A clambake, drag-themed brunch and Cajun cooking classes are just a few of the treats lined up for the third installment of the Crave Greater Fort Lauderdale series, part of the annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF), which expands into Palm Beach County for the first time this year.
Recognized as one of the country's most prestigious foodie gatherings, SOBEWFF returns to South Florida for its 18th annual edition February 20 through 24. This year, the five-day, celebrity chef-studded festival is composed of an unprecedented lineup of more than 100 events spanning Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.
"We are excited to offer up 100-plus events this year, with a variety of new offerings, as well as the return of our Crave Greater Fort Lauderdale Series, making the 18th annual edition [of the festival] our most robust event line-up yet," says event founder and director Lee Brian Schrager.
Starting February 20, the festival's iconic white tents will once again decorate the sands of Miami Beach, housing returning and re-imagined fan-favorite tastings and events. This year, several all-new events will launch for the first time, as well as an array of all-new Master Class experiences covering a variety of carefully-curated topics.
A plethora of intimate dinner experiences hosted by some of the country’s most celebrated, critically-acclaimed chefs will accent this year’s events, featuring renowned talent like Floyd Cardoz, Scott Conant, Rocco DiSpirito, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, Evan Funke, Barbara Lynch, Adam Perry Lang, Angie Mar, Michael Mina, Charles Phan, Fabio Trabocchi, Michael White, and many more.
New this year: Several inaugural events highlight a number of celebrity chefs, from a dinner hosted by Anne Burrell and Casa D'Angelo's Angelo Elia, to a brunch featuring New York City radio personality Elvis Duran. Here, we share our guide to the best events taking place during the 2019 Crave Fort Lauderdale series.
1. Dinner With Martha Stewart at The Regional. Not to be missed, this dinner will feature Palm Beach County's most acclaimed chef — Regional Kitchen & Public House's Lindsay Autry and Buccan, Imoto, and Grato's Clay Conley — alongside none other than Martha Stewart for the first-ever SOBEWFF event in Palm Beach County. A bestselling author of 90 books and the newest judge on Chopped, Stewart will host alongside both chefs for an experience that will blend Southern cuisine and Mediterranean flavors for a one-of-a-kind dinner at Autry's West Palm Beach establishment. Thursday, February 21, 7 to 10 p.m. Admission costs $250 per person.
2. Dinner With Donatella Arpaia at Terra Mare. A dinner at Terra Mare in Fort Lauderdale featuring Michelin-starred restaurateur, cookbook author, and James Beard Award-nominated chef Donatella Arpaia will kick-off the 2019 Crave line-up. Guests will recognize Arpaia as a regular on the Food Network's Iron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef. She's also the self-proclaimed "Meatball Queen," while Zagat crowned her as "The Hostess with the Mostest." During the event, she'll play host alongside Terra Mare executive chef Michael Chavez and chef PJ Calapa, formerly of New York City's Michelin-starred Ai Fiori, and executive chef/owner of Manhattan's Scampi. Wednesday, February 20, 7 to 10 p.m. Admission costs $175 per person.
3. Drag Brunch With Elvis Duran at The Ritz-Carlton. Fort Lauderdale will be the spot for the festival's first-ever Drag Brunch, hosted in conjunction with Pride Fort Lauderdale. Hosted by Z100 New York radio personality Elvis Duran and his fiancé, Alex Carr, the event will celebrate the LGBT community at The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale as they round-up over a dozen of the most creative chefs in town to prepare dishes inspired by the charismatic personalities of some of South Florida’s most popular drag performers. Guests will sip on free-flowing libations as they enjoy select performances from some of the talent influencing the event’s cuisine. Saturday, February 23, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Admission costs $125 per person.
4. Cajun Cooking Master Class with Sam and Cody Carroll at TRP Taste. SOBEWFF's Crave series will come to a close with husband-and-wife chef team Sam and Cody Carroll of Food Network's Cajun Aces and their Cajun cooking Master Class at Fort Lauderdale's TRP Taste. The couple's critically acclaimed restaurant, Sac-A-Lait, is set in an old cotton mill in the Warehouse District of New Orleans, and features unique details completely handcrafted by the chefs and their families, from the reclaimed 140-year-old pine from a nearby Broom Factory to a bar made with hand-crushed oyster shells. They're bringing their keen attention to detail and unique culinary-style to the festival for the first time to guide a limited number of guests through a crash course in Cajun cuisine. Together, they'll share insight into designing a menu featuring the Bayou-based seasons of farming, hunting and fishing at home. After class, guests will enjoy a lunch rooted in rich Cajun traditions and paired with libations from the Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits portfolio. Sunday, February 24, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Admission costs $185 per person.
5. Dinner With Anne Burrell at Casa D'Angelo Ristorante. Forget a trip to Italy; head to Casa D'Angelo Ristorante in Fort Lauderdale, instead. Celebrity chef Anne Burrell —- once known for her beloved (yet now defunct) Manhattan-based Italian concept Centro Vinoteca and her hit Food Network show Worst Cooks in America — will team up with iconic Broward County Italian chef Angelo Elia for a special feast. Burrell combines her mastery of Italian cooking with Elia's passion for "old country" Tuscan cuisine at his iconic Casa D’Angelo Ristorante. Thursday, February 21, 7 to 10 p.m. Admission costs $250 per person.
6. Clambake With Alexandra Guarnaschelli at Conrad Fort Lauderdale. The official SOBEFWW clambake returns to the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach this year with host and celebrity chef, cookbook author, and executive chef of NYC's Butter, Alexandra Guarnaschelli (also known for her work on Food Network's Iron Chef and Chopped). She'll be cooking alongside Conrad executive chef Jorge Ramos for guests at the tailored luxury rooftop deck of Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, serving up seafood-inspired fare from more than a dozen of South Florida's most popular eateries for the ultimate beachside soirée. The party doesn’t end there: the evening will include desserts and libations. Friday, February 22, 8 to 10 p.m. Admission costs $200 per person.
A complete line up of 2019 events can be found online at sobewff.org, or by following the hashtag #SOBEWFF on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The exclusive Mastercard pre-sale for the 2019 Festival begins Monday, October 8 at 9 a.m. online, or by calling 877-762-3933. General ticket sales begin at midnight on Monday, October 22.
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