OVER THE LAST decade, Palm Beach County has morphed from being the tricounty’s quiet and chic destination into a progressive food zone, and playing a key role in the transformation has been Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, celebrating its 11th anniversary this year. Headed by David Sabin, the festival doesn’t discriminate against talent, creating a rare opportunity where the culinary stage is shared by both local and nationally known chefs.
For four days, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach and its hotels and restaurants are inundated by some of the country’s most decorated chefs, who happily leave the harsh winter of the north in exchange for South Florida’s warm and balmy breezes. There are fire pits for the popular Chillin’ N’ Grillin’ hosted on the pool terrace of Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. There are kids’ sessions with Robert Irvine and Virginia Willis, and a competition for the perfect bite, judged by Elizabeth Falkner, Duff Goldman (a first timer at PBFWF), Jeff Mauro and Marc Murphy.
At this year’s festival, megachef Daniel Boulud has opted for a Saturday evening event, rather than his traditional Sunday brunch, still hosted at his eponymous restaurant, Café Boulud at The Brazilian Court. Eau Resort Palm Beach & Spa is offering its take on Sunday fare with Brunch in Paradise, featuring chefs Anito Lo; Dean Max; Beau MacMillan; Daniel Serfer; and its executive chef, David Viviano. Joining Thursday’s dinner lineup is Gravy, Café Sapori’s first festival event, with chefs Marc Murphy; Tony Mantuano; and its own, Fabrizio Giorgi. Hungry or not, After Hours at Imoto is the place to be on Saturday night, with Clay Conley, Ken Oringer and Daniel Serfer presenting provocative bites. During these four days and nights, Palm Beach is no longer a quiet oceanfront resort, but a food- and wine-obsessed zone—and that’s just the way local foodies like it. Dec. 14-17
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