Sunday, May 26, 2024

SOBEWFF in Fort Lauderdale

There were high winds, and at the end, a downpour to go along with them. But there was plenty of time for the many food stations, a smattering of bar stations and hundreds of foodies in attendance. And there’s only one celebrity Chef Robert Irvine.

He was the star attraction at the opening of the Food Network  & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine and Food Festival, which kicked off with Seaside Eats in Fort Lauderdale (not South Beach!) at the Bonnet House Museum. This was the first year events were included in greater Fort Lauderdale, and if the kickoff was any indication of the overall festival, things went swimmingly.

A sold-out event provided tasty bites ranging from Chef Toby Joseph’s monkfish with stone ground organic grits from Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille to short rib sliders from Steak 854 to seared diver scallops from YOLO, and desserts from mini cupcakes to fresh doughnuts from Dandee Donuts. Chef Dewey LoSasso from The Redlander Restaurant at Schnebly Winery and Brewery (who brought the Miami tasting north) offered some of the most interesting combos, including a Piper beetle plant, also known as the bacon plant, with leaves that when crisped taste just like bacon—but without the meat or calories. (Note to self: Start growing this plant now!) The star dish of the evening was from Irvine, a whole roasted Queen snapper (picture courtesy of Lynn Kalber), with lobster in a tasty broth that had attendees asking for more.

Irvine spent time greeting attendees and posing for photos, along with giving some food and wine advice to those around him. He was clearly having fun, and that makes all the difference. The Fort Lauderdale Series of SOBEWFF was a blast for everyone, and hopefully it marks the start of a beautiful friendship.

Lynn Kalber
Lynn Kalber
Lynn Kalber was raised in Boca Raton and has always worked in Palm Beach and Broward counties. She is a career journalist, with 26 years at The Palm Beach Post alone, where she wrote feature and food articles, edited the food section and wrote about wine as part of the Swirl Girls.

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