It's coming back: Broward and Palm Beach Counties' premier food-lovers event is returning in December.
This year brings with it a whole new slew of celebrity chefs (think Anita Lo, Gabrielle Hamilton, Ken Oringer, Virginia Willis, Elizabeth Karmel, Aaron Brooks, Jamie DeRosa, and Eden Grinshpan) and events. From sustainable seafood dinners to a mano a mano street food battle royale to shirtless (hopefully) chefs slapping some balls around the volleyball court, check out this year's
From December 11 to 14, the who's who of the culinary world will be descending upon Palm Beach for the eighth annual Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival.
"We've condensed the festival events into four days this year, which will allow out-of-town guests and local residents to better enjoy the entire festival, and help position it as an event that can be enjoyed over a long weekend," says festival organizer David Sabin.
Held at the prestigious Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach and several other venues throughout the county, this year's festival offers a chance to get up close and personal with the culinary personalities and industry leaders though a series of dinners, after-parties, tasting, and seminars.
While many events will follow in the footsteps of previous years, there have been some alterations to the line-up this year.
"One notable event change is the kick off party, which has taken place at Café Boulud for the last few years, is now hosted by The Breakers, with Daniel Boulud instead inviting everyone to his restaurant for Sunday brunch," says Sabin. "We're also taking the party to the streets with our first-ever street food event, where five Miami chefs will compete against five Palm Beach chefs in the best of fair food."
Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival 2014 event highlights include:
Thursday, December, 11 at 7 p.m.: SUSTAIN presented by Palm Healthcare Foundation at PB Catch Seafood Restaurant & Raw Bar celebrates local, sustainable fare from Florida's coast. Featured chefs: Elizabeth Falkner, Gabrielle Hamilton, Virginia Willis, and Aaron Black. (Sold out)
Thursday, December 11 at 7 p.m.: The First Bite at Buccan offers a sampling canapés and entrees prepared by each chef. Featured chefs: Anita Lo, Ken Oringer, Jonathon Sawyer, and Clay Conley. (Ticket price: $175)
Friday, December 12 at 11 a.m.; Saturday, December 13 at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.: Chef Talks at the Four Seasons features intimate conversations with some of the biggest names in the culinary world. Three distinct panels will offer industry insight from the likes of Robert Irvine, Jeff Mauro, Marc Murphy, Anita Lo, Ken Oringer, Elizabeth Falkner, Virginia Willis, and more. Each will hosted by award-winning chef and author Gabrielle Hamilton, Founder of Two-Twelve Management, Scott Feldman, and The Palm Beach Post Food Editor Liz Balmaseda (in that order). Panelists and hosts are subject to change. (Media/industry only)
Friday, December 12 at 2 p.m.: Get Served! is the annual chef volleyball battle. Two chef teams will battle it out on the court to determine which group of kitchen stars rules the court. The free event includes a hearty beach cookout with beverages, prepared by the staff at the Four Seasons.
Friday, December 12 at 7 p.m.: Chef Welcome Party presented by Cheney Brothers hosted by The Breakers Resort Palm Beach, marks the official kick-off party for the fest. The red carpet affair includes the iconic settling of the legendary resort as well as gourmet samplings assembled by executive chef Jeff Simms, paired with high-end wines and specialty cocktails. (Ticket price: $125)
Friday, December 12 at 11:30 p.m.: Late Night Rock hosted by Jeff Mauro at the Four Seasons finishes off the evening with dancing, karaoke (Mauro is a self-proclaimed sing-along all-star), and cocktails to soothe the eardrums. (Ticket price: $75)
Saturday, December 13 at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.: Kids Kitchens brings chefs Robert Irvine and Lindsay Autry together with mini chefs for hands-on lessons at the Four Seasons. (Ticket price: $45, which includes one child and one adult)
Saturday, December 13 at 12:30 p.m.: Chillin' N' Grillin' presented by The Gardens Mall hosted by Eden Grinshpan is back for the third time. Cooking Channel host Eden Grinshpan invites Robert Irvine, Elizabeth Karmel, Mike Lata, Marc Murphy, Jeff Mauro, Christina Tosi, Fabio Viviani, and Darryl Moiles to highlight their best burgers on the poolside terrace at Four Seasons Resort. (Ticket price: $125)
Saturday, December 13 at 7 p.m.: Street Food presented by SYSCO hosted by Marc Summers is pitting the 305 against the 561, with five Miami-based chefs competing against five Palm Beach chefs in a competition to see who makes the best street-food dishes. One chef from each team will compete head to head in one of the five categories (fried chicken, meatballs, hot dogs, tacos, and "on a stick"). Three prizes will be awarded: people's choice, bloggers' choice and best bite. (Ticket price: $125)
Sunday, December 14 at 11 a.m.: Daniel & Friends is taking Sunday brunch up a notch. Internationally renowned chef Daniel Boulud opens his restaurant, Café Boulud at The Brazilian Court Hotel, for a boozy breakfast with Gabrielle Hamilton, Christina Tosi, and more. (Ticket price: $125)
Sunday, December 14 at 5 p.m.: Eighth Annual Grand Tasting will be taking over the courtyard of 150 WORTH. More than 40 of South Florida's hottest restaurants are offering samples of their most celebrated dishes. Expect to see hors d'oeuvres, wines, and trendy cocktails as well as a little dose of friendly competition, with the festival's Grand Chef Throwdown. Three local chefs will compete for $10,000. (Ticket price: $100)
Although Sabin is, obviously, proud of each event, he does have his favorites. He highly suggests the Kids Kitchen (also the most budget-friendly of the bunch).
"I personally love standing on the sidelines of Kids Kitchen and watching the kids interact with our celebrity chefs," says Sabin. "Last year, Robert Irvine had kids doing jumping jacks while waiting on their healthy pizzas, and by the time pastry chef Christina Tosi was done teaching her class, everyone was covered in flour and dough. To me, this event embodies everything that the festival aims to be: fun, interactive, community, enlightening, inspiring, and of course, delicious".
Festival packages are available, including the PBFWF Passport Package with access to all events for $680, the Four Seasons TASTE Package offering an exclusive price of to every Four Seasons-hosted event ($267.25), and the Pick Four Package, which allows guests to select four events (a 20% savings). All packages exclude tickets to Kids Kitchens.
Ticket purchase begins September 5.
Visit pbfoodwinefest.com, or call 561-389-1222.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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