Events

Your Ultimate Guide to the Food and Wine Festival Fort Lauderdale

Dive into the vibrant flavors and unfettered enjoyment at the Food and Wine Festival Fort Lauderdale, slated for January 8-14, 2024, at Las Olas Oceanside Park. Expect an array of culinary delights, from chef competitions to local showcases, all while contributing to a heartfelt cause—supporting the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

Key Takeaways

  • The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival is an annual culinary highlight in South Florida, running from January 8-14, 2024, featuring a variety of events and culinary classes, and contributing part of its proceeds to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
  • Signature events at the festival include the competitive Bar Fight! mixology event, global cuisine experiences like Wok ‘n Roll and The Grand Tasting, and the family-oriented Picnic in the Park, each offering unique culinary delights and entertainment.
  • The festival provides a stage for both celebrity chefs like Aarón Sánchez and emerging local talents, complementing its array of culinary offerings with educational classes, demonstrations, and live entertainment.

The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival: A Premier Culinary Event

Aerial view of food and wine festival fort lauderdale

The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival is a gastronomic spectacle that showcases the culinary diversity of South Florida. Featuring signature events and offering culinary education classes that spotlight everything from miso Japanese tapas to park presented events, this festival is an epicurean’s dream come true. Its main objective? To celebrate the ever-evolving food scene in South Florida, embracing the diverse culinary talents and experiences available in the region.

Dates and Location

Prepare your taste buds! The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival will unfold from January 8-14, 2024, at the scenic Las Olas Oceanside Park, located at 3000 East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, United States.

Supporting a Good Cause

The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival extends beyond indulgence in food and wine. It also advocates a noble cause – the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. A portion of the festival’s proceeds contributes to various programs and initiatives of the hospital, thus playing a significant role in improving many children’s lives.

The primary objective of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is to establish itself as a leading pediatric hospital in the region, providing a wide range of healthcare services and programs. So, as you savor the culinary delights at the festival, you’ll also be contributing to a cause that makes a difference in many young lives at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

Signature Events to Look Forward To

Spirited cocktail competition at the festival

Moving on to the festival’s highlights: the Signature Events. These are the culinary experiences that make this festival a premier culinary event. From spirited competitions to BBQ battles, the festival has an event to cater to every taste.

Global cuisine lovers are in for a treat with events like:

  • Wok ‘n Roll, offering an Asian street food and music experience
  • The Grand Tasting, featuring a wide spectrum of cuisines to satisfy diverse palates
  • Picnic in the Park, a complimentary culinary experience ideal for the entire family

Bar Fight! A Spirited Competition

One of the most anticipated events of the festival is Bar Fight! A Spirited Competition. This event turns up the heat as local mixologists compete head-to-head to craft the ‘Official Cocktail’ of the festival. Scheduled to take place on January 10, 2024, at 6:30 pm at the Rooftop @1WLO, this competition is sure to generate excitement among the attendees.

The competition showcases an array of craft cocktails, with a special focus on creating the ‘Official Cocktail’ of DowntownFTL. And the judges? Nicolette Bonkowski, Diego Calvo, and Myles Robinson are the ones to impress.

Wok ‘n Roll

Chefs preparing Asian street food at the festival

Following this is the Wok ‘n Roll event, an Asian street food and music experience presenting a diverse selection of street food sure to excite your taste buds. This immersive culinary experience will take place on Thursday, January 11, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. at Backyard Fort Lauderdale.

Participating in this event are Food Network’s celebrity chefs:

  • Aarón Sánchez
  • Jason Smith
  • Nancy Fuller
  • Nicole Layog

These notable stars will showcase their culinary prowess, adding a dash of their unique cooking styles to the event.

Poolside BBQ Battle

Exciting poolside BBQ battle at the festival

For BBQ enthusiasts, the Poolside BBQ Battle is a festival highlight. Here, pitmasters from local and nationally acclaimed BBQ establishments vie for the ‘BBQ Champion’ title. This sizzling event will take place on Friday, January 12, 2024, at 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Centric Las Olas.

The competition will feature a total of 15 pitmasters, including those from Apocalypse BBQ, among other distinguished participants. This event is not just a BBQ competition; it’s a battle of skills, creativity, and flavors!

The Grand Tasting

Grand tasting event at the festival

Considered the festival’s zenith, The Grand Tasting is a remarkable beachside culinary celebration. It provides attendees with:

  • Four hours of unlimited food and drink
  • Cooking shows
  • Live music
  • A variety of engaging activities

This esteemed event will be held at Las Olas Oceanside Park, located near Las Olas Blvd, on January 13, 2024, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

At The Grand Tasting, attendees will have the pleasure of savoring culinary masterpieces prepared by a distinguished group of chefs, including:

  • MasterChef judge Chef Aarón Sánchez
  • Chef Jason Smith
  • Chef Nancy Fuller
  • Jeremy Ford
  • Thuan Lam
  • Paula DaSilva
  • Timon Balloo

Prepare for an abundance of food and beverages that will tantalize your taste buds.

Picnic in the Park

Concluding the week-long festival is the Picnic in the Park, a family-friendly event. Offering curated food trucks, kid-friendly cooking demonstrations, and hands-on culinary classes suitable for all age groups, this event provides an engaging culinary experience for the entire family.

Yet, it’s not solely about food! Picnic in the Park also features a range of live entertainment suitable for all attendees. So, get ready for an afternoon of fun, food, and festivities.

Celebrity Chefs to Watch

A food festival is incomplete without celebrity chefs. The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival will host several renowned chefs to add glamour and excitement to the event. Celebrity chefs will include:

  • MasterChef judge Aarón Sánchez
  • Food Network’s ‘Holiday Baking Championship’ winner Jason Smith
  • Nancy Fuller from ‘Farmhouse Rules’
  • Nicole Layog, a private chef known for her appearance on ‘Big Brother’

These chefs bring a unique culinary flair to the festival:

  • Chef Aarón Sánchez is well-known for his dishes such as Steamed PEI Mussels with Tequila CAZADORES Lime Butter Sauce.
  • Nancy Fuller is recognized for her farmhouse cooking style.
  • Jason Smith, with his accolades from the Holiday Baking Championship and Food Network Star, adds a touch of sweet indulgence to the event.

Culinary Classes and Demos

The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival emphasizes learning as a significant aspect of the festival experience by offering a variety of educational culinary experiences. Attendees can look forward to live cooking demonstrations, curated cooking classes, and seminars that showcase a variety of tastes and diets.

These classes and demonstrations will be led by well-known and up-and-coming chefs, restaurateurs, and local food and beverage establishments in Broward County. Scheduled to take place at Las Olas Oceanside Park on January 13, 2024, these sessions will offer a diverse array of cuisines and cooking skills – a fantastic opportunity to learn from the masters themselves.

Exploring Fort Lauderdale: Our 20 Years of Experience

Over the past two decades, the Fort Lauderdale food scene has evolved remarkably. The amalgamation of waterfront eateries, hidden gems, and a fusion of cultures creates a gastronomic paradise that reflects the city’s historical and cultural facets, while welcoming innovative and fresh culinary concepts.

There’s a wealth of local dishes to try, from Cuban sandwiches at 925 Nuevo’s Cubano’s to fresh seafood at Blue Moon Fish. The Central Beach, Victoria Park, Colee Hammock, Rio Vista, and Las Olas Isles neighborhoods are particularly appealing for food lovers, offering a wide range of diverse and high-quality culinary options. And let’s not forget the tourist attractions, such as Fort Lauderdale Beach, the shopping on Las Olas Boulevard, and historical sites like Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and Historic Stranahan House.

Emerging Chefs and Local Food Scene

Although the festival will host several celebrity chefs, it also serves as a platform for burgeoning culinary talents. Several up-and-coming chefs such as:

  • Chef Aarón Sánchez
  • Chef Jason Smith
  • Chef Nancy Fuller
  • Chef Nicole Layog

Talented local artisan vendors will be showcasing their skills at the festival.

The festival also champions the local food scene. Fort Lauderdale’s culinary offerings are diverse and unique, including:

  • Waterfront eateries
  • Fusion of cultures
  • Diverse international cuisines
  • A variety of dining experiences, including dinner cruises and pop-up events.

The past winners of the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival’s Emerging Chef competition, including Dr. Limon Hallandale Beach (Judge’s Choice in 2019), Tacocraft Fort Lauderdale (People’s Choice in 2019), and The Cook & the (Judge’s Choice in 2022), are a testament to the city’s thriving culinary scene.

Live Entertainment and More

The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival extends beyond merely food and wine; it offers a comprehensive sensory experience. Attendees can anticipate live music performances at two main events: an Asian street food and music experience on Thursday, January 11, 2024, at 6:30 p.m., and a beachside culinary celebration at Las Olas Oceanside Park on Saturday, January 13, 2024, from noon to 4 p.m.

In addition to live music, the festival also offers captivating cooking shows, adding an extra layer of entertainment to the event. So, whether you’re a foodie, a music lover, or simply looking for a unique experience, the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival has something for everyone.

Summary

The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival 2024 promises a gastronomic journey like no other. From exciting culinary competitions to cooking classes, from celebrity chefs to emerging culinary talents, from local food scene to international cuisines – the festival brings a world of flavors to South Florida. As you savor the delights, remember, you’re not just tasting food, but also contributing to a noble cause. So, mark your calendars, and get ready for a culinary adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main objective of the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival?

The main objective of the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival is to celebrate and showcase South Florida’s evolving culinary scene and diverse talents. It aims to embrace the rich culinary experiences available in the region.

Where is the venue for the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival?

The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival is scheduled to take place at Las Olas Oceanside Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

What cause does the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival support?

The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival supports Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital by donating a portion of its proceeds.

Who are some of the celebrity chefs headlining the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival?

Aarón Sánchez, Jason Smith, Nancy Fuller, and Nicole Layog are some of the celebrity chefs headlining the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival.

What live music can attendees anticipate at the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival 2024?

Attendees can anticipate live music performances at the Asian street food and music experience on Thursday, January 11, 2024, and the beachside culinary celebration at Las Olas Oceanside Park on Saturday, January 13, 2024.

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About 

Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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