The South Beach Seafood Festival, now in its 11th year, concluded its four-day gastronomic extravaganza against the backdrop of Miami Beach’s iconic Art Deco district last weekend. Celebrating the start of Miami’s famous stone crab season, the festival once again cemented its reputation as one of the country’s leading seafood events.
Brought to you by Tequila Herradura, presented by GOYA Foods, and hosted by the City of Miami Beach, with the support of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, the festival featured a blend of the finest seafood, masterful celebrity chefs and exhilarating live entertainment.
The culinary extravaganza consisted of four distinct, separately ticketed events, beginning with “An Evening at Joe’s Stone Crab” on Wednesday, October 18. Hosted by Sonoma Cutrer, guests were treated to an exquisite five-course meal created by Executive Chef Andre Bienvenu and paired with a selection of wines from Master Sommeliers. The following evening, Thursday, October 19, GOYA Foods’ Executive Chef Fernando Desa and other top Magic City chefs took guests on an international surf n’ turf adventure at Crabs, Slabs & Cabs, presented by GOYA Foods and hosted by Halperns Steak and Seafood and Breakthru Beverage, which featured a formal sit-down dinner at the historic Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel.
Chefs participating in this year’s dinner included acclaimed restaurateur and Pubbelly Sushi partner José Mendín; La Mar executive chef Diego Oka; Meat Market executive chef and owner Sean Brasel; Luca Osteria & Eating House executive chef and owner Giorgio Rapicavoli; Leku executive chef Carlos Garcia; and host of the event, Kimpton Surfcomber chef Gaston Javier. Then, on Friday, October 20, the heat turned up with the exhilarating Chef Showdown, additionally presented by Mountain Valley Spring Water on the Demesmin & Dover LIVE stage, where South Florida’s crème de la crème of chefs competed in a thrilling culinary showdown over 11 rounds of seafood competition featuring 23 chefs.
Last year’s winning chefs returned to put their skills on the line to retain their titles. The interactive event invited guests to sample deliciously prepared dishes from this year’s participating restaurants and vote for their favourite among the contestants. Food lovers were also able to interact with each chef as they took to the main stage to showcase their impressive skills in entertaining live demonstrations, with a panel of experienced culinary masters helping the audience decide the winners.