The third edition of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival takes place next week at a new oceanfront location.
The festival, which celebrates Broward County’s food, wine, craft beer, and spirits scene, will showcase its highest number of activations yet — a total of 20 events held across the county from Monday, January 10, through Sunday, January 16.
“We debuted in 2019 with four activations, but always had our one-, three-, and five-year plans in place,” says Phil Marro, who cofounded the festival with partner Kate Reed. “COVID made us refocus our energies and efforts into growing the festival in different ways and expand even more than we initially predicted, which turns out to be a great thing for everyone.”
Marro also wants to put a spotlight on Fort Lauderdale’s culinary footprint. “Our goal is to keep elevating the local food scene and make sure people know that Fort Lauderdale and Broward County are exceptional destinations for all kinds of foodies.”
Though they were eager to build on the momentum from the event’s debut in 2019, Reed and Marro had to pause in 2020 because of the pandemic. They hosted a reimagined festival week in 2021, offering guests a series of small, socially distanced dinners across Broward. Owing to its success, the dinners have become a permanent feature of the festival. Six will be held this year and the first, an intimate meal hosted by chef Rino Cerbone of Heritage restaurant, will kick off the festival on Monday, January 10 (tickets cost $175).
An expanded series of educational, chef-driven food and beverage classes has also been incorporated into the festival, including kid-friendly options. The new additions will join the event’s already popular Cocktail Confidential, a spirit-focused event that will feature three signature cocktails crafted by a master mixologist with light bites prepared by TRP Taste’s culinary team on Wednesday, January 12 (tickets cost $75).
A Poolside BBQ Battle will take place at the Hyatt Centric Las Olas, featuring a lineup of local chefs joining Master Chef season seven winner Shaun O’Neale and Chopped champion Ed Randolph from New York’s Handsome Devil BBQ. The evening will include a silent auction of memorabilia, with proceeds benefitting Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital (tickets start at $109).
The Grand tasting takes place on Saturday, January 15, at Las Olas Oceanside Park, with restaurants like Mastro’s Ocean Club and Pink Love Donuts and More participating, alongside Temple Street Eatery and Sushi Garage. According to Marro, around 3,000 guests are expected to attend and enjoy bites, cocktails, and wine tastings along with an array of cooking demos (tickets start at $69).
The festival closes with Family Day, a free event featuring kid-friendly activities, food trucks, and cocktail bars on Sunday, January 16.
Greater Fort Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival. January 10-16, 2022, at Las Olas Oceanside Park, 3000 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, and other venues. For ticket information and a complete schedule of events, visit gflfoodwine.com.