Palm Beach is perhaps best known as Florida’s luxurious beach retreat, where high-end hotels, polo matches and fantastic beaches welcome travelers. However, the area is also home to some of the best food in the country. Restaurants range from those offering gourmet, multi-course meals to more casual spots with outstanding burgers and key lime pie. An abundance of locally sourced produce and seafood guarantees excellent ingredients and the town’s top chefs promise to impress with their creative interpretations of the classics. To try as many of these hot spots as possible, consider spending a few days at the’s Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival; this year, the event takes place between December 7-10 and chefs from around the country will also be on hand.
Every year is a little bit different and this year the festival returns with several new events, expands its footprint to include Boca Raton and highlights a new charitable component. The festival has committed to donating a portion of proceeds to benefit the Els for Autism Foundation, a non-profit organization serving individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families. This year’s events will be elevated by the festival’s enhanced lineup of fine wines and spirits, a result of its new joint venture with Wine Spectator. And at the Festival’s Grand Tasting closing event, there will be an expanded wine program of over 60 wine tables pouring only selections with a prestigious 90+ rating by Wine Spectator. In fact, all wines poured throughout the festival will also be rated 90+ by Wine Spectator.
But some things will not change. Guests can expect a star-studded lineup of renowned chefs and culinary personalities from around the globe, live cooking demonstrations and wine tastings, as well as small chef-led workshops and private dinners. Some of the highlights include:
- SUSTAIN — This five-course seated dinner with wine pairings features ingredients caught by local fishermen. The collaborative dinner focusing on sustainable seafood will be held at PB CATCH Seafood & Raw Bar and includes food prepared by guest chefs Valerie Chang, Ashley Christensen and Sarah Grueneberg.
- SPICE — Local Co-hostsPushkar Marathe and BootlegGreg Cocktail Company are joined by guest chefs Tiffani Faison, Cheetie Kumar and Dean Max for a bold evening of multicultural influences and delicious food.
- SUNSET & SWIRLS, A PROGRESSIVE WINE TASTING — Taking place at the glamorous Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, this event features a distinguished wine expert guiding guests on a tasteful tour of four distinctive wines while elaborating on the secrets behind each winery and what makes the perfect pairing.
- SHABBAT DINNER — Chef Michael Hackman welcomes guest chefs Zach Engel, Lior Lev Sercarz and Alon Shaya for the second annual Shabbat dinner including traditional dishes that are elevated by the chefs and beautifully paired with wine.
- KIDS KITCHEN presented by Kroger Delivery — Kids are welcomed to the Four Seasons Resort’s kitchen with chefs Robert Irvine and Duff Goldman, who will lead groups through two sessions of 60-minute cooking classes. Kids will receive an apron, chef’s hat, and the chance to eat what they make.
- ROSÉ PARTÉ —The Festival introduces a new and fun way to “rosé all day,” where chef Jason Weiner of Almond Palm Beach invites guest chefs Timon Balloo, Zach Engel, Lior Lev Sercarz and Alex Seidel into his kitchen to prepare tasty bites while guests sip on delicious varieties of rosés.
- GRAND TASTING presented by The Palm Beaches — On the last day, head to the Palm Beach County Convention Center from 2 to 6 p.m. for food stations serving plentiful dishes and dessert samplings from dozens of South Florida’s best restaurants, as well as wine and spirit tastings. And then you can enjoy the Grand Chef Throwdown, where hosts Mo & Sally and Jay Cashmere, welcome three local chefs as they compete for the $10,000 local charity prize presented by Creekstone Farms. This year’s competition will be judged by celebrity chefs Maneet Chauhan and Robert Irvine.
Festival tickets are now available at PBFoodWineFest.com, Several ticket options are available for purchase. Ticket packages include the “Pick 4, Save 15%” option; and the Pick 3, where guests can save 10%. American Airlines Advantage® Mastercard® cardholders will enjoy special benefits like discounted tickets to select events and fast access entry at the Grand Tasting.