Guide to the Crave GFL Series
at South Beach Wine & Food Festival
You don’t have to leave Greater Fort Lauderdale to take a bite out of the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Get ready to wine and dine at the Crave GFL Series.
By Angela Caraway-Carlton
CRAVE GFL Series
The most decadent time of the year is here, with the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) set to take over Miami on Feb. 19-23, 2020. In case you don’t know, it’s a five-day event showcasing celebrity chefs, private dinners, grand tastings, and the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers. Basically, it’s a delicious excuse to gorge yourself with the best of the best.
Over recent years, the popular festival has expanded north to Greater Fort Lauderdale with CRAVE GFL, a series of foodie-driven events that take place around Broward County. This year, expect everything from elaborate sit-down dinners with celebrity chefs to movies with well-loved food trucks to a rowdy drag brunch and fun-filled family events. Those new to the wine and food extravaganza, should bring their comfy shoes and stretchy pants—this is not the time to count calories!
One of the most coveted parts of the festival are the intimate dinners where culinary greats go all out for guests. It’s a great time to mix and mingle, get autographs, and snap photos with your fave chefs.
Wednesday, February 19, 7:00 p.m.
Kick off the tasty week on Wednesday, Feb. 19 with a sit-down dinner at lauded steakhouse, Steak 954 at the W Hotel, where powerhouse duo NYC restaurateur Michael Lomonaco and Steak 954 Executive Chef Johan Svensson will create an elevated meal while diners soak up sweeping views of Fort Lauderdale Beach.
The following night, Thursday, Feb. 20, move down the beach to beachy-chic S3 Restaurant. “Iron Chef” Marc Forgione, chef/owner of Michelin-starred Restaurant Marc Forgione in New York, will show off his innovative New American cuisine alongside Chef Tiffani Faison, a James Beard Award-nominee and frequent judge on Food Network’s “Chopped,” and S3 Executive Chef Jorlian Rivera. The delectable dining all takes place while you sip wines from the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits portfolio.
On Friday, Feb. 21, act like a local and head to the enclave of Rio Vista for a dose of la dolce vita at much-loved Valentino Cucina Italiana. Executive Chef Joel Ehrlich and Stefano Secchi of Rezdôra in New York are sure to curate a modern Italian feast that will blow your mind.
At oceanfront restaurant Burlock Coast at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale, on Saturday, Feb. 22, let one of Fort Lauderdale’s best chefs Paula Da Silva and TV personality, Cat Cora—who made TV history as the first-ever female “Iron Chef”—wow you with an imaginative menu of farm-to-table dishes with ingredients sourced from South Florida.
Those in-the-know pace themselves during the week to save up for the grand finale on Sunday, Feb 23.
Sunday, February 23, 12:30 p.m.
You’ll discover the ultimate Sunday Funday at Point Royal inside The Diplomat Beach Resort on Hollywood Beach, during an epic brunch hosted by Food Network Chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian and fellow Food Network Chef Katie Lee. The chefs work the crowd as jazz tunes float through the air and visitors nosh on items from the extensive raw bar—hello, Florida stone crabs—along with roasted suckling pig, sweet and savory brunch items, and sweets from an over-the-top dessert room.
Another good-time Sunday brunch is the Drag Brunch hosted by Carson Kressley, judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and the team that brings you PRIDE Fort Lauderdale each year. Taking place at the W Fort Lauderdale on Fort Lauderdale Beach, expect a rowdy time with free-flowing wine and cocktails, dishes prepared by some of the most creative chefs in Fort Lauderdale, and shows by charismatic drag performers.
For something out of the ordinary, break away from the restaurant scene.
Friday, February 21, 1:00 p.m.
Get the kids in on the foodie action Saturday, Feb. 21 at Gulfstream Park. Hallandale Beach Food & Groove is a family-friendly event featuring food from 20 Hallandale restaurants, art, entertainment, activities for kids, and wine for the adults.
On Feb. 21, head to Hallandale Beach for a movie night under the stars. Sample wine and other family-friendly beverages, bites from some of South Florida's best food trucks, sweets from James Beard Foundation Pastry Chef of the Year (1994) Jacques Torres, along with a complimentary screening of the food-focused movie “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”
New to the festival is the popular Sandwich Showdown from the sister festival in New York City, which will take over the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort on Saturday, Feb. 22. Jeff Mauro, host of the hit Food Network shows “The Kitchen” and “Sandwich King,” will be at the helm of this midday lunch, so you know the sandwiches will be legit. From the gooey to the crispy, see how all the sandwiches stack up while sipping on beer, wine, and cocktails.