As we mentally and physically prepare (i.e. juice fasting and studying up on celeb chefs) for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, we thought it would be wise to highlight the events with exotic food offerings.
Some of these are first-time events at the sprawling festival, while others are back after debuting last year.
Burnt Ends: A Kosher BBQ Dinner hosted by Alon Shaya
The festival has paired up Alon Shaya — whose namesake Shaya in New Orleans is the reigning Best New U.S. Restaurant according to the James Beard Foundation — with local bread man Zak the Baker (Zak Stern) and a handful of other chefs to host the festival’s second Kosher event in its history. Look forward to a cornucopia of grilled meats, crusty breads and creative takes on barbecue, with sides, all paired with wine, beer, cider and tequila cocktails.
7-10 p.m. Thursday, Rok Family Shul — Chabad Downtown Jewish Center, 35 SE Ninth St., Miami; $300
Mediterranean Dinner hosted by Uri Jeremias, Aret Sahakyan and Sergio Sigala
Widely recognized international chefs Uri Jeremias, fondly known for his namesake Uri Buri restaurant in Israel, and Aret Sahakyan, of the ultra-luxurious Macakizi resort in Turkey, are joining Cecconi’s own Sergio Sigala for a Mediterranean-inspired dinner in Cecconi’s swank al fresco courtyard. Look forward to dishes of Sumac-chili crusted day boat scallop with smoked eggplant and pomegranate glaze and Mediterranean spicy tuna with yoghurt to transport you to the Mediterranean. Miami’s own Middle-Eastern pop-up, Saffron Supper Club, will also be spicing up the event, contributing their trademark culture and poetry to the proceedings.
7-10 p.m. Thursday, Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; $250 (use promo code SSC17 for 20 percent off tickets)
Bloody Mary Brunch hosted by David Burtka & Neil Patrick Harris
Drinking Bloody Marys for brunch isn’t necessarily exotic, but hobnobbing with Neil Patrick Harris presents its own fascinating allure. The Emmy Award-winning television star will be hosting this oceanside feast along with David Burtka, who is not only a Broadway star, but a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu who has worked with chefs like Mario Batali, Cat Cora and Thomas Keller. More than a dozen chefs, including Makoto Okuwa and Allen Susser, will be presenting riffs on brunch favorites. And there will be plenty to drink, including those bottomless Bloody Marys.
Noon-2 p.m. Sunday, The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, 1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.; $175