After canceling its 2020 culinary event due to the pandemic, the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival will return with a bang Dec. 9-12 with more events.
It’s replacing its usual grand-tasting finale with a free open-air, all-day bash at Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach.
That decision has already meant the strongest sales in the 14th annual bash’s history, according to organizer David Sabin. He says the festival’s 14th year marks the 10th anniversary since he expanded the festival from a three-hour, socialite-studded shindig on Worth Avenue to a four-day feast spanning five cities. “We already have people on waiting lists,” Sabin says. “These are the fastest sellouts ever. People must be excited because they missed it last year.”
Tickets for the four-day feast went on sale last month and two events sold out in one day: Spice, a chef-studded kickoff dinner in Palm Beach Gardens, and its popular Chef Welcome Party at the Colony Hotel in West Palm Beach. There are still plenty of events to enjoy as the festival’s event schedule is larger than ever, with 23 events (compared to 13 in 2018). Other festival highlights include a five-course sustainable seafood dinner on Dec. 9 at PB Catch and celebrity chef Robert Irvine joining Okeechobee Steakhouse’s Ralph Lewis for a four-course “Beef N Bourbon Experience” on Dec. 9.
The list of celebrity chefs is also grander than in the past, with Michelle Bernstein, Robert Irvine, Marc Murphy, and Maneet Chauhan headlining events. The festival has also expanded south to Delray Beach, with a four-course Italian dinner and wine pairing at chef Lisbet Summa’s namesake Elisabetta’s. Daniel Boulud hosts his annual signature Daniel & Friends lunch at Palm Beach’s Café Boulud on Dec. 12, with guest chefs Julie Franceschini and Dieter Samijn.
The closing event is a free, daylong culinary affair on Dec. 12 at Rosemary Square, featuring paint-and-sip classes, a book reading with chef Maneet Chauhan, cooking demos, the Battle of the Bartenders, and a $10,000 Grand Chef Throwdown, where chefs square off to benefit a charity of their choice. Tickets cost $50-$250 per event. Call the box office at 800-210-0689 or go to PBFoodWineFest.com.
Finally, check out 16th annual Taste of the Island Nov. 8 at Richardson Historic Park and Nature Preserve on the Drive. It’s an evening of food and libation featuring local food and beverage establishments and spotlighting their culinary and beverage specialties at Wilton Manors’ acclaimed outdoor tasting event.
Park free at the City Hall/Hagen Park lot at 2020 Wilton Drive and use the free shuttle or walk the short distance to the event venue. Reserved parking at Richardson Historic Park and Nature Preserve are available online or at 500 NE 26th St.
Caribbean Fest Rescheduled
Hollywood’s Caribbean Food and Rum Festival, which was to have taken place in Hollywood on Sept. 5 will now take place on Dec. 12 and it will feature most of the same musical acts and of course, the same great island food and drinks. CaribVille Entertainment assures patrons who have already purchased admission that the tickets will be valid for the new date, and we will keep them informed of all updates on our social media platforms and general media. All COVID-19 protocols will be in place for the December staging. For more information, go to CaribbeanVillage.net/event-details/caribbean-food-rum-festival.
Join the Union
Union Kitchen & Bar is Wilton Manors’ newest, and decidedly most upscale, eatery. The Peruvian-Italian fusion restaurant is fronted by the handsome and charming Roberto Colombi, while his wife chef Christie Tenaud runs the kitchen. Both previously worked at Boca Raton Resort & Club’s Blue. Union Kitchen features homemade pasta, a raw bar, and entrees that span Italian classics such as chicken agrodolce to Peruvian sea bass. It’s right across the street from Island City Stage and The Foundry, making it the perfect pre- or post-theater spot. 2309 N. Dixie, 754-216-0143, UnionKB.com.
The Bite Eatery, the first food hall in Pompano Beach, opens soon, just a few blocks away from the beach and the Pompano Fishing Pier. The 250-seat venue will feature a full bar in the center, surrounded by nine food vendors, including Jupiter Donuts, Casareccio Trattoria (Italian), Senbazuru (Japanese-Spanish fusion), Moop (gelato, waffles and crepes), I Heart Mac & Cheese, Ceviche Time (Peruvian), The Lobster (seafood), La Chancla (Mexican) and a New York-style deli.
Things are about to get a little more colorful along Las Olas. Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar unveiled the rendering of “Esperanza” (Hope) — a Cuban-inspired mural by celebrated artist Erni Vales. The mural, which should be completed by the time you read this, is inspired by the recent uprising in Cuba and represents a renewed hope for the Cuban people. The restaurant’s name, which translates to “a free Cuba,” signifies hope for the future of the treasured island nation. Its mission is to provide an “escape” to Havana through exciting food, beverage, and entertainment experiences that celebrate the Cuban people and culture.