As we mentally and physically prepare (i.e. juice fasting and studying up on celeb chefs) for the 16th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival making its return Feb.y 22-26, 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. Here’s a look at some of the most unique events:
1. 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 Restaurant in the U.S. bestowed by the James Beard Foundation, with local bread man Zak the Baker with along with 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 BBQ sides all paired with wine, beer, cider and tequila cocktails.
2. Meditteranean 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 swanky 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.
3. Vegan Dinner hosted by Chloe Coscarelli and Matthew Kenney
In a festival rife with beef, grilled meats and seafood this event is a beacon to plant-based food lovers looking to participate in all the hedonism. Chloe Coscarelli, winning television competitor and founder of New York City’s popular by CHLOE, and FOOD & WINE Best New Chef and culinary educator Matthew Kenney join forces at the newly opened Plant Food + Wine at The Sacred Space Miami.
4. 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 trained chef, 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’ll be plenty to drink including those bottomless Bloody Marys.