The South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which runs February 25 to 28, is expanding events north to Fort Lauderdale with its new Taste Fort Lauderdale series. The festival actually kicks off in Fort Lauderdale with Seaside Eats, a tasting event hosted by Food Network celebrity Robert Irvine at Bonnet House.
Tickets for all SoBeWFF events went on sale today, including the Seaside Eats event ($125), which features a cadre of South Florida chefs including Nicolay Adinaguev (Steak 954), Simon Bai (BAO Bar and Asian Kitchen), Michael Bloise (Ocean 2000), David Blonsky (Apeiro Kitchen & Bar), Peter Boulukos (YOLO), Steven Dapuzzo (Society 8/Beauty & the Feast), Adrienne Grenier (3030 Ocean), Toby Joseph (Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille), Daniel Scala and Matthew Kaiser (Sauced Up Food Truck), Dewey LoSasso (
The star of the Taste Fort Lauderdale series has got to be the Bloody Mary Brunch at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, February 28, hosted by the cast of Chopped ($175). From noon to 2 p.m., guests will be able to sample bloody marys and dine on food from Eric Baker (Max's Harvest), Wolfgang Birk (Area 31), Chris Palmer (American Social), Oliver Saucy (Cafe Maxx), Allen Susser (the Cafe at Books & Books), Sherry Yard (Tanzy Restaurant), Christian Clausen (the Foxy Brown), and more.
If you're all about the celebrity sightings, you'll be able to feast your eyes on the stars of Chopped, including host Ted Allen, Scott Conant, Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy, Marcus Samuelsson, Aaron Sanchez, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Geoffrey Zakarian, who spend most of their time mingling with fans before having to do some real work — like drinking and judging about a dozen bloody marys.
The Bloody Mary Brunch is a transplant from SoBeWFF's sister event, the New York City Wine & Food Festival, with the brunch held at New York's Chelsea Piers this past weekend. Hundreds of Chopped fans gathered to get a selfie with the likes of Geoffrey Zakarian and Scott Conant; eat chicken and waffles; and sample bloody marys.
Chicken and waffles were the favorite brunch item. Luckily there were several stations serving up the soul-satisfying combo of savory bird and sweet waffle.
Smoked mackerel deviled eggs from the Peacock restaurant were the perfect bite for your bloody.
Each bloody mary featured a different flavor profile. This version by Absolut featured bright flavors from golden heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers.
Tiny buttermilk waffles by Melba Wilson of Melba's were displayed to look like tasty flowers.
Illy Coffee also took an artistic approach to its cold-brew coffee.
While people ate and drank downstairs, the judges were hard at work judging the bloody marys, as evidenced by this photo.
Tickets for the SoBeWFF Bloody Mary Brunch are on sale now and available through sobewff.com. SoBeWFF 2016 takes place February 24 through 28 at various locations.