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A successful week of sold out events featuring fine dining on the sands of South Beach, mixed with interactive dinners, chef competitions, and great fun to celebrate Miami’s top notch culinary scene.

The 5th Annual South Beach Seafood Festival was a celebrated success of South Florida’s culinary scene and the best in seafood. Kicking off stone crab season, this week of sold out events including dinners, chef competitions, and a perfect festival day on South Beach.

This event week is not your typical Seafood Festival, but a high-end experience that showcases the talents of South Florida’s leading chefs and culinary masterminds via a diverse group of events, benefiting a great cause: CI Foundation’s EAT SMART program, in support of empowering the youth of Miami Dade County.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday’s sold out dinners included Crabs, Slabs, & Cabs hosted by Menin Hospitality and Jackson Family Wines at Shelborne South Beach, GOYA’s Cooking & Cocktails hosted by Herradura at Meat Market, and private An Evening at Joe’s presented by La Crema.

Friday night, October 20, kicked off the weekend’s main events with South Florida’s ultimate night of VIP Competition at the 4th Annual CHEF SHOWDOWN, brought to you by Cambria Wines, and presented by GOYA, Land Rover N&S Dade, Celebrity Cruises, and Herradura. MC Kelly Blanco and Honorary Chef Ref, Ralph Pagano, helped 16 chefs hit the Macy’s Showcase Kitchen in the GOYA Culinary Pavilion. 1,000 Guests walked around the Land Rover N&S Dade hospitality village and sampled the dishes of each battling chef and voted on their favorite in each of the 8 battles before the chefs took the stage for what was a high-energy top notch night of chef competition cooking.

The showcase kitchen judges included Goya Foods Executive Chef Fernando Desa, Que Riko con Kiko’s Kiko Suarez, Miami Food Pug’s Geoff Anderson and Dianne Rubin, Y100’s Nick Pena, and the deciding vote, Kelly Blanco. Between their votes and the added bonus points from the people’s vote, the Chef Showdown saw some of the closest competitions ever to take the Chef Showdown stage. The 2017 CHAMPS were:

·       Battle Crab: Chef Andre Bienvenu of Joe’s Stone Crab

·       Battle Surf n’ Turf: Chef Sean Brasel of Meat Market Miami

·       Battle Taco: Chef Bernie Matz of Bodega South Beach

·       Battle Tuna: Chef Jim Pastor of The Rusty Pelican Restaurant

·       Battle Shrimp: Chef Nicolas Cabrera of Lure Fishbar South Beach

·       Battle Fish: Chef Demetrios Pyliotis of Poseidon Greek Restaurant & Outdoor Lounge

·       Battle Sushi: Chef Masatomo Hamaya of Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market

·       Battle Oyster Pit: Chef James Versfelt of Shelborne South Beach

Guests additionally enjoyed the Tequila Herradura Cocktail Showdown where 10 of Miami’s best bartenders threw down for a chance to be crowned champ and Nikos Mantzaridis from Plomo Taco Bar took home the title! MC Alex Alfonso, of Breakthru Beverage, had the crowd feeling good with all the tequila and judges included Gio Gutierrez of Chat Chow TV, Olee Fowler of Eater Miami, Ben Potts of Beaker & Gray, and Courtney Lane, 2016 winner.

VIP treats came in the form of the Warren Henry Auto Range Rover experience, a Sensory Garden from Cambria Winery, the Celebrity Cruises “EDGE” lounge, the Macy’s Fashion Zone, sweets from A Slice Of Art and more!

The week-long event came to a close with the showcase festival, Saturday’s 5TH ANNUAL SOUTH BEACH SEAFOOD FESTIVAL, presented by Kendall Jackson, and hosted by Coca-Cola and Jack Daniel’s. Attended by over 12,000 guests, the #SobeSeafood Fest was a beautiful day on the sands of South Beach featuring the best seafood from South Florida’s top restaurant, delicious libations, and perfect entertainment, among many interactive experiences. 18 selected restaurants were invited to create featured café’s on the sand serving 3 to 4 of their best menu items from their restaurant.  All tickets included complimentary bars so guests could enjoy the best of all 70+ participating restaurants menu items. To top it all off, there were three music stages, sponsor experiences, a 2 block VIP Hospitality Village hosting by Land Rover N&S Dade and GOYA, and many other interactions throughout this 5 block festival. Guests dipped their toes in the sand and danced the day away on Saturday, October 21.

This year’s carefully selected restaurant cafe’s were:

  • A Fish Called Avalon
  • Café Avanti
  • CIBO
  • CJ’s
  • Dragonfly
  • Joe’s Stone Crab
  • La Moderna
  • Lobster Bar Sea Grille
  • Meat Market featuring Miami Smokers
  • Naked Zone featuring Naked Taco, Naked Crab, and Naked Lunch
  • Nikki Beach
  • Papa’s Raw Bar
  • Poseidon
  • Red the Steakhouse
  • Rusty Pelican
  • Toro Toro
  • Trulucks
  • Whole Foods Market

A big thank you to all the participants and supporters of the 5th Annual South Beach Seafood Festival week. Additional information and event photos can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @sobeseafoodfest.

Visit and SEA you October 2018 on South Beach! 

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