Star chefs to visit food festival
Festival events in Palm Beach
The talent pool runs deep for this year’s Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, which kicked off ticket sales last week. The cast of visiting chefs features an unprecedented lineup of food stars from the New South, national culinary pioneers and just top-notch chefs.
Those who follow such things may recognize the names: Ashley Christensen, Nancy Silverton, Edward Lee, Alon Shaya, Jose Garces, Richard Blais. These and other festival newcomers will join the wave of food dignitaries appearing at the festival’s sit-down dinners, walk-about tastings and resort-based events.
Foodies will find a jazzier event lineup this year when the festival returns for its 12th year Dec. 13. The fest, which this year hosts events in Palm Beach, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, runs through Dec. 16.
Here are a few highlights:
The “One Caribbean Night” dinner, at Avocado Grill’s Downtown at the Gardens location, features Food Network personalities Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy and Robert Irvine. They’ll join Avocado Grill chef/owner Julien Gremaud for a spicy fivecourse feast with wine pairings ($185 per person).
The “Chillin’ ’n’ Grillin” afternoon cookout moves to the Eau Palm Beach Resort this year from its former Four Seasons location. New faces at the grills include Philly-based chef Garces of Food Network “Iron Chef” fame and acclaimed North Carolina chef/restaurateur Christensen. The event takes place at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 15 ($140 per person).
“Indulge.” That’s the name of the event that replaces the fest’s popular “Street Food” party. It will be at the Four Seasons’ renovated poolside terrace Saturday night. A dozen celebrity chefs — including newcomers Blais (“Top Chef”) and Shaya (James Beard Award-winning chef based in New Orleans) — are cooking bites for the sexy, oceanfront evening ($140 per person).
West Palm Beach gets the 12th annual Grand Tasting. After three years at The Gardens Mall, the fest’s grand finale heads to the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Dec. 16. The four-hour, walkabout tasting event also happens earlier in the day, starting at 2 p.m.
If there’s an unofficial theme for this year’s festival, it’s the unexpected culinary icon. Festival director David Sabin assembled a lineup that includes chefs such as Silverton, founder of Los Angeles’ beloved La Brea Bakery; Christensen, who has redefined the dining scene in Raleigh; and Charles Phan, founder of San Francisco’s venerable Slanted Door.
“They’re industry leaders, people that are doing things that are compelling in many ways,” says Sabin.
Festgoers will also find a diverse batch of talent thriving in the modern South. Among them are Chef Lee, who’s made his culinary mark in Kentucky by paying homage to Southern food and his family’s Korean roots, and Shaya, the Israeli-born chef who popularized
Annual celebration of sustainable seafood at PB Catch from 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 13. $185 per person.
Dec. 13, sold out.
At Meat Market on Dec. 14, sold out.
At The Breakers, Dec. 14, sold out.
At Four Seasons, Dec. 15, sold out.
Dinner with lineup of a dozen all-star chefs, at Four Seasons from 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 15. $140 per person.
Daniel Boulud is joined by fellow chefs for brunch, which includes walk-around tasting, Café Boulud from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. $140 per person.
modern Israeli cooking in New Orleans.
“I look at it as global influences happening in the South,” Sabin said.
Sabin is more than familiar with global Southern eats — he’s married to Lindsay Autry of The Regional Kitchen & Public House.
During the festival, Autry will host a “Southern Revival” lunch at her West Palm restaurant, where she will cook a five-course meal ($120 per person) alongside Lee, Shaya and Christensen.