Saturday, June 8, 2024

The Grand Plan for PBFWF’s Grand Tasting

If you’re cooking for a couple thousand people, you need a plan. Luckily for those attending the Dec. 15 Wine Spectator’s Grand Tasting (as part of the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival), local celeb Chef Lindsay Autry is on top of it. As usual. 

Autry and dozens of other chefs will feed a huge crowd at the Palm Beach Convention Center, which can seem overwhelming when entering the vast space crawling with hungry people, food, drinks, music, more food… 

I caught up with Autry, co-partner and founder of West Palm Beach’s The Regional Kitchen & Public House, and asked for some strategy:

The Grand Tasting can be a bit surprising for first-time attendees. Where do you suggest folks start?

“The best way is to research who’s going to be there – and especially with a copy of the program – it’s a good opportunity to sample food or check out the station of a restaurant you haven’t been to before. I try to make a top 10 list of the ones I want to hit first.”

What is your plan for The Regional’s serving station? 

“As a chef – for a large-format tasting event – the way I approach it (when I’m cooking for a couple thousand people), is I make something well represented from the restaurant, but also something that gives me time to interact with people. I tend to try things that are vegetable-focused or lighter.” 

Autry’s Southern Revival lunch at The Regional is sold out, as it has been each year. But tickets to the Grand Tasting are available (as well as a few other events), and at $95 per person are some of the least expensive on the schedule.

Along with dozens of restaurants and coffee houses/bars, wine samplings, spirit tastings, desserts – will be the Grand Chef Throwdown, where three local chefs compete for a $10,000 charity prize. Judges are chefs Robert Irvine and Adam Richman.

Wine Spectator’s Grand Tasting, Palm Beach Convention Center, Dec. 15, 3 p.m. 

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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