Chef demonstrations to highlight annual Deering Seafood Festival

Chef demonstrations to highlight annual Deering Seafood Festival

The festival features non-stop entertainment and activities for children of all ages.

More than 8,500 people of all ages are expected to converge upon the historic Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay for the 13th annual Deering Seafood Festival on Sunday, Mar. 26.

One of the highly anticipated highlights of the event is the chef demonstrations taking place throughout the day, beginning at 11 a.m. Each demo is limited to just 100 people on a first-come, first-served basis.

While Florida’s freshest fish and seafood always are the main event, the festival also features non-stop entertainment and activities for children of all ages from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

A celebration renown for delicious catches from the sea, celebrity chefs and fun-filled adventures for the kids, the Festival features Florida’s freshest fish and seafood, with area restaurants and caterers providing sumptuous delights along Seafood Alley, presented by Golden Rule Seafood.

Five local renowned chefs, along with the winner of the Johnson & Wales Student Culinary Competition, which took place at the school on Mar. 9, will share their culinary expertise, presenting their favorite seafood recipes using the freshest Florida seafood and accompaniments.

Held under the big-top tent over the Deering Estate’s historic courtyard, the featured chefs are Jeff Maxfield of BRAVA by Brad Kilgore at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, David Hackett from the Biltmore Hotel, Wilfred Charles and Jeffrey Ross from Captain Jim’s Seafood, Damian Gilchrist from Ocean Reef Club, and Jorge Mijangos from Pubbelly Sushi in Brickell City Centre.

Attendees will be able to enjoy samples of the food prepared and to engage in a Q&A with each chef. Throughout the day, Johnson & Wales culinary students will assist the chefs in the food preparation, serving and clean up.

Continuous entertainment, presented by Palmetto Ford Truck, takes place throughout the day on the main stage, making for a day of family fun, dancing and grooving to the Pan Paradise Steel Drum Band, Caribbean Crew and Mr. Nice Guy, a local favorite. In keeping with the island theme, Virgin Islands stilt walkers and free-spirited Bahamian Junkanoo musicians weave throughout the crowds.

The Deering Seafood Festival offers activities that are both fun and educational for children of all ages, including Deering Discovery Cove, with fun, educational programming that incorporates interactive event stations that highlight the Deering Estate’s ongoing, hands-on Environmental Education Programs and Camps that serve more than 17,000 children annually.

For the younger ones, the Li’l Shrimp Kids Zone provides unlimited play on inflatables, creative activities and a kid-friendly menu when hunger strikes. Ongoing activities include a rock-climbing wall and the Pelican Skipper pontoon boat rides to Chicken Key, as well as Artists Lane, featuring paintings, photography, crafts and jewelry by local artisans.

The festival takes place Sunday, Mar. 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72 Ave. in Palmetto Bay. Adult tickets are $15 in advance online/$25 the day of the event; children 4-14 years are $5. Deering Estate Foundation members enjoy complimentary admission. Ticket includes park entrance and all activities, excluding food, drink, pontoon rides and rock wall.

For those wishing to pedal to the festival, a courtesy bike valet is offered through Green Mobility Network. Free Park and Ride also is available at Westminster Christian School and Palmetto Bay Village Center, with continuous shuttle-bus service to the estate. For more information, visit, or call 305-235-1668, ext. 263.

Proceeds from the Deering Seafood Festival benefit the Deering Estate Foundation and are used for environmental education, preservation and programming. For more information about the Deering Estate visit

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