The Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival Returns With New Event Lineup

Beloved Palm Beach County-based chef Dean Max and the Food Network's Chopped judge chef Maneet Chauhan at the 2019 Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival.
Beloved Palm Beach County-based chef Dean Max and the Food Network's Chopped judge chef Maneet Chauhan at the 2019 Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival. Photo by Michael Pissari
Palm Beach County's annual foodie event, the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival (PBFWF), has announced a return date.

Now in its 14th year, the four-day festival will resume in December with its largest event lineup to date, more than 20 events held from Thursday, December 9, through Sunday, December 12, 2021.

As in years past, all PBFWF events will be hosted by many of the county's top chefs at its finest venues and will conclude with a refreshed take on the festival’s grand tasting, held this year at an outdoor venue, Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach.

PBFWF founder David Sabin tells New Times the 2021 event will include a number of new and intimate gatherings, giving guests a chance to meet and mingle with some of the nation's hottest culinary talents at a safe, socially distanced festival.

"After making the decision to cancel last year's event, this year was definitely a challenge as to how we could proceed in terms of scaling back some of our larger events," Sabin says. "A big part of our new events are a result of the changes we made to host smaller events in place of large-format ones. It gives us an opportunity to add to these really intimate experiences. The response we've received so far has been beyond positive."

New events will debut over the course of the festival weekend, presented alongside longtime favorites, from intimate dinners to wine tastings, evening cocktail soirees, and cooking demonstrations.

New additions include the festival's first-ever dinner in Delray Beach, a seated brunch, a cocktail tutorial, and outdoor events in Rosemary Square.

Friday, December 10, will bring "Dinner at Elisabetta's," a four-course Italian-style feast with wine pairings. The first PBFWF dinner held outside Palm Beach, the event highlights the work of host chef Lisabet Summa, creator of Elisabetta's in Delray Beach, alongside guest chef Sarah Grueneberg.

On Saturday, December 11, the inaugural "Crafting Cocktails" event is a two-session workshop led by Parched Pig host chef Tim Lipman, mixologist Katy Galluccio, and guest bartender Christiaan Röllich. The event features a step-by-step tutorial where participants will learn to make three seasonally inspired cocktails.

"Brunch at Aioli," a four-course meal with wine pairings, has been added to Sunday's lineup, featuring host chef Michael Hackman and guests Elizabeth Falkner and Stephen Stryjewski.

Finally, in lieu of the festival's grand tasting, attendees can partake in "PBFWF at Rosemary Square" on Sunday, December 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Events include a "paint and sip" class; family-friendly book signings with chefs Maneet Chauhan and Robert Irvine; cooking demos with chefs Guillermo Eleicegui and Lindsay Autry; a "Battle of the Bartenders" at Copper Blues; and a happy hour cocktail class at Planta.

The four-day festival welcomes the return of popular favorites like "The First Bite," a four-course dinner with wine pairings hosted by Palm Beach chef and restaurateur Clay Conley; Regional Kitchen & Public House chef/owner Lindsay Autry's "Southern Revival" seated lunch; and the epic brunch party, "Daniel & Friends," hosted by chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud at his eponymous restaurant at the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach.

As in years past, the festival culminates with the final event, the Grand Chef Throwdown, presented by Creekstone Farms. This year, the event will be hosted by Mo & Sally and Jay Cashmere and will be judged by chefs Robert Irvine and Marc Murphy. At the throwdown-style competition, three local chefs compete for the title of the festival's "best chef," with a $10,000 grand prize donated to a charity of their choice.

Event tickets ranging in price from $50 to $250 per person are on sale now. VIP packages are priced at $145 per person and offer reserved seating during cooking demonstrations and the Grand Chef Throwdown, two complimentary drinks from Barrio, a reserved book and VIP signing with chef Robert Irvine, and a gift bag from Rosemary Square.

"When we did the first event over ten years ago, I never set out to think we'd be here all these years later," Sabin says. "It's incredible to think of all the amazing chefs that have come through the kitchens of Palm Beach to cook and share their talents with us."
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna