Start making plans, South Florida food lovers.
More late-night parties, Kosher dinners, brunches and more celebrity-chef led Fort Lauderdale events than ever will be part of the 2018 South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s lineup when it goes live Monday at Sobefest.com, the festival’s founder said.
“This is the most robust year of programming in Fort Lauderdale. Meanwhile, we made sure it’s still exciting in Miami,” festival founder Lee Brian Schrager said.
Schrager discussed some of the highlights diners will find at the website, which will start selling tickets Oct. 9 for the festival, which takes place Feb. 21-25. The biggest surprise is the surge of big names headlining events in Fort Lauderdale, as the festival continues to expand.
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Emeril Lagasse will host a clam bake in Fort Lauderdale. The Lucky Chopsticks walk-around noodle event with eat-anything TV chef Andrew Zimmern, a favorite on South Beach, will instead be in Broward.
A group of Syrian refugee women, immigrants whose stories of their monthly supper club were written about in April in the Miami Herald, will be featured at an event with chefs Ingrid Hoffman, who helped organize it, and Israeli chef Alon Shaya.
Brunch, much as it has expanded in pop culture, will be featured in as many as five different events. Country singer Trisha Yearwood will host a Southern kitchen brunch. Geoffrey Zakarian will host one at his new restaurant at the Diplomat Beach Resort. Marcus Samuelsson, whose restaurant in Overtown is still in the works, will host a jazz brunch at the historic Lyric Theater in Overtown. And Jean-Georges Vongerichten will host a vegetable-focused brunch at his Matador Room at the Miami Beach Edition Hotel.
“The dinner program is as good as it gets,” Schrager said.
And the big spenders will, as always, be treated at the tribute dinner, this year in honor of chef Bobby Flay and Michael Clarke of Treasury Wine Estates. Last year’s event was a newsmaker, as honored chef Jose Andres tore open his chef’s coat to reveal a black T-shirt that read, “I am an immigrant,” which became the subject of his address.
All of Flay’s best buds will be cooking at a walk-around event, rather than a black-tie-optional sit down. Among them: Jonathan Waxman, Hot Tamales’ Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, Stephen Kalt, Michelle Bernstein, Alex Guarnaschelli, Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Symon and Michael Voltaggio, whose new restaurant, Monger, will open in the downtown Miami train station next summer.
“Bobby wanted to make sure the dinner reflected his style and his food. And it’s all his friends,” Schrager said.
Three different events will focus on Jewish heritage, inlcuding a pair of Kosher dinners, one a Shabbat dinner with Michelle Bernstein, and a history of Jewish-American cuisine with Michael Solomonov of the new-to-Miami Dizengoff and Federal Donuts.
Families will also get a treat. Food-science chef nerd Alton Brown, host of Cutthroat Kitchen, will headline this year’s Fun & Fit as a family event. And Duff Goldman, of “Ace of Cakes,” will lead a family ice cream social at the Loews Miami Beach.
There will even be opportunities for diners to become chefs. One event features breadmaking at the new Sullivan Street Bakery near Little Haiti, and another focuses on doughnut-making with Wynwood’s The Salty Donut.
Nightclub owner David Grutman’s day-time party at the Grand Tasting was such a hit last year that the festival has asked him to host two events, on Saturday and Sunday, this time. Rapper Action Bronson will co-host a late-night event with the buttoned down chef Jean-George on Española Way. And DJ/fashionista Hannah Bronfman will spin during a desserts-and-dancing event after the tribute dinner.
Burger Bash, the annual ode to the hamburger, will be led by the king of diner and drive-in food, Food Network’s Guy Fieri.