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Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival 2013 Recap

Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival 2013 Recap

Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival

Dianne Muscari details her exploration of The Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival with captivating photos and a recap of the Chef Talk discussion.
By Dianne Muscari
Where can you mingle with world-renown chefs and food TV personalities while sampling some of the finest examples of culinary genius around, all in the name of charity? The Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, of course. I had the distinct pleasure of attending a few of the 7th Annual PBFWF events last month, and I can’t say enough about what a great experience it was. Anyway, being a little late with the post has allowed everything to sink in and I’m ready to share my experience with you so you’ll be pumped for when PBFWF comes back around next year. Many of the PBFWF events took place at the gorgeous Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach. I was able to attend the Chef Talk, where chefs Daniel Boulud {Cafe Boulud}, Michael Schwartz {Restaurant Michael Schwartz}, Mike Lata {FIG}, Stephen Stryjewski {Cochon}, and Giorgio Rapicavoli {Eating House} discussed their thoughts on the James Beard Foundation. Though they all agreed that being a JB Award winner — and even nominee — is a grand honor that all chefs covet, they also seemed to concede to the fact that the award is never the true objective. Each of the chefs have experienced success in some aspect; some touting world-renown accolades, others just beginning their journey in the new, uncharted world of reality TV-fueled fame. But no matter where they consider themselves in their career, the consensus was the same: The ultimate goal is to provide an exquisite dining experience to those who really matter — their customers.
Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival 2013 Recap
Though we weren’t officially part of the Chillin’ N Grillin’ event, we got a little taste of what was to come for attendees as we watched chefs like Jeff Mauro {The Sandwich King} and Robert Irvine {Restaurant Impossible} set up their stations and banter with onlookers. There were more events to come that evening, but we packed it up and headed home since we were technically stowaways, and we knew we’d have a chance to nosh on some tasty bites during the Grand Tasting. The Grand Tasting is the culminating event of the PBFWF and, in my opinion, a place you definitely want to be. Nearly 100 vendors were set up along the amazing, two-story courtyard at 150 Worth Avenue offering everything from savory bites to sinful sweets and perfectly poured cocktails. Among them, were my friends at Echo, the impeccably coiffed mavens of HMF at the Breakers and even my buddies from Whole Foods Market Palm Beach Gardens! It was sensory overload with sights, sounds, smells and tastes bombarding you from every direction — in a very good way. I’ll let the pictures tell the tale…
Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival 2013 Recap
As the final event of the evening, The Grand Chef Throwdown presented by Creekstone Farms showcased the skills of three chefs {Edward Dickens, Scott Varricchio & Eric Grutka} as they battled it out in a 30 minute cook-off {complete with “mystery ingredient”} where the winner would take home $10,000 to split with a charity of their choice… not to mention bragging rights. The judges Virginia Phillips, Nathan Stambaugh and Lindsay Autry {remember her from my visit to Sundy House?} had a tough, but delicious, task ahead of them in choosing the dish that would win the dough. In the end, Chef Eric Grutka of Ian’s Tropical Grill & Crush Wine Bar beat out the other two chefs securing his win for the second year in a row.

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