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South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Food Trucks on Midtown's Tracks

South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Food Trucks on Midtown's Tracks

Last year in South Beach, trucks parked under the big tent where Burger Bash takes place for a food truck party hosted by Andrew Zimmern. It was a great event. But trucks and sand don't mix so well. Neither do sand, trucks, and lines of people anxious to get both food and booze. This year's Zimmern-hosted food truck event Trucks on Midtown's Tracks was the perfect solution: a breezy tented concrete pavillion where all the trucks could easily park, where air hockey, Ping-Pong tables, and basketball backboards awaited attendees who needed an eating break, and where guests in line were quaffed by volunteers pouring Brazilian sparkling wine provided by Wines of Brasil. It was by all accounts a success.

View Slides: SOBEWFF's Food Trucks on Midtown's Tracks

More than 20 food trucks participated in the event this year, most from Florida. Notable participants included truck expansions of Florida institutions — CubanCube of Islas Canarias and El Rey de las Fritas. There was no lack of range in cuisine. Pizza, quesadilla, grilled cheese sandwiches, fish sausage, burgers, and savory waffles were just some of the things on offer. There were dessert trucks on hand, too, including mobile eateries serving frozen yogurt, soft-serve, cupcakes, and gelato. Of course, the host Andrew Zimmern's own truck AZ Canteen was on hand, too, and happened to be serving one of the event's best dishes, the AZ Canteen Dog, a Pat LaFrieda wiener with slaw and fresh jalapeños.

Other strong dishes served at Trucks on Midtown's Tracks included Crazydilla's Cubadilla, Ms. Cheezious' smoked barbecue pulled pork, grilled Cheddar cheese sandwich with fried pickles, Il Fiorentino's potato ravioli, and GastroPod's GastroPho — their take on the Vietnamese classic soup.

In the end, Zimmern picked Slow Food Truck's "Beef Shorty Slider" topped with queso fresco, arugula, and crispy shallots as his choice for the event's winner. But attendees put last year's victor Miami's own Ms. Cheezious (one of The Daily Meal's 101 Best Food Trucks in America) back up on the throne, using their poker chips to give them the People's Choice Award for the second year in a row. But you could argue that the real winners were the five trucks who took their game to the next level, featuring customized food license plates. Check out the customized license plates from 2 Jive Turkeys, El Rey de las Fritas, Potoffee Gourmet Chips Truck, HipPOP's Handcrafted Gelato Bars, and Joji Frozen Yogurt.

Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Read more articles by Arthur, reach him by email, or click here to follow Arthur on Twitter.

Food Truck Events & Green Markets

Food Trucks move around a lot you never know when or where they’ll turn up which is why we created this calendar and a complete website dedicated to covering food truck events in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Food Trucks Fort Lauderdale tracks over 100 food trucks in South Florida and can also assist you in booking a truck for your private event.

Visit our sister website dedicated to Food Truck Events –>

Click on the events below for more details.

Find expanded coverage of Local Events in Fort Lauderdale including Green Markets, Night Markets, Car Shows, Food and Art Festivals, Outdoor Concerts and Family Friendly events at:

Culinary Council

We are thrilled to have assembled a team of food and culinary experts across professions, such as chefs, food writers, farmers, food activists, and food entrepreneurs committed to nourishing New Yorkers living with severe and chronic illness.

Zoe Adjonyoh

Zoe Adjonyoh is a chef, writer and activist from South-East London on a mission to bring African food to the masses. She has been named one of “London’s hottest chefs” by Time Out and was listed as one of the “44 Best Female Chefs in the World” by Hachette Cuisine France. She won the “Iconoclast award from The James Beard Foundation.

entrepreneur, cookbook author, activist

Liz Alpern

Liz Alpern is the creator of Queer Soup Night, a global event series highlighting the talent of queer chefs and raising funds for locally-based social justice organizations. She is co-author ofThe Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foodsand co-owner of The Gefilteria, a food venture that’s been reimagining Old World Jewish Foods since 2012. She was also co-executive producer of 2020's Great Big Jewish Food Fest. Her passion for food extends to the world of food systems, and she serves a consultant for national non-profit organization, Fair Food Network. Liz has been featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List and was selected for The Cherry Bombe 100 in 2018.

Mike Anthony

Michael Anthony Michael Anthony is Executive Chef of Gramercy Tavern. Mike joined Gramercy Tavern as the Executive Chef in 2006. Under his leadership, the restaurant has earned a three-star New York Times review (2007) and James Beard Awards for “Outstanding Restaurant" (2008) and “Best Chef: New York City" (2012). In 2015, Mike won the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Chef," a national recognition. His book, V is for Vegetables, won the 2015 James Beard Award for Best Vegetable-Focused Cookbook.

Marika Bender

Marika Bender is the General Manager for William Gottlieb Management Co., LLC since 1999, which manages and develops more than 100 family-owned properties in New York City and the Hudson River Valley. Among the family’s properties are several farms in the Hudson River Valley, including Heermance Farm in Tivoli, New York. Under Marika’s guidance, the farms are devoted to adopting renewable energy solutions and expanding access to top-quality, farm-fresh produce for New York City’s residents. Marika also created Heermance Art/Gastronomy magazine as a platform to introduce the farms’ products to chefs and restaurants throughout the world.

Linda Goode Bryant

Linda Goode Bryant is the Founder and President of Project EATS, a neighborhood-based project that uses art, urban agriculture, partnerships, and social enterprise to sustainably produce and equitably distribute essential resources within and between our communities especially those where people live on working-class and low-incomes. Originally from Columbus, OH, Linda is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Peabody Award recipient. She was Founder and Director of Just Above Midtown, Inc. (JAM), a New York City non-profit artist space. Linda has a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in painting from Spelman College.

chef, caterer, actor, cookbook author

David Burtka

David Burtka is a chef, caterer, and award-winning actor who released his first cookbook, Life is a Party, in April 2019. He earned a BFA from the University of Michigan and studied at the William Esper Studios in New York. The talented Le Cordon Bleu chef gained valuable experience training under incredible chefs including Gina De Palma, Cat Cora, and Thomas Keller. He has been seen in cooking segments on “Barefoot Contessa,” “E! News,” “Home Made Simple,” “Rachael Ray,” “The Kitchen,” “Celebrity Dish,” “The Fablife,” and “The Chew.”

recipe developer, cookbook author, and nice Jewish boy

Jake Cohen

Jake Cohen is a recipe developer and nice Jewish boy from New York. A former food staffer at Saveur, then food editor of Tasting Table and Time Out New York, and most recently the editorial and test kitchen director of the Feedfeed. When he isn’t writing about food, he’s posting challah-braiding videos and recipes on his Instagram and TikTok (@jakecohen). His first book, Jew-ish comes out March 9, 2021.

cookbook author and founder of DADAEATS

Samah Dada

Samah Dada is a cookbook author and founder of her blog, DADAEATS. She has worked full-time in broadcast television at the TODAY Show where she was both the lead production associate, and an on-air food contributor. She is currently the host of her own digital cooking show, a TODAY Show original series called #COOKING with @DADAEATS. She started @DADAEATS with the goal of sharing her culinary endeavors, food adventures, and passion for creating indulgent yet healthy eats with her audience. Her highly anticipated first cookbook, DADA Eats, comes out in June.

chef, food television personality, author

Amanda Freitag

Amanda Frietag, through her work in professional restaurant kitchens, as a food television personality and now author, Chef Freitag has become more than a chef, she is The Chef Next Door. While the moniker is derived from the title of Amanda’s first cookbook, The Chef Next Door: A Pro Chef's Recipes for Fun, Fearless Home Cooking (Houghton Mifflin 2015), it also aptly conveys both her professionalism and warm, accessible personality. These traits have served her well as a judge on Food Network’s hit series, Chopped, and as the co-host of Food Network’s American Diner Revival with Ty Pennington.

Kyle MacLachlan

Acclaimed actor Kyle MacLachlan has brought indelible charm and a quirky sophistication to some of film and television’s most memorable roles. Since 2005, MacLachlan has channeled his strong interest in the world of wine into a second, equally satisfying professional pursuit, as winery owner and vintner of Pursued by Bear wines. A native of Yakima, Washington, located in the heart of the Columbia Valley wine appellation, MacLachlan has produced five highly rated wines: Pursued by Bear Cabernet Sauvignon, Baby Bear Syrah, Bear Cub Red, Twin Bear Cabernet Sauvignon and Blushing Bear Rosé. MacLachlan is perhaps best known for his performance as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in David Lynch’s ground-breaking series Twin Peaks, for which he received two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award. MacLachlan reprised that role with the revival of Twin Peaks, where the story continues 25 years later and was again nominated for a Golden Globe in 2017 for playing three different characters. MacL&hellip

Executive Chef, God's Love We Deliver

Daniel Metzger

Daniel Metzger, as the Executive Chef at God’s Love We Deliver, Chef Daniel runs one of the largest commercial kitchens in New York City. He oversees the 2.5 million meals God’s Love cooks and delivers each year with the help of hundreds of volunteers who join the kitchen team every week. Prior to becoming Executive Chef, Daniel served as an assistant, sous chef, and senior sous chef in the God’s Love kitchen. Daniel had extensive culinary experience before joining God’s Love, having worked in restaurants, catering companies, and yacht clubs. Daniel takes great pride in providing delicious, nutritious meals to the clients of God’s Love We Deliver, saying, “Food is medicine, but it doesn’t have to taste like medicine!”

pastry chef, writer, and activist

Natasha Pickowicz

Natasha Pickowicz is a James Beard award-nominated pastry chef, writer, and activist based in NYC. Most recently, she ran the pastry programs at NYC restaurants Altro Paradiso, Flora Bar, and Flora Coffee. Much of her pastry work explores the relationship with baking and social justice, including ongoing collaborations with seminal NYC institutions like Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, God's Love We Deliver, and Planned Parenthood of Greater New York. Since summer of 2020, Natasha has created her own pastry pop-up called Never Ending Taste, which celebrates the relationship between local farming, social justice, and community bake sales.

chef, educator, entrepreneur

Mavis-Jay Sanders

Mavis-Jay Sanders has cooked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Blue Hill, and Untitled in New York later becoming part owner of the award-winning food truck Pico House in Los Angeles. Chef Sanders returned to New York as the Director of Operations at The Brownsville Community Culinary Center and in 2019, she was honored as one of Star Chefs’ New York Rising Star Chef. She is a James Beard Chef’s Boot Camp alum, a Chef’s Collaborative scholar, and is frequently a featured chef of the New York’s Queer Soup Night. She is now a co-founder of Food Plus People, an organization celebrating black culture and community through food.

Lee Brian Schrager

Lee Brian Schrager is the Senior Vice President, Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, LLC. Widely recognized for his creation of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals, which have raised more than $45 million to date for charity, Schrager is also a regular contributor for Ocean Drive magazine, serves on the Board of Trustees for the Pérez Art Museum Miami and Board of Directors for Food Bank For New York City, as well as a judge for Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 list and Celebrated Living’s annual Platinum List Awards

Sicily Sierra

Sicily Sierra became a successful actress on a primetime family comedy, One on One. After graduating from Le CordonBleu, she started an internship at the Los Angeles Times’ test kitchen after which she and her mother co-founded Pinky & Red’sa s part of La Cocina’s incubator program. Chef Sicily wants to create a food space that fosters a space for the black community to come together to enjoy one another’s company over dishes that are a nod to her ancestry, an edible piece of culture deeply tied to place and family. Chef Mavis-Jay Sanders and Chef Sicily Sierra together started Food Plus People.

cookbook author, writer, activist

Julia Turshen

Julia Turshen is a bestselling cookbook author. Her latest book, Simply Julia, will be out in March 2021. She has written for multiple publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, and more. She is the founder of Equity At The Table (EATT), an inclusive digital directory of women/non-binary individuals in food, and the host of the podcast Keep Calm and Cook On. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her wife and their dogs.

Irene Wong

Irene Wong is the magic ingredient that big names in food media rely on. Her food television career began in 1999 at the Food Network where she created and produced highly-rated shows. Six years later she launched IW Productions LLC and produced food, cooking and travels shows for PBS, Style Network, Hallmark Channel, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and of course, Food Network. Irene’s food is inspired by her Chinese-American family, her culinary travels around the world, and her collection of 500+ cookbooks. Her infectious enthusiasm combined with her calming, casual, cooking style instantly makes guests feel right at home.

South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Food Trucks on Midtown's Tracks - Recipes

Wine & Trucks Cancellation Notice

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Due to inclement weather, with substantial winds and rains forecasted for the Jacksonville Beach area, we have decided to cancel the Wine & Trucks event scheduled for Saturday, November 16. This was not an easy decision, but the safety and the experience of attendees, sponsors, and crew always comes first.

We would like to thank you for your participation in and support of Wine & Trucks. It is because of you, our valued vendors and ticket buyers, that our events are successful. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

We are working diligently to find an alternate date/venue for Wine & Trucks and will be making a final decision on this next week. At that time, if the alternate date does not work for you or your company, we will be issuing full refunds to both sampling ticket holders and sponsors.

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The effort to duplicate that feat in Overtown dates back to late winter 2016, when the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency issued a request for proposals to revitalize a former pool hall at 920 NW Second Ave. that had been owned by legendary Overtown nightlife impresario Clyde Killens and was in the midst of an $850,000 overhaul. A year later, the redevelopment agency's board of directors voted unanimously to sell to Samuelsson's restaurant group, which beat out a handful of rival proposals, including plans submitted by brunchtime favorite Morgans and the since-closed Crescendo Jazz and Blues Lounge on Biscayne Boulevard. The former pool hall's $1.5 million price tag was significantly offset by an Overtown/Park West grant of $1 million to assist with the buildout.

"You are part of a renaissance that's going to mean the most for this neighborhood," redevelopment board chairman Keon Hardemon told the VIPs who gathered at the site in 2018 for an alfresco luncheon, the Associated Press reported. "We want this place to truly be the Harlem of the South."

Overtown is at the precipice of dramatic change. Development from recent booms in downtown to the south and Wynwood to the north is slowly creeping into the area. Late last year, developer Michael Simkins, son of business magnate Leon Simkins, won approval to purchase 14 parcels in the heart of the neighborhood to create the Overtown Culture & Entertainment District, a cluster of art and performance spaces dotted with small parks. Around the same time, according to county property records, Sarkis Izmirlian paid $6.6 million for a shuttered convenience store on Overtown's northern boundary. The billionaire hotelier has yet to divulge his plans for the property.

But no project has garnered more attention than Samuelsson's.

"The history here is iconic. This is the place where Sam Cooke played live, where Muhammad Ali stayed after beating Sonny Liston on Miami Beach," the restaurateur tells New Times in a phone interview. "Red Rooster will be inspired by Overtown and African-American culture. And like Red Rooster Harlem, it's not just about the kitchen or tables &mdash it's about the music, it's about the art, it's about being the place where people come after church, it's about being in the community and of the community."

Born Kassahun Tsegiewas in Addis-Ababa in 1971, Marcus Samuelsson was adopted by a Swedish family and raised in Scandinavia after he was separated from his birth family during the brutal civil war that broke out in Ethiopia when he was an infant. He attended culinary school in Gothenburg and then embarked on a series of internships across Europe before making his way to the United States in 1994 as a stagiaire at New York City's Aquavit. Samuelsson worked his way up the ladder at the Scandinavian restaurant and eventually assumed the role of executive chef. At the age of 24, he became the youngest chef to receive a three-star review from the New York Times. Today his company, the Marcus Samuelsson Group, boasts a dozen restaurant properties in the United States, Canada, Sweden, and Bermuda.

When Samuelsson inaugurated his first Red Rooster, Harlem was in the midst of a massive transformation that saw the increasing affluence of polished Midtown Manhattan whitewash its way northward. Thanks in no small part to Samuelsson's savvy, good intentions, and good timing, his restaurant on Lenox Avenue became synonymous with the effort to preserve Harlem's historic soul even as downtown encroached. He combined his global take on soul food with a supper club and exhibition space. And he partnered with local job-training programs to hire employees from the neighborhood, which gained him a reputation as a cultural Johnny Appleseed, spreading good works and goodwill wherever he went.

"The racial and ethnic variety in the vast bar and loft-like dining room are virtually unrivaled," the New York Times food critic Sam Sifton marveled in a 2011 review of Red Rooster Harlem. "The restaurant may not be the best to open in New York City this year (though the food is good). But it will surely be counted as among the most important. It is that rarest of cultural enterprises, one that supports not just the idea or promise of diversity, but diversity itself."

For one thing, beginning in the 1960s, public-works and urban-renewal projects have caused the neighborhood's mass to collapse into its center like a dying star. And despite its designation as an official historic district, Overtown contains only a small handful of the kinds of historic sites that might attract inquisitive visitors by the busload. (There's the Lyric Theater, a 400-seat space constructed in 1913 that helped earn the neighborhood the nickname Little Broadway the Ward Rooming House, where nonwhites sought lodgings during the segregation era and the Dana A. Dorsey House, home to the city's first black millionaire.) And sporadic preservation efforts over the decades have staunched neither the spread of blight nor the more recent financial invasion by deep-pocketed developers.

Of course, history can't be erased, even if demolition can tear down its physical manifestations and paved them over. For the first half of the 20th Century, the vibrant neighborhood was known, rightly, as the Harlem of the South. (It was originally known by the more prosaic designation Colored Town.) It would have been no surprise back then to bump into Zora Neale Hurston or W.E.B. Du Bois. Iconic black performers such as Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and Sammy Davis Jr. repaired to Overtown after visiting the Miami Beach resorts where they were allowed to play but not to stay.

Clyde Killens, who died in 2004 at the age of 95, earned the sobriquet "Mr. Entertainment" for his success in drawing performing talent to the neighborhood in the 1950s and '60s. A native of Valdosta, Georgia, Killens came to Miami in 1924. In spite of the changes that overtook Overtown, Killens never moved out of his home at 173 NW 11th St.

Toward the end of Killens' life, his home became a visual record of his exploits. In a 1999 story, the Sun Sentinel's Robert George noted the retired promoter had "constructed a four-foot cardboard partition in the middle of his living room and covered it with decades-old promotional shots of Sam Cooke and Redd Foxx and Dionne Warwick. His dozens of scrapbooks are filled with tickets and newspaper reviews, relics of his business and reminders of how this slum was once a place of bright lights and zoot suits, nightclubs and jazz, Ella and Duke."

Construction of I-95 and the Dolphin Expressway drove a thick concrete "X" through the neighborhood in the 1960s. That act of automobile-age butchery is commonly viewed as the blow that killed Overtown, but it might be more accurate to call it the coup de grâce. In truth, government-sponsored segregation had been decimating the neighborhood for decades.

"Under the New Deal's federally sponsored public housing program, local authorities established segregated public housing projects," urban historian Raymond A. Mohl noted in a 2001 issue of Florida Historical Quarterly. "In the post-World War II years, old agendas for racial segregation continued to be carried out under still newer government programs."

By the time the interstate arrived, Mohl wrote, public officials were well along in a campaign to move blacks to other parts of the county, and little low- or moderate-income housing remained. The decline in property-tax revenue, coupled with booms in nearby enclaves such as downtown and Brickell, funneled away financial resources. By 2000, Overtown's population had fallen to fewer than 10,000 residents, compared to 40,000 during its heyday. (By 2010, the figure had dropped below 7,000.)

Perhaps even more insidious, the highway project and its fallout made black leaders suspicious of their white counterparts, causing them to regard all future endeavors from the outside as incursions.

"As one Miami Herald reporter put it in 1983, 'a whole generation of wary black leaders suspect the latest redevelopment plans are the final land grab in a long history of official deceit,'" Mohl wrote.

Forty years later, the climate of suspicion persists.

"It just sounds like a bunch of hot air," says Karim Bryant, who along with his wife, Nicole Gates, opened Lil Greenhouse Grill on NW Third Avenue in early 2017. "You invested all this money into this guy to bring people into the neighborhood when somebody already in the neighborhood who is from the neighborhood is doing the same thing?"

Bryant has earned critical praise in the local press for his neo-soul cuisine and recently hosted no less a personage than Oprah Winfrey. But existential peril constantly looms: Bryant nearly had to close down late last year after falling more than $40,000 behind on rent. Still, he appears determined to stay put and show the world what Overtown is truly about.

"The media puts a bad label on it, but this is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in South Florida," Bryant says. "It's a gold mine."

He's not exaggerating about the "gold mine" part.

"My lease is up in two years, and right now there's nowhere for a restaurant to go," Bryant explains. "All of the property has been taken up by outside influences, boarded up, and is expensive as hell. What is a regular person supposed to do?"

Shirley Meadows knows the feeling. She opened Two Guys Restaurant in Overtown 30 years ago to capitalize on her soul-food skills and to spend more time with her now-late husband, Harold. Meadows questions whether any of Red Rooster's customers will spill over to a down-home establishment whose menu standbys include smothered pork chops ($8), cracked conch and fries ($13), and slow-cooked oxtail ($13).

"It's a high-class restaurant, and everyone is itching to know what will happen," Meadows says of Samuelsson's impending arrival. "Everybody is welcome here, but the crowd that visits his place might not benefit mine."

Though she and other Overtown incumbents hope that a visit to Red Rooster might lead Samuelsson's fan base to explore the rest of the neighborhood, few are convinced. "We're trying to look at the positive side," Meadows says.

Starex Smith, whose blog, the Hungry Black Man, celebrates black-owned businesses in South Florida, is more optimistic. He believes Samuelsson's arrival might spur his neighbors to up their game. He also considers Red Rooster to be an enterprise Miami's black community can rally around and one whose success might invite further investment.

"They don't have to serve what Red Rooster is going to serve, but how do you become a competitive partner in an ecosystem that's been forgotten about and is now experiencing this sort of renaissance?" posits Smith, who cofounded the coworking venture A Space Called Tribe in Overtown and also owns Ice Cream Heaven, a frozen-treats shop in Miami Gardens. "You have Groovin' Bean Coffee Bar & Lounge. You have J9 Smoothie Bar & Grill &mdash a little sandwich-and-wrap shop from the son of the Jackson Soul Food family," which opened its landmark restaurant on NW Third Avenue in 1946. "When you have someone like Marcus that's bringing that type of notoriety, it can be a good thing."

Karim Bryant says he welcomes the challenge, even as he remains skeptical of the city agency that helped bankroll Samuelsson's effort.

"I'm going to put pressure on them," the chef says of Overtown/Park West. "I want more restaurants in the area &mdash that's only going to help us, and I'm good with anything that's good for the neighborhood. But right now, it's all fair game. And in Miami, they'll love you one week and forget about you the next. You have to keep it 100."

Representatives from Overtown/Park West did not return calls and emails seeking comment for this story.

The terms of Samuelsson's deal with the city require that the site operate as a restaurant for at least 15 years and that if Samuelsson sells the business within seven years, he must return the grant money. (If he sells after seven years but before ten years have elapsed, the arrangement requires him to return half the money.)

The 13,000-square-foot restaurant might be the brainchild of an out-of-towner, but its root system is all about Miami.

The space was designed by Saladino Design Studios, which is headquartered in Little Haiti. The Coconut Grove-based Grove Bay Hospitality Group &mdash whose portfolio includes Jeremy Ford's Stubborn Seed and the Janine Booth/Jeff McInnis restaurant Stiltsville Fish Bar in South Beach and Giorgio Rapicavoli's Glass & Vine in Peacock Park &mdash will oversee the restaurant's day-to-day operations. And along with Samuelsson and the restaurateur's longtime business partner Derek Fleming, Miami developer Michael Simkins is a registered agent of the venture's Florida company, Marcus Samuelsson Development Group LLC.

Grove Bay co-CEO Ignacio Garcia-Menocal traces his relationship with Samuelsson to an out-of-the-blue phone call.

"We all know Marcus and have followed his success, but we were taken aback when he called about the project," Garcia-Menocal recalls. Samuelsson invited him and his partner and co-CEO Francesco Balli to hear him pitch his vision at the restaurant site, which at the time was operating as an art gallery. "Honestly, it took us about five seconds for us to say yes," Garcia-Menocal tells New Times.

"The neat thing is you have these different groups coming together," he adds, noting the project represents a veritable melting pot unto itself. "We're a Latin American company working with a black group and a white developer to come together and celebrate Overtown."

Characterizing Red Rooster as unique among Grove Bay's partnerships, Garcia-Menocal points to Samuelsson's track record as a stakeholder in the communities where he operates.

"We know what Marcus did with Red Rooster in Harlem, and we know what he plans to do in Overtown," he says, noting that 70 percent of Samuelsson's Harlem staff members live in the community where they work. The restaurant buys from local purveyors and hosts community cooking classes. And Samuelsson cochairs Careers through Culinary Arts Program, an enrichment system for underserved youth, and he coproduces Harlem EatUp!, an annual festival that celebrates the neighborhood's food, art, and culture.

Garcia-Menocal hopes to replicate the same sense of goodwill in Overtown, beginning with hiring as many locals as possible to fill the restaurant's 120 job openings. "We had great success in hosting job fairs, and we've reached out to the local high school," the Grove Bay co-CEO says. "We're offering good-paying jobs to the local community. If we're able to staff 70 percent of these jobs locally, we did a great job of hiring people."

Garcia-Menocal has already hired Miami-based consultant Donnamarie Baptiste as Red Rooster's director of arts and culture, curating local art for display, hiring local musicians to perform in the space, and networking with neighborhood residents and houses of worship.

"Quite frankly, what makes Red Rooster Harlem so successful is that it's become the heart of Harlem," Garcia-Menocal says. "Our hope is that our Overtown location grows into that role locally. We're going to open this restaurant very humbly, and we will listen to what locals say. The local community will tell us what they want the restaurant to be."

That said, he's keenly aware that a James Beard Award winner dishing up gourmet soul food in Overtown is bound to be viewed as an interloper.

"We've had so many discussions on this topic: How do we make it price-sensitive so the local community can enjoy it? How can we make it approachable?" Garcia-Menocal says. "It's not an easy question to answer, because we do have certain costs, though we are extremely sensitive that we do the right thing for the community."

He promises that prices will be "approachable" and adds that Red Rooster will open a casual creamery next door. Most of all, he says, he is convinced Samuelsson will prove to be Red Rooster's own best ambassador.

"I've had the pleasure to spend time with Marcus, and he's an amazing human. The guy really cares. I can't tell you how many trips he's taken to Miami to visit not just Overtown but Little Haiti and Little Havana. It's superimportant for him to be part of the community. I believe he means exactly what he says."

Samuelsson, meanwhile, would prefer to concentrate on opening.

"Making the connection between the restaurant, the staff, purveyors, and the city is our job, and outside parties have an opinion," says the chef, who celebrated his 49th birthday in January. "We have to focus on making it as great a restaurant as we can and making as many jobs as we possibly can. It's been something we've been working on for four years, and we're finally on the doorstep."

Food editor Laine Doss contributed to this story.

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Best restaurants in Miami

1. Boia De

What is it? A cross between an L.A. strip-mall gem and a cozy, narrow Brooklyn dive, Boia De sits on the edge of Little Haiti, where it serves modern American dishes with a few that lean Italian.

Why we love it: Michelin-trained chefs Luciana Giangrandi and Alex Meyer pour themselves into this place, constantly reinventing the classics. The beef tartare, for example, is topped with a crunchy shallot-garlic concoction as well as capers, which are fried for a burst of briny flavor, and then the whole thing is smothered in a yummy tonnato sauce, a tuna-based Italian condiment that holds everything together like some kind of fancy picnic salad. The pasta is fresh and the wine list superb, offering a few skin-contact options to coax you out of your comfort zone.

2. La Mar

What is it? Gastón Acurio&rsquos renowned Peruvian restaurant inside the Mandarin Oriental, Miami, where the supremely talented Diego Oka runs the show.

Why we love it: It takes serious talent to skillfully execute the complicated raw dishes La Mar puts out daily, and chef Oka&rsquos got it in droves. His precision and technique are on display in every ceviche and tiradito adorned by foams and edible flowers. La Mar&rsquos waterfront patio is another sight for sore eyes, offering diners a 360-degree vista of Downtown and Brickell. Swoon.

Time Out tip: If you try one thing on the menu, make sure it&rsquos the cheese-soaked tiradito bachiche. Aged parmesan and snapper go surprisingly well together, and you likely won&rsquot find this combo anywhere else.

3. Mandolin Aegean Bistro

What is it? Styled after the striking white-and-blue paint seen in Cycladic landscapes, Mandolin is a dreamy outdoor eatery serving traditional Greek food.

Why we love it: There&rsquos no better date spot. The menu of shareable dishes&mdashthink mezzes, baskets of freshly baked pita bread and a fresh whole grilled fish for two&mdashhelps play up the romantic atmosphere. Mandolin&rsquos satisfying homemade sangria really evokes the feeling of an island vacation, but don&rsquot take too many sips: You might just confuse its whitewashed exterior for Santorini.

4. Cote Miami

What is it? The Miami outpost of this Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse from New York City is every bit worth the splurge&mdashand splurge you will.

Why we love it? Cote brings a new level of dining experience to Miami, one that&rsquos upscale but approachable and with a high-end menu that&rsquos still got plenty of heart. The tables are equipped with smokeless charcoal grills, where servers cook your dry-aged beef for you. Lest you forget the caliber of the restaurant, there&rsquos no chance you&rsquore going home smelling like you&rsquove been on the &lsquocue yourself. (We can&rsquot say the same about other Korean barbecue joints we&rsquove frequented.) First time? The Butcher&rsquos Feast tasting experience is a great way to dip your way toe in the water and sample the restaurant&rsquos heavy hitters for less than $60 a person. It&rsquoll leave plenty of room in the budget to savor one of the excellent craft cocktails, such as the Esteban, a super smooth mezcal negroni.

5. Ghee Indian Kitchen

What is it? At Ghee, critically acclaimed chef Niven Patel doles out farm-to-table Southeast Asian food good enough to get folks to the &rsquoburbs for dinner.

Why we love it: Patel grows about a quarter of his ingredients at his Rancho Patel in Homestead. And the whole operation is a family affair: His mother and mother-in-law can be seen whipping up smoked lamb neck, crispy cauliflower and steamed green millet, and other specialties in the open kitchen. The dishes are seasonal, the curries are made fresh, and the naan is so flavorful, it should really be savored on its own.

6. LPM Restaurant and Bar

What is it? This enchanting import from Nice draws on its Mediterranean origins, serving a medley of seafood plates alongside a smattering of traditional French cuisine.

Why we love it? Try the escargot and the french fries, which are made with as much care as the entrées, such as the whole sea bream baked en papillote. In fact, the spuds cook for hours, going from boiling pot to fryer to oven. Staying in these days? LPM will pack your favorite dishes to go in a hand-painted canvas bag and send you home with a Spotify playlist of the restaurant&rsquos soundtrack to help you replicate the dine-in experience at home.

7. Itamae

What is it? This family-owned, Nikkei-inspired restaurant grew from a humble stall in the neighborhood&rsquos food hall, Mia Market, to a prime location in the Design District&rsquos Palm Court.

Why we love it: Itamae 2.0 is a glittering example of innovative Peruvian cooking, where the possibilities for raw fish are seemingly endless. You&rsquoll find a variety of cebiches and other staples of South American cuisine, though our greatest obsession are the conchitas a la parmesana (stacked with fish, charred scallops and avocado). Each order offers four deliciously messy bites that make it snow parmesan flakes as you try to stuff one in your mouth. Getting it everywhere is actually half the fun.

8. Mamey

What is it? James Beard Award-nominated chef Niven Patel (of Ghee Indian Kitchen) takes us on an island tour with a smattering of dishes inspired by his travels through French Polynesia, Asia and the Caribbean.

Why we love it: Getting to experience Patel&rsquos range in the kitchen is a real treat. He ventures far away from the flavors we&rsquore used to yet the food is still undeniably his. He stuffs the menu with as many locally grown ingredients as he can, most of which hs sources from his very own farm in Homestead. Dishes don&rsquot skimp on spices but everything is well-balanced so you&rsquoll never feel like you&rsquove been hit in the face by sofrito. If there&rsquos one thing you must order, it&rsquos the Ghee roasted plantains. We won&rsquot spoil the surprise, so that&rsquos all we&rsquoll say.

Time Out tip: Mamey on 3rd is the restaurant&rsquos third-floor rooftop bar, where you can order bites and drinks and watch the sunset. It&rsquos a dreamy introduction to the cuisine if it&rsquos your first time.

9. Leku

What is it? The Rubell Museum&rsquos onsite restaurant offers a delightful journey through Spain&rsquos Basque country, from the wines and the dishes to the signature burnt cheesecake.

Why we love it: Miami has quite a few Spanish restaurants but few with a focus on Basque cooking, which is pretty special based on our experiences at Leku. Their take on the cuisine is refined, ingredient-driven and occasionally playful&mdashthink short rib sliders on milk buns and 5 Jotas Iberico ham on an airy bread you crack with the back of a spoon to enjoy. Speaking of crackers, the starter version topped with seasonal tomatoes doesn&rsquot jump off the page but trust us when we say a more flavor assortment of plump tomatoes, fresh herbs and edible flowers does not exist. Leku is good for a pit spot before or after a visit to the Rubell but it&rsquos also great as a destination for special occasions. Celebrations in the hybrid indoor/outdoor space, tucked behind the sprawling Rubell gates, just hit different.

10. Luca Osteria

What is it? Luca is Giorgio Rapicavoli&rsquos delicious salute to his home country, serving up modern interpretations of Italian classics.

Why we love it: We know this is a restaurant list, but we&rsquore going to lead with cocktails. Luca&rsquos impressive list of Italian standards and reinvented classics deserves serious praise. We can never decide between the banana espresso martini or the Portofino, which is his take on a dirty with a delicate drizzle of super high-quality olive oil. Naturally, we get them both. The same goes for the pasta&mdashfrom the tangy al limone and the cheesy cacio e pepe to the rich short rib bolognese, you&rsquoll want to order several when you dine here.

11. Over Under

What is it? Brace for full Florida kitsch at this irreverent Downtown bar and restaurant steeped in all the things that make our great state weird and amusing.

Why we love it: Over Under is home to the best cheeseburger in Miami, plus a few more things that chef James McNeal does very well. The thoroughly Floridian menu touts local ingredients like the gulf oysters served on the half-shell and the wahoo used in the excellent smoked fish dip. Recently, the bar introduced a selection of natural wines should you need a break from the popular boozy slushies and craft cocktails&mdashwhich are also excellent.

12. Mignonette

What is it? Converted from a 1930s gas station, this is a genuine oyster bar, with the marquee to prove it.

Why we love it: Find the day&rsquos Atlantic and Pacific bivalves listed on a retro signboard that&rsquos perched above the counter, where you can take a load off and watch all the shucking action. The casual space has a definite diner feel, but with much better food: Overflowing with chunks of buttery claw meat, the Connecticut-style lobster roll comes complete with house-made potato chips.

13. Ariete

What is it? At Ariete in Coconut Grove, Michael Beltran flourishes at the intersection of homestyle Cuban cooking and contemporary fine dining. He takes familiar dishes up a notch with high-low ingredient pairings that never feel like it&rsquos trying too hard to connect: From a venison tartare and a uni disco (essentially a griddled sea urchin sandwich) to a monkfish encendido that combines shellfish with beef jus, it all kind of makes sense.

Why we love it: Few restaurants can execute a burger, foie gras, ceviche and duck with the same precision but then few places are Ariete.

14. Makoto

What is it? Stephen Starr&rsquos fancy pants Japanese restaurant inside the luxurious Bal Harbour Shops.

Why we love it: Hello, freshness! Makoto dishes out top-quality seafood, from its sashimi platter and its sushi to its heaping crab salad. With the verdant corridors of the Bal Harbour Shops as the backdrop for its patio and a spicy tuna crispy rice that trumps all other versions of the trendy sushi starter, Makoto wins for its mix of crave-worthy dishes and relaxed, tropical atmosphere.

15. Joe’s Take Away

What is it? The take-out market next to iconic Joe&rsquos Stone Crab in South Beach.

Why we love it: This must be the best-kept secret in South Beach (at least in terms of value). Though widely known for its insanely inexpensive fried chicken, it also serves the coveted crustacean, lobster sandwiches that&rsquoll put the Maine ones to shame and slices of Joe&rsquos irresistible key lime pie.

Time Out tip: Most people take their bounty to the nearby South Pointe Park to enjoy.

16. Jaguar Sun

What is it? The Downtown restaurant with the lively bar jumps from our DRINK List to our EAT List, following a brilliant lockdown pivot that took it from watering hole to a takeout restaurant to an outdoor dining destination.

Why we love it: Jaguar Sun is currently popping up in Little Haiti event space Lot 6 as Sonny&rsquos Someday Steakhouse, offering a bonafide chophouse experience outdoors. You&rsquoll forget all about tufted booths, white linens and air-conditioning when you tuck into fresh oysters, dry-aged steaks, hand-crafted martinis and more.

17. El Bagel

What is it? Its smash-hit food truck was a favorite among those whose preferred Saturday morning activity was waiting in line for food. Now El Bagel&rsquos brick-and-mortar is the chosen bagel spot of people with incredible patience.

Why we love it: Takeout at this small MiMo shop can take up to two hours but no one craving an oversize, NYC-style hand-rolled bagel can resist. The B.E.C. with Proper Sausages bacon, egg, and cheese and the avo smash with a mound of fresh sprouts are day-one favorites you can still get at the shop.

18. NIU Kitchen

What is it? NIU Kitchen Chef Deme Lomas and wine director Karina Iglesias&rsquos compact Catalonian café is located deep in Downtown Miami. The intimate spot expanded next door to sister restaurant, Arson, where diners can space out safely and enjoy the best of both menus.

Why we love it: There&rsquos a seasonal lineup of bold tapas and flame-grilled mains, like the delicate branzino fillet topped with guindilla peppers and jamón ibérico. While delicious pa amb tomàquet (the traditional rustic bread with vine-ripened tomatoes, olive oil and salt), bottles of natural wines and something starring a running yolk like the ous&mdasha creamy bowl of poached eggs, truffled potato foam, jamón ibérico and black truffle&mdashare always a given.

19. Hutong

What is it? This splashy Northern Chinese restaurant in the heart of Brickell draws in Miami&rsquos most well-heeled crowds.

Why we love it: Its Peking duck two ways (once with hoisin sauce and pancakes and a second time stir-fried with lettuce wraps), pillowy bao buns stuffed with lobster and a branzino in a tongue-tingling sauce are too tasty to forget.

Time Out tip: Hutong eclipses your favorite Chinese joint in quality and price but its limited-time Red Lantern menu (available Wednesday through Sunday) gives diners the opportunity to sample its most popular dishes for under $70.

20. Lung Yai Thai Tapas

What is it? Chef Bas&rsquos compact restaurant in Little Havana is a delicious ode to his native Thailand.

Why we love it: You will most definitely have to stand in line for the curries, but trust us: Every single one of them is worth it. Part of the schtick here is that you&rsquore only allowed to order your food once, so make sure the pad see ew with beef (a stir-fry with thick rice noodles) and the khao soi gai (a golden curry) find their way to your table. You&rsquoll want to slurp up the latter like a soup to get every last drop.

Time Out tip: Don't let the line discourage you. Put your name down and grab a beer or glass of wine from inside to enjoy on the sidewalk while you wait.

21. Macchialina

What is it? Chef Michael Pirolo&rsquos South Beach trattoria with a newly minted garden patio.

Why we love it: It&rsquos the familiar rustic Italian dishes that do us in here. Get handmade pasta served with lamb ragú, tossed with clams or served simply with garlic and olive oil to enjoy outdoors or at home now that the restaurant introduced delivery.

Time Out tip: For a gut-busting meal that won&rsquot burn a hole through your pocket, stop in for red sauce Sundays. Dinner for two with meatballs, rigatoni, salads and grilled country bread is just $50. (The deal is on a short hiatus but keep an eye out fir its imminent return.)

22. The Surf Club Restaurant

What is it? Thomas Keller&rsquos restaurant inside the Four Seasons Surf Club is a shining example of the quality and elegance the chef is known for.

Why we love it: From the tightly edited classic American menu to the midcentury stylings to the special moments afforded by the numerous tableside preparations available, it&rsquos all class, baby. It&rsquos not stuffy though, as classic rock and dim lights give the warm space a lounge feel. Go in knowing you&rsquore going to spend a fortune but it&rsquoll all be worth it for shareable dishes like the flaky beef wellington that&rsquos baked and carved to order.

23. Bourbon Steak

What is it? A steakhouse for nonbelievers, Bourbon keeps things casual with a sleek wraparound bar and a lounge where snug booths and high-top tables are available sans reservations.

Why we love it: The menu sticks to tried-and-true standards: a crisp wedge salad, a tuna tartare that&rsquos finished tableside, and myriad cuts of prime Angus beef and wagyu. Don&rsquot overlook the burger, which pairs perfectly with the free (and unlimited!) duck-fat fries, served in lieu of the usual bread basket.

24. 27 Restaurant & Bar at Freehand Miami

What is it? A homey, bi-level restaurant housed inside a former Art Deco home that serves globally inspired dishes made with fresh ingredients from local farms.

Why we love it: Hipster home-cooking is the thing here&mdashfamiliar recipes featuring unexpected ingredients and portioned to share. The kimchi fried rice is a must at brunch or dinner while the newly added oyster mushrooms with malawach rule the appetizer game. And you can&rsquot leave without ordering a cocktail by the famous Bar Lab team.

Time Out tip: Overwhelmed by the list of drinks? Tell your server your choice of spirit and preferred flavor profile (sweet, spicy, refreshing, etc.,) and wait for the perfect drink to arrive at your table.

25. Wabi Sabi by Shuji

What is it? Chef Shuji Hiyakawa&rsquos casual Upper Eastside restaurant serves up super-fresh chirashi bowls and house-made teas.

Why we love it: The authentic Japanese shop&rsquos subtle but important details: Hand-folded origami cranes hang on the wall (Shuji and his friends folded some themselves). The effortless style goes wonderfully with the restaurant&rsquos pared-down menu of simple, satisfying sushi bowls, sashimi and maki. The dishes&mdashbig on flavor and low on ego&mdashdon&rsquot skimp on portions. Patrons choose from hearty combinations of fresh tuna, salmon, crab, rice, seaweed and more that will leave you feeling full but not sluggish.

26. Taquiza North Beach

What is it? Dubbed the &ldquoCasa de Masa,&rdquo this beachfront Mexican spot is known for its signature blue masa tortillas and pared-down, street-style tacos.

Why we love it: Taquiza keeps it simple, with a high-quality base that doesn't need much to help it shine. In fact, it might shock some people that the tacos here are really only stuffed with meat&mdashthink al pastor and carne asada&mdashand topped with a sprinkling of fresh onions and cilantro. The main attraction, though, are the totopos, a style of corn tortilla chips that originates in Mexico&rsquos Oaxaca region. Crispy yet chewy, salty and fresh from the fryer, they pair perfectly with a side of guac and a refreshing michelada.

Time Out tip: Taquiza nearly doubled its outdoor seating recently in case you&rsquod rather enjoy that beer cocktail in the sunshine.

27. Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

What is it? James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz&rsquos premier restaurant in the Design District is one of those iconic Miami institutions that you&rsquore supposed to like, and you invariably will.

Why we love it: Even putting buzz, accolades, celebrity sightings and longevity aside, the Design District staple still wows us 12 years later. The food and atmosphere walk the line between casual and showy, making it the perfect standby for a quick happy-hour cocktail, a business lunch of grilled escarole and a short-rib&ndashand-fontina panini, or a date- night dinner of oysters, wood-oven snapper and pour upon pour of that ambrosial French wine that Schwartz keeps in stock.

28. Sanguich de Miami

What is it? A modern take on a Cuban cafeteria, this Little Havana counter sells pressed sandwiches, croquetas and a handful of hearty, quick bites.

Why we love it: Sanguich infuses the proud Cubano with house-made ingredients, such as cured ham, brined pork, fresh pickles and artisanal mustard. (Hell, even the doughy bread is made to Sanguich&rsquos strict specifications.) Obviously, the best Cubano in Miami resides here. Plus, its Cuban version of nachos&mdashwith fried plantain strips and garlic aioli sauce&mdashis utterly out of this world.

29. Lucali

What is it? The hip Sunset Harbour outpost of one of Brooklyn&rsquos most famous pizza joints, Lucali.

Why we love it: When it comes to pizza and bagels, Miamians defer to New Yorkers. Lucali opened here nearly seven years ago, and there hasn&rsquot been a slow night since. The thin, wood-fired pies are the best-seller, closely followed by the lauded kale Caesar salad and the made-to-order Black Angus meatballs.

30. KYU

What is it? This modern Asian eatery has nabbed multiple award nominations and, five years in, is still one of Wynwood&rsquos toughest reservations to snag.

Why we love it: Executive chef Raheem Sealey elevates comfort-food classics like pork buns, Korean fried chicken and crab-fried rice into uniquely satisfying, visually arresting dishes. Try the crowd-favorite roasted cauliflower: Served over a bright-chartreuse herb vinaigrette, the enormous charred head is tender but still has plenty of bite. Make sure to save room for the spot&rsquos signature dessert: a towering slice of coconut cake, accompanied by toasted coconut shavings and a scoop of house-made coconut ice cream.

31. Zak the Baker

What is it? Zak Stern&rsquos eponymous bakery and certified-Kosher sandwich shop in Wynwood is ground zero for all things sourdough.

Why we love it: Stern&rsquos bread is a well-known team player in sandwiches and toasts at countless other restaurants. But his own intricate breakfast sammies are in a class of their own, with ingredients like alfalfa sprouts and heirloom tomatoes. We&rsquore also big fans of the spectacular bagel platters, classic deli-style food and the rotating vegan soup. Beyond doling out naturally leavened bread and handmade pastries, ZTB launched a popular falafel pop-up featuring sandwiches and crispy french fries. Delivery and takeout are available as is dine-in service at its newly built patio.

The 24 Food Festivals Around the World You Need to Experience Before You Die

Sure, music festivals are great. But a food festival? It’s a like a dream come true: a little whole world full of the most glorious food all only a fork or spoonful away. These food festivals feature some of the best cuisine around the world, as well as highly esteemed chefs and wine and beer experts. Mark your calendars, book a flight, and start saving up for these amazing foodie destination events that are sure to be an experience of a lifetime.

1. The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (Miami, Florida)

Photo courtesy of

Of course the Food Network’s most anticipated event of the year makes the top of this list. Over a 5-day period, your favorite Food Network stars gather in Miami Beach to show off their illustrious cooking skills live. Greats like Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart and Guy Fieri have made appearances in the past. The festival also features more than 80 events, ranging from seminars, intimate dinners, parties, tastings, and the popular Oyster Bash. Additionally, you don’t want to miss the Grand Tasting Village, where you’ll find a full range of exquisite dishes, wines, and spirits.

2. MTL à TABLE (Montreal, Canada)

Photo courtesy of @patriciavu27 on Instagram

This 11-day food festival in Montreal showcases 150 different restaurants offering three-course meals at price points of $21, $31, or $41. The festival takes place in the fall, right before the entire country is covered in a soft blanket of snow. But the food definitely distracts from the cold Canadian temperatures. Featured esteemed restaurants in the past include Le Local, BEVO Bar + Pizzeria, and Bonaparte.

3. Charleston Wine + Food Festival (Charleston, South Carolina)

Photo courtesy of @chswineandfood on Instagram

Charleston‘s already amazing food scene gets even better during their annual four day food festival in March. The heart of the fest is Culinary Village, which takes place in the center of downtown Charleston’s Marion Square. Get a day pass to experience great food, activities, and other new and exciting events that change every year. The festival celebrates the culinary excellence of Charleston, featuring the best restaurants and chefs in the area. While you’re sure to find plenty of Southern classics like shrimp and grits and fried chicken, they also feature excellent wine, seafood, burgers, and tons more that you don’t want to miss.

4. Mid-Autumn Festival (China)

Photo courtesy of @peng_chia_veronica on Instagram

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake Festival, celebrates the year’s harvest and the moon. One of the traditions of the holiday is making and sharing mooncakes, made from lotus paste with an egg yolk centre, to signify the completeness and unity of families. Other foods served during the occasion are lotus roots, which symbolize peace, watermelon, cassia wine, and tea. At night, families place their teacups outside and wait for the full moon’s reflection to appear in their cups. Now that’s a food festival with some meaning behind it.

5. Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (Hawai’i Island, Maui, and Oahu, Hawaii)

Photo courtesy of @cthula on Instagram

Nothing says paradise like a food festival held in the lush island paradise of Hawaii. The festival takes place over three weekends on three islands, with over 100 internationally-renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers in attendance. You’ll experience the best food Maui has to offer while overlooking Black Rock Beach during the Chef’s Paradise event, a 6-course dinner showcasing Hawai’i Island’s diverse cuisine, and a lūʻau with a modern twist on the island of Oahu. Can I get an aloha?

6. Vegas Uncork’d (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Photo courtesy of @cocktailmaestro on Instagram

Vegas Uncork’d is sure to be the most lit food festival you will ever have the pleasure of attending. Look forward to tastings held in Caesar’s Palace, lunches and dinners in The Venetian, rooftop parties at The Cromwell, and a list of other events held at various locations off the strip. You’ll have the opportunity to watch and learn from celebrated chefs, and taste various foods and drinks in the heart of Las Vegas. You may just find yourself stuck on a roof somewhere the day after this whirlwind food festival, as was the case in The Hangover.

7. St. Moritz Gourmet Festival (St. Moritz, Switzerland)

Photo courtesy of @st_moritz_gourmet_festival on Instagram

Each year the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival in Switzerland celebrates the cuisine of international master chefs for 5 days. This past year the festival was dedicated to Japanese cuisine and its rich culinary variety. During the week there were over 40 events, including the Grand Julius Baer Opening, an introduction to each chef’s specialized cooking skills, the Japanese Tea Ceremony, nightly gourmet dinners, and the Chocolate Cult, an occasion where guests can taste a range of diverse delicacies made from the finest chocolate. Get ready to be chocolate wasted.

8. NYC Wine & Food Festival (New York City, New York)

Photo courtesy of @cheatdayeats on Instagram

In the city that never sleeps, you’ll never go hungry during this four-day extravaganza of food, wine, seminars, parties, and more. This year, the festival is bringing in over 500 world-renowned chefs, culinary personalities, entertainers, 100 wine and spirit producers, and all of your favorite Food Network and Cooking Channel stars. With over 100 events and 55,000 visitors, it’s considered the largest food and wine festival in New York City. It’s probably the only place you’ll get to have a food fight with Guy Fieri, enjoy an Italian feast with Giada De Laurentiis, or sample fried chicken with Whoopi Goldberg. Goals, amirite?

9. Pahiyas Festival (Lucban, Philippines)

Photo courtesy of @polsalac on Instagram

Every May 15, the Filipino town of Lucban gathers to honor San Isidro de Labrador, the Patron Saint of Farmers, during the Pahiyas Festival. This festival is considered the grandest thanksgiving festival in the Philippines. To celebrate their bountiful harvest, residents engage in friendly competition to out-decorate their neighbors’ houses with colorful rice wafers, native materials, handicrafts, and fresh produce. As for food, the streets are lined with different food kiosks and bazaars, or marketplaces, offering local food and drink for tourists and natives alike.

10. Food and Wine Classic in Aspen (Aspen, Colorado)

Photo courtesy of @baltzco on Instagram

This Colorado food festival has certainly held up to the “classic” title in its name, as over 34 years it’s become one of the most premier culinary events in America. Over 5,000 foodies are in attendance at this 3-day event in the mountains, which features over 550 restaurant and wine professionals and more than 70 celebrity chefs including the like of Jacques Pépin, Gale Simmons, Curtis Stone, and many others. The highlight of the fest is the Grand Tasting Pavilion, a magical place where food lovers go to sample wine and food from around the world. Adding this one to my bucket list ASAP.

11. Maslenitsa Pancake Festival (Russia)

Photo courtesy of @nativerussian on Instagram

Maslenitsa, or Pancake Week, is one of the most cheerful holidays in Russia. It’s a gathering of the Russian people to celebrate the end winter and the beginning of spring. Pancakes are eaten all week during the festival to symbolize the sun in shape and color, and are enjoyed with a variety of jams, butter, fruits and even caviar. Wednesday is when the open feasts take place in the peoples’ households, featuring pancakes and crepes, brewed beer, and other traditional Russian dishes.

12. Taste of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)

Photo courtesy of @scrumptious.chicago on Instagram

Taste of Chicago is the largest food festival in the world, with over 3 million visitors each year and more than 200 menu items offered. The festival, which takes place in Chicago’s Grant Park right on the lakefront, has been around since 1980, but it adds new restaurants, food trucks, chefs, and other exciting events every year. There’s plenty to do during this 5-day festival, including live music concerts, three-course dinners, chef demonstrations, and all the delicious food you could ever dream of.

13. Pizzafest (Naples, Italy)

Photo courtesy of

Pizza lovers, welcome to the food festival of your dreams. It’s only right that a festival is held every year to celebrate the most glorious food ever invented. Pizzafest is the world’s largest celebration of pizza, held in Naples, Italy, the birthplace of pizza. The first pizza day was held in Naples in 1995, and has since become a gathering of both local and global pizzerias competing for the title of best pizza in the world. Visitors of the festival can go around to each of the different competitors and try the different varieties of pizza. I think I would probably die of happiness.

14. New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Photo courtesy of @nowfe on Instagram

Think Mardi Gras, but with plenty more food and drink. The four-day New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is centered around a street party atmosphere with food trucks and access to art galleries, seminars, and special dining events at over two dozen local restaurants. There’s also over 1,000 wines featured from around the world, which can be enjoyed while walking throughout the streets or at wine tasting events. Expand your palate by trying out some typical New Orleans fare like seafood and Creole dishes. However, if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s plenty more foods to choose from.

15. Oktoberfest (Munich, Germany)

Photo courtesy of @oktoberfestmuenchen on Instagram

This list wouldn’t be complete without the highly anticipated annual celebration of brews we call Oktoberfest. The event features 14 “beer tents” that house the liquid gold everyone flocks to the festival for, as well as traditional German fare such as bratwurst, dumplings, potato salad, duck, and freshly baked goods. The 2015 festival brought in 5.9 million guests and sold 7.3 million liters of beer, meaning 2016 can only get bigger and better. Don’t forget your beer pong and your tested hangover cures.

16. Bite of Seattle (Seattle, Washington)

Photo courtesy of @cmon_yo on Instagram

This food festival is one of the premier events of the Southwest, bringing in 60+ restaurants and pop-up vendors, 5 outdoor music stages, live cooking demonstrations, cook-offs, and more. Whether you’re an adventurous eater or a lover of the basics, there’s sure to be a dish to satisfy everyone. The food options range from dim sum to alligator to fried calamari on a stick, as well classic American fare that we all know and love. Once you’ve had a bite to eat (or 1,000 bites, who’s counting?), head over to the beer gardens or a movie on the lawn to nurse your food baby.

17. Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (Victoria, Australia)

Photo courtesy of @melbfoodandwine on Instagram

Every year, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival gathers some of the most famous culinary stars around the world for a phenomenal foodie event Down Under. The festival takes place at signature spots around Victoria, including down laneways, along rivers, on farms, and inside cellars, making for an unforgettable 10-day experience. Some of the signature events include the Regional World’s Longest Lunch, which features 24 lunches taking place at beautiful locations across the state, River Graze, a playground of culinary hot-spots and entertainment along the Yarra River. Also notable is City Cellar, an event offering 60 of Victoria’s best wineries to sip on. And that’s only the half of it.

18. Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival (Los Angeles, California)

Photo by @lafoodwine on Instagram

California is home to some of the greatest food creations you’ve even seen, and at the annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, you can finally enjoy all those foods over the span of four days. The event takes place city-wide, meaning you’ll have the chance to stroll famous zip codes while chowing down on dishes made by your favorite celebrity chefs. In last year’s attendance was Tyler Florence, Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Curtis Stone. There’s no easier way to feel like an A-lister than eating A-list food in an A-list city.

19. Feast Portland (Portland, Oregon)

Photo courtesy of @feastportland on Instagram

Feast Portland prides themselves on being not just a food festival, but a movement showcasing America’s energy, creativity, and enthusiasm towards food, while celebrating the culinary world of the Pacific Northwest. They offer grand events like daily tastings and a sandwich invitational, but also have more intimate gatherings like the Franklin barbecue and a picnic with professional chefs. During the four-day festival there’s also hands-on classes, dinner series featuring esteemed restaurants, and panels on wine, beer, and spirits. You can feel good about yourself while you’re eating your way through the festival, too, because net proceeds are donated to Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon.

20. Music City Wine + Food Festival (Nashville, Tennessee)

Photo courtesy of @musiccityfw on Instagram

The South sure knows how to throw a food festival. While the Music City Wine + Food Festival might only be a couple of years old, it’s packing a serious punch in the world of food. Held in the historic area of Bicentennial Park, this event delivers over 60 food, wine, and spirits vendors during The Grand Taste. A diverse range of food is served, including octopus, Corn Razeman ramen, and white miso ice cream. And of course you can’t have a Southern food festival without the BBQ. Don’t miss Martin’s barbecue feast featuring whole hog, lamb, goat, fish and a range of other foods slow cooked over a live fire. Don’t worry non-meat eaters—they’ll have veggies, too.

21. World Gourmet Summit (Singapore)

Photo courtesy of @fedbyphat on Instagram

The World Gourmet Summit is a prestigious food festival celebrating global and local cuisine and fine dining. International culinary stars, industry personalities, and home-grown talents gather every year in March through April to show off their craft dishes and wines for the food enthusiasts in attendance. 2016 marks the festival’s 20th year, so guests can expect gourmet dinners, workshops by renowned chefs, parties, and a list of unique restaurants offering only the most top-quality dishes and experiences in Singapore. Classy.

22. Epcot International Wine & Food Festival (Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida)

Photo courtesy of @doingallthedisney on Instagram

Only the most magical place in the country could hold the most magical food festival right? This month-long event takes place in Disney World’s Epcot resort, offering tons of global cuisines, wines, and beers. Throughout the park there’s a global marketplace, concerts, seminars, demonstrations, and dining adventures that showcase 270 international chefs. And you thought Disney World couldn’t get any better.

23. Cayman Cookout (Grand Cayman Islands, Caribbean)

Photo courtesy of @christinaleec on Instagram

Behold the ultimate cookout of the year, held on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The Cayman Cookout takes place in the acclaimed Ritz-Carlton resort, featuring a roster of world famous chefs, wine experts, and spirit-blenders. For three days, guests enjoy culinary demonstrations, tastings, unique pairings, and once-in-a-lifetime epicurean experiences all with the backdrop of crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches. A variety of other events will be held on the islands, including the Barefoot BBQ, Beach Bash, and Champagne Brunch & Cook-Off.

24. Salon du Chocolat Festival (Paris, France)

Photo courtesy of @wenwei_weiwei on Instagram

Saving (possibly) the best for last, the Salon du Chocolat Festival is a chocoholic’s ultimate dream come true. The 5-day event features over 500 chocolatiers, pastry makers, and confectioners from France and abroad coming together to deliver the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate. There will also be a Pastry Show, where chefs will demonstrate their finest chocolate recipes, a Chocosphere presentation on the world of chocolate, and a Chocolate Fashion Show. The end of the festival brings the Chocolate Awards, which pays tribute to the best chocolatiers and the most remarkable chocolate around the globe.

South Carolina Food Festivals & Shows (Food, Wine, Beer & Agricultural Events)

CLICK ON THE MONTHS ABOVE for a Complete Listing for All South Carolina Food Festivals, with Descriptions and Links.

Here are JUST A FEW Featured Events:

Restaurant Week South Carolina
Various, South Carolina
Restaurant Week South Carolina is a celebration at hundreds of participating restaurants. From fine to casual dining, participating restaurants will feature special menu items, promotions and discounts.

Charleston Wine + Food
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Wine + Food is a non-profit organization that celebrates the renowned food culture of Charleston, SC during a five-day festival the first weekend of every March. With a local food culture rich in tradition, James Beard Award-winning chefs, and the best city to visit in the world according to Condé Nast Traveler’s 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards, the festival infuses home-grown flavor with top chefs, winemakers, authors, storytellers and food enthusiasts.

Annual World Grits Festival
St. George, South Carolina
Annual festival in St. George, The Grits Capitol of the World. Home of the World Famous Rolling in the Grits Contest.

In response to this unprecedented crisis that is affecting our health concerns, all aspects of lives, and in particular with all New Jersey Leisure events and activities, we have removed events that we know have been cancelled. Our viewers are advised to check in with each of the venues, activities, and events that are listed in our webpages to ensure that they have not closed or postponed.

Please visit our਌oronavius update web pageਏor the latest information on New Jersey venue and activity closings

April 2021 New Jersey Food Truck Festivals

Paramus Food Truck Fall Festival
Sunday, AprilL 25, 2021 AT 11 AM – 7 PM
Paramus Park Shopping Mall
700 Paramus Park
Paramus, NJ
Cost: $5, kids 10 and under are free
Food! Beer! Music! Fun!
20 gourmet food trucks, DJ, vendors, beer, margarita & sangria garden,vendors, kid activities including Pony rides, petting zoo, airbrush & glitter tattoos, inflatables, games, sand art, spin art, & so much more!

May 2021 New Jersey Food Truck Festivals

Chester Food Truck and Music Festival
Saturday, May 1, 2021 11 AM – 7 PM
Municipal Field
134 Main St,
Chester, NJ
Cost: $5 - Attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable canned or boxed items to help support the Food Pantry. Please help those less fortunate.
This annual family event features 25 gourmet food trucks, 3 great bands, craft beer & sangria garden, kids activities, benefit for the Chester Food Pantry & Chester First Aid Squad . Bring your appetite, lawn chairs, pups and blankets. Dine on excellent food, while enjoying the beer and sangria garden along with the amazing sounds. Face painting, vendors, kids activities

Garden State Plaza Food Truck Festival
Sunday, May 2, 2021 11am - 7pm
Garden State Plaza
1 Garden State Plaza
Paramus, NJ
Kick off the Spring Festival season at the largest mall in New Jersey! The Garden State Plaza Food Truck Festival will include 14+ food trucks, hatchet tossing, live music boardwalk style games and a beer and wine garden featuring Ghost Hawk Beer!

Branchburg Food Truck & Music Festival
Saturday, May 8, 2021 11 AM – 7 PM
White Oak Park
235 Baird Rd
Branchburg, NJ
Facebook page
Cost: $5, Kids under 10 are free
Food! Beer! Music! Fun! It's a fun filled family day! 20 Gourmet Food Trucks, beer & sangria, Live Music with some incredible bands, Mother's Day plant sale, 50/50, kid activities including Pony rides, petting zoo, airbrush & glitter tattoos, inflatables, games, sand art, spin art, & so much more make for an enchanting and fulfilling Spring day. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Branchburg, In conjunction with Branchburg Township Bring your appetite, lawn chairs, pop ups and blankets. Dine on excellent food, while enjoying the beer and sangria garden along with the amazing sounds. Dogs permitted!

Manville/Hillsborough Food Truck Fest
Saturday May 8, 2021 11 AM – 7 PM
1500 Brooks Blvd
Hillsborough, NJ
Cost: $8 for adults and $5 for children 4-16 at the door, $6 for adults and $4 for children in advance. Children under 3 are always free! Portions of all proceeds will be going to St. Ann's Classical Academy
Bring your appetite, your blanket or your lawn chair as we kick off May with the biggest party of the year! In addition to some amazing food trucks you'll also be able to enjoy fun activities like Throw House Hatchet Toss, Cornhole Boardwalk style games and more! In addition we will quench your thirst with Great selection of beer, wine and spirits! Live music by Naughty Humphry and the Big Fuss.

Bloomfield Food Truck & Music Festival
Friday, May 14, 2021 4 PM – 10 PM
St. Thomas the Apostle School
Parking Lot 50
Byrd Ave
Bloomfield, NJ
Facebook page
Cost: $5 Kids under 10 FREE FREE PARKING
Bloomfield Food Truck & Music Fest will feature 15 quality Food Trucks, Live Music, Beer, Sangria & Margarita Garden, Face Painting, Pony Rides, Kids Activities, Inflatables, Vendors, a 50/50 and so much more!
The Music Line Up: 4pm-5pm - Nutley School of Music 5pm-6pm - DJ 6pm-10pm - The Counterfeiters

Skylands Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival
Saturday, May 15, 2021 12:00 - 7:00 PM (Rain or shine)
Skylands Stadium
94 Championship Place
Augusta, NJ 07822
(973) 383-7644
Cost: $5, Children 38 Tall and Shorter, Free
This family event features entertainment for all ages. Spend a special day enjoying the outdoors, delicious food, craft beer, music, and more! • Free parking

June 2021 New Jersey Food Truck Festivals

Donaldson Farms Food Truck Fest
Saturday, June 5, 2021 12:00 PM — 8:00 PM
Donaldson Farms
358 Allen Rd
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Web Site
Event Cost: $3 - $5 in advance, $5 - $7 day of
This family event will feature 15+ gourmet food trucks, local craft beer by Czig Meister Brewing Company, live bands, pony rides for kids, corn hole and more!

Clifton Food Truck & Music Festival
Sunday, June 6, 2021 11 AM – 7 PM
Boys & Girls Club of Clifton
181 Colfax Ave
Clifton NJ
Facebook Page
Food! Beer! Music! Fun! It's a fun filled family day & it supports a great cause! 20 Gourmet Food Trucks, beer, margarita & sangria garden, vendors, kids activities, petting zoo, axe throwing & it's a Benefit for Boys & Girls Club of Clifton. Bring your appetites & furry friends. We have an indoors bathrooms available.
They are asking all attendees to bring a non-perishable canned or boxed item to help support St. Peter's Haven in Clifton. Please help those less fortunate.

Food Truck & Music Bash
Saturday, June 12, 2021: 11 AM – 7 PM
Woodbridge Center
250 Woodbridge Center Drive
Woodbridger, NJ
Facebook Page
This event features 17 gourmet food trucks, Live Music from 3 bands, vendors, beer, margarita & sangria garden, kid activities including pony rides airbrush & glitter tattoos on the arms & legs, inflatables, games, sand art, spin art, & so much more! Food! Beer! Music! Fun! It's a fun filled family day! Bring your appetite, lawn chairs & Dine on excellent food. Dogs permitted!
They are asking all attendees to bring a non-perishable canned or boxed item to help support The Food Pantry. Please help those less fortunate.

Food Truck for Iconic Miami Restaurant Versailles to Give Free Samples During South Beach Wine and Food Festival

By Mary Jo Shore &bull Published February 20, 2013 &bull Updated on February 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Miami's iconic Cuban restaurant Versailles restaurant is coming to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival this weekend.

The Smithfield Packing Company, Inc., meat purveyors, teamed up with Versailles to create the Smithfield Versailles Cuban Combo food truck.

Free samples of Versailles’ legendary Cuban sandwich, that include Smithfield roast pork, sweet ham and Swiss cheese on Cuban bread at nighttime events on Friday and Saturday nights and at Sunday’s SOBE “Trucks on Midtown Tracks” event hosted by Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern.


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Stop by for a taste at these locations:

Friday, Feb. 22, at 1545 Collins Avenue from 12 -2 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Dream Hotel (1111 Collins Avenue) from 12:00 a.m.-2:00 am and Sunday, Feb. 24, from 3:00 p.m.-6:00 pm in Midtown (3101 NE 1st Avenue).

The food truck was conceived by Smithfield as a new, fun way to connect with attendees at this year's SOBE Wine & Food Festival. For late-night snacks, the colorful Smithfield food truck will be available to hand out the perfect nosh for free for everyone to enjoy!

In case you are craving this ultimate sandwich after this weekend- here's the DIY recipe, courtesy of Smithfield and Versailles.

The World Famous “Sandwich Cubano”

1 loaf Cuban bread
16oz Sweet Ham
10oz Smithfield Roast Pork
10oz Swiss cheese
8 Thin Dill Pickle Slices
Yellow Mustard

Cut the loaf of bread horizontally.
Layer the ham then the pork on the bottom half of the bread.
Spread a thin line of the mustard over the pork, followed by the pickle slices and the cheese.
Top with the top half of the bread.
Cut the sandwich into the desired portions and brush the outside crusts with melted butter.
Place the sandwich on a preheated sandwich press and press down on the sandwich.
Let it cook until the sandwich is heated through….cheese is melted and crusts are toasted.

Watch the video: The South Beach Wine u0026 Food Festival Is Back