent four days. Tickets are currently available for a number of events, from the ever-popular Chillin’ N’ Grillin’ Daniel & Friends dinner at Café Boulud to a new luncheon hosted by The Regional Kitchen & Public House or a beachfront breakfast with chefs Brad Kilgore, Giorgio Rapicavoli, Lee Wolen, and Josh Thomsen.
Can't decide which one to attend? Here's a rundown of all the events slated for the 2016 Palm Beach Wine & Food Festival:
Thursday, December 8
- Sustain: Chefs Anita Lo, George Mendes, Ken Oringer, and Aaron Black will make ocean sustainability sexy with Sustain, a seafood-inspired, five-course dinner hosted at PB Catch Seafood & Raw Bar. ($170 per person; 7 p.m.)
- The First Bite: A four-course, sit-down dinner with Charleston chef Mike Lata, who joins Palm Beach County chef Clay Conley at his open-kitchen concept restaurant, Buccan. ($170 per person; 7 p.m.)
- A Rustic Root (new event): Enjoy healthy, fresh food during A Rustic Root, a five-course dinner hosted at Avocado Grill with chefs Amanda Cohen, Elizabeth Falkner, and Dean James Max along with the restaurant's chef-owner, Julien Gremaud. ($150 per person; 7 p.m.)
Friday, December 9
Miami Takeover: Miami flair meets Palm Beach sophistication with Miami Takeover at Sean Brasel’s Meat Market. Miami chefs Timon Balloo, Jeremy Ford, Richard Hales, and Jose Mendin will serve up a Miami-inspired lunch menu at Meat Market Palm Beach, Brasel’s Palm Beach County spinoff of his South Beach flagship establishment. ($99 per person; 12 p.m.)
Southern Revival (new event): A unique and soulful perspective on America’s time-honored cuisine will be showcased during Southern Revival, a four-course lunch hosted by The Regional Kitchen & Public House with chefs Michelle Bernstein, Stephen Stryjewski, Virginia Willis, and Lindsay Autry. ($99 per person; 12 p.m.)
- Kick-off Soiree: The official kick-off soiree and chef welcome party returns to The Breakers Resort Palm Beach with all its red carpet splendor. With the resort’s executive chef Jeff Simms at the helm along with master sommelier Virginia Philip, expect a unique theme for the many food stations, passed bites, wine tastings, and specialty cocktails. ($150 per person; 7 p.m.)
Saturday, December 10
Kids Kitchen: Presented by Whole Foods Market, this event is organized to encourages children to become the next generation of top chefs. Chefs Robert Irvine and Jeremy Ford guide mini sous chefs in a hands-on class held at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach. ($45 per person, includes 1 child & 1 adult; 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.)
Rise and Dine (new event): Join chefs Brad Kilgore, Giorgio Rapicavoli, Lee Wolen, and Josh Thomsen beachside and enjoy a walk-around breakfast with a view hosted at the Ocean Breeze Kitchen at the Eau Resort & Spa Palm Beach. ($75 per person; 9 a.m.)
Chillin’ N’ Grillin’: This fun-in-the-sun event challenges some of the industry's culinary favorites — like Johnny Iuzzini, Anita Lo, Jeff Mauro, Marc Murphy, Ken Oringer, and Tony Martingale — to reimagine grilling up their favorite dishes. The event is held poolside at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach. ($125 per person; 12:30 p.m.)
Lunch at The Grill (new event): A new event offers a seat at the highly sought after Palm Beach Grill Hillstone and encourages guests to enjoy a four-course lunch by chef Andrew Schor. ($99 per person; 12 p.m.)
Street Food Battle Royal: This battle brings out the competitive side of our culinary participants. In this street-friendly food competition held in front of the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, chefs Zach Bell, Julien Gremaud, Robert Irvine, Mike Lata, Tim Lipman, Beau MacMillan, Tory Martindale, and Jonathon Sawyer battle for bragging rights. Prizes will be awarded for "people’s choice" and "judge’s best bite." Special guest judges include Elizabeth Falkner, Johnny Iuzzini, Marc Murphy, and Jeff Mauro. ($125 per person; 7 p.m.)
- After Hours at Imoto: This late-night cocktail party with Buccan, Grato, and Imoto chef-owner Clay Conley includes light bites, wine-pairings, and an open bar. Attire is smart casual. ($99 per person; 11 p.m. until late)
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Sunday, December 11
Daniel & Friends: Presented by Delray Beach's Old School Bakery, Daniel & Friends takes Sunday brunch to the next level at chef-owner Daniel Boulud's Palm Beach restaurant, Café Boulud, located at The Brazilian Court Hotel. The casual brunch features dozens of tables worth of savory and sweet midday dishes presented in collaboration with the restaurant's executive chef Rick Mace. ($125 per person; 11 a.m.)
- The 10th Annual Grand Tasting: Presented by Stoli and The Gardens Mall, the 10th annual Grand Tasting will offer festival goers a chance to sample food and drink prepared by more than 60 of South Florida’s hottest restaurants and a selection of notable wineries. Throughout the venue guests will encounter music from local bands and DJs, celebrity chef book signings, holiday-inspired displays, a Stoli Mule & Beer Garden, and a runway fashion show. For the grand PBFWF conclusion, the crowd will cheer on three local chefs as they compete in the Grand Chef Throwdown presented by Creekstone Farms for the $10,000 prize. ($75 per person; 5 p.m.)
Palm Beach Wine & Food Festival tickets and packages are on sale now at pbfoodwinefest.com, or by calling 877-503-9463. Options include the PBFWF Passport Package with access to all events for a 25 percent savings; the Four Seasons TASTE Package offering an exclusive price of a 15 percent savings to every Four Seasons Resort-hosted event; the Pick 4 Package, which allows guests to select four events for a 20 percent savings; and the Lunch Pass, which offers a 10 percent savings for multiple sit-down lunches.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.