From October 19 to 22, South Beach Seafood Festival, a celebration of South Florida’s seafood bounty in collaboration with some of the region’s leading chefs and restaurants, will be returning for its 10th anniversary, with an expected turnout of over 16,000 attendees.
The festival also kicks off Miami Beach’s highly-anticipated stone crab season. Hence on the first night, October 19, it opens with “An Evening at Joe’s Stone Crab,” a five-course dinner by longtime executive chef Andre Bienvenu at the restaurant’s private dining, Jesse’s Room, where the late Al Capone and Frank Sinatra sat and dined.
On October 20, Crabs, Slabs & Cabs will take place at the Kimpton Surfcomber South Beach’s High Tide Beach Bar and Grill. A five-course dinner will be prepared by Pubbelly Sushi partner José Mendín, Fiola Miami’s executive chef Danny Ganem, Meat Market owner and executive chef Sean Brasel, and event host Goya Foods’ executive chef Fernando Desa.
On October 21, 16 of Miami’s top chefs will take part in the Chef Showdown competition at Lummus Park. Participating chefs will host ‘battle pavilions’ wherein guests are invited to sample dishes and vote for their favorites, before continuing onto the main stage for live demos which will have representatives from the culinary and media industries as judges. Each ‘battle’ or round will have a winner, and this year, an overall MVP will be selected to take home a prize of $10,000. Previous winners returning to defend their titles include: Bodega Taqueria y Tequila’s Jorge Ramos (Battle Taco), Beaker & Gray’s Brian Nasajon (Battle Crab), Rusty Pelican’s Jim Pastor (Battle Surf N’ Turf), Kosushi’s Shoyo Ido (Battle Sushi), Mercado Della Pescharia’s Alex Martinez (Oshen Battle Salmon), JRK!’s Wayne Sharpe (Battle Shrimp), and Uchi Miami’s Cristian Canencio (Battle Oyster).
The main event is a full day affair on October 22, spanning four blocks on the sands of South Beach, starting from Ocean Drive and 14th Street. There will be restaurant pop-ups, all-day open bars, live music stages, interactive sponsor experiences and beach games. Previous years have seen pop-ups from Joe’s Stone Crab, RED South Beach, The Lobster Shack, Pubbelly Sushi, Ella’s Oyster Bar, Tacos and Tattoos, Stiltsville Fish Bar, with over 70 menu items to choose from, including stone crabs, lobster waffle cones, steak and lobster skewers, ceviche, oysters, shrimp tacos, and shrimp cocktails. In addition, VIP ticket holders will gain access to a one-and-a-half block private village with exclusive experiences and private samplings.
For more information and to purchase tickets to the 10th South Beach Seafood Festival, visit sobeseafoodfest.com. Part of the proceeds from the festival will benefit CI Foundation’s EAT SMART program, a program that provides healthy meals and nutritional guidance to Florida’s youth.