December in southeast Florida. It’s cold elsewhere in the country, sending lots of snowbirds to their winter homes where they settle in and re-establish their weekly golf game, as the arty set flocks to Miami to oogle paintings and one another. But the really smart ones are those who are headed for Palm Beach for the fifth annual Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest (www.pbfoodwinefest.com).
This boutique food and wine festival that’s as charming as the town in which it is set has grown from a single evening event offering a grand tasting of the island’s best restaurants’ dishes and drinks to a five-night, five-DAY affair. From December 7‐11, 2012, residents and visitors will experience it all as master chefs, premium wines, world‐class golf and genuine philanthropy come together in an unmatched resort destination under the Florida sun. Though the 2012 Festival has doubled in size by increasing to a five‐day, five‐night format and now offers close to a dozen events, each event, in classic Palm Beach fashion, remains intimate and sophisticated.
This year Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival welcomes more than 25 nationally renowned chefs/personalities/wine experts in quintessential Palm Beach locations like The Breakers Resort and The Breakers Rees Jones Golf Course, Four Seasons Resort, 150 Worth, and Swank farm (situated about 15 minutes outside of town and the go-to resource for lots of local chefs’ produce needs). Whether they have a restaurant presence in Palm Beach, nearby, or not at all, legends like Daniel Boulud, David Burke and the Le Cirque family, Food Network stars like Marc Summers, Robert Irvine and Marc Murphy, and other local and nationally recognized talent such as chefs Jacques Torres, Stephanie Izard, Chris Hastings, Steve Stryjewski, Kevin Sbraga, and Charles Steadman are supporting the effort to reinforce Palm Beach as a destination worth paying attention to when you’re hungering for a delicious getaway.
“With the exceptional talent showcased and the first‐class programming all presented in the timeless style of Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival is quickly becoming the premier culinary event in Florida,” says David Sabin, Festival Director and President of Brickhouse Public Relations.
The Festival presents several new elements, most notably the debut of daytime events during each day of the Festival. Additionally, this year the program will be officially presented by Master of Ceremonies Marc Summers. Television personality, comedian and producer, Summers is most recognized as host of Food Network’s Unwrapped and host and judge of Ultimate Recipe Showdown. He also serves as executive producer of Food Network’s popular primetime show Restaurant: Impossible.
This year also reveals a new charity component with Chefs Dish BackTM, created to support the participating chefs’ charities of choice. The Festival will distribute 100% of the net proceeds on each chef’s behalf to the individual charities. “As the chefs change each year, so will the receiving charities,” adds Sabin. “We want it to be personal.” To date, this year’s benefiting charities include Feeding Children Everywhere, Table to Table, Common Threads, Feeding South Florida, Best Buddies, World Vision International, Share Our Strength, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Charleston Chefs Feed the Need and the Gary Sinise Foundation and Opportunity Knocks.
Though you might have discovered that golfing with Robert Irvine was a bit impossible, it’s a great way to launch the festival as Golf Digest® hosts Celebrity Chef Golf Cup and Food Truck: Impossible hosted by chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network’s hit shows Dinner: Impossible and Restaurant: Impossible, at the premier Breakers Rees Jones® Course. Participants will get their game on with golf pros, VIPs, and the Festival’s star chefs and personalities. After the tournament, there will be a food truck challenge with the famously opinionated chef selecting the truck that wins the right to setup at the Grand Tasting finale at 150 WORTH.
On Friday evening the festive tone is set by Daniel and Friends, hosted by acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud in the glittering Fountain Courtyard and Terrace of Café Boulud Palm Beach. Experience exquisite eats and creative cocktails prepared by the famed chef and his Café Boulud team led by chef Jim Leiken. The start of a delicious weekend, this kick‐off reception, complete with live entertainment, is the ideal occasion to mingle and meet all of our celebrated Festival chefs.
Two new daytime events will be unveiled Saturday, December 8, including Corks & Champagne with Bites by Norman Van Aken at the Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy. Guests will enjoy creative canapés by the “founding father of New World Cuisine” with tastes of select champagne and wine flawlessly paired by American Sommelier Association’s “Best Sommelier in the U.S.,” master sommelier Virginia Philip. Guests will also watch a food demonstration, receive recipes, and learn why the wines were chosen and how each complements the other.
Also on Saturday, guests can enjoy true grilling and chilling with award‐winning chefs and a poolside DJ at the new Burgers by the Beach at the official host hotel Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. The Festival’s distinguished talent, including Food Network’s Robert Irvine and Jeff Mauro, Bravo’s Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga, Four Seasons’ executive chef Darryl Moiles and more will serve their signature
burgers in the cool, chic setting of the Resort’s oceanfront terrace.
This year’s tribute dinner on Saturday night at the legendary Breakers resort offers guests a chance to indulge in the decadence of one of the most famous restaurants in the world Le Cirque of New York City. At An Evening with Le Cirque: A Tribute to Sirio, eminent chefs Daniel Boulud, David Burke, Marc Murphy and Jacques Torres, along with The Breakers’ executive chef of banquets Jeff Simms and master sommelier Virginia Philip, will prepare the dinner of dreams in a tribute to owner and maître d’ Sirio Maccioni. With the help of Le Cirque’s own chef Olivier Reginensi, its iconic décor, and the famed Sirio himself, all senses will be ignited as The Breakers recreates this renowned New York establishment.
Sunday, December 9, is a day of eco‐friendly eats. Food4Thought is a genuine farm‐to‐table event held “on the farm” at Swank Specialty Produce’s organic and hydroponic farm. Utilizing the best of Florida’s farmers, ranchers and artisanal producers, James Beard Award‐winners Mike Lata and Marc Vetri and sommelier Jeff Benjamin join many of the aforementioned star chefs and local talent Lindsey Autry, Zach Bell, and Dean Max to create the freshest, multi‐course lunch of a lifetime right before their guests.
Sustain at the new PB Catch Seafood & Raw Bar continues the feel‐good food theme with a sustainable menu focusing on local seafood. Chef Marc Murphy, celebrated restaurateur, television personality, and judge Food Network’s Chopped, will be the evening’s featured chef, working alongside his sommelier David Lombardo and PB Catch’s chef Aaron Black.
Festivities continue in full force Monday afternoon with Southern Hospitality: Pig and the Goat. Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard, chef of Saveur magazine’s very first “Best New Restaurant” in America accolade, and James Beard Award‐winner Stephen Stryjewski join local favorite Julien Gremaud to showcase a rendezvous of rotisseries (goat versus pig versus lamb) as they slow roast their signature fare at Pistache French Bistro, overlooking West Palm Beach’s waterfront.
The Last Supper (of the Festival) on the evening of Monday, December 10, highlights the talents of some of the most notable chefs in the country at the hottest restaurant in town, buccan. Clay Conley, James Beard Award‐nominee for Best Chef: South 2012, hosts this year’s winner, Chris Hastings, along with 2009 winner Mike Lata, nominee and Top Chef Jeff McInnis, Top Chef Kenny Gilbert, and pastry chef extraordinaire Elizabeth Falkner. All will be cooking front and center in Conley’s open, expedition kitchen at this festive, celebratory dinner with friends.
The grand finale of the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival 2012 will return on Tuesday, December 11. Set amongst the Mediterranean courtyards and designer boutiques of 150 WORTH, the 6th Annual Grand Tasting at 150 WORTH showcases winemakers, local artisans and nearly 30 chefs and restaurants from Miami to Palm Beach, to New York and New Orleans.
Adding to the excitement, the Annual Grand Chef Throwdown presented by Creekstone Farms Premium Black Angus Beef will once again offer a $10,000 prize to the winning chef of this head‐to‐head cooking challenge. Chef Roy Villacrusis will return to defend his title.
To ensure the quintessential Palm Beach experience, tickets to each event of the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival 2012 are extremely limited. Tickets can be purchased at www.pbfoodwinefest.com or at 855‐428‐7849 (855‐4‐ATS‐TIXS). Daily updates can be found on the Festival’sofficial Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pbfoodwinefest or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pbfoodwinefest.
For residents and visitors, Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach—the official host hotel of the Festival— offers an exclusive oceanfront setting for relaxed Palm Beach elegance, award‐winning dining and flawless service on one of the finest sweeps of sun‐splashed beach in South Florida. To reserve special Festival room rates starting at $265, call the Resort directly at 800‐432‐2335.
Watch our twitter @insidefandb to learn more about the festival as it unfolds.