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Seed Food & Wine Festival: First Large-Scale Vegan Event in Miami and Only One in Florida

Bunnie Cakes and its vegan cupcakes will be at SFWF.
Bunnie Cakes and its vegan cupcakes will be at SFWF.

Vegans don't get much love in this pork belly town, but that's about to change with the introduction of an annual event that celebrates plant-based cuisine.

The Seed Food & Wine Festival (SFWF) will do for vegans, vegetarians, and the "veggie-curious" what the South Beach Wine & Food Festival does for omnivores: provide a plethora of events featuring celebrity chefs, fine wines, craft beers, gourmet cuisine, and more celebrities.

SFWF consists of five days of events, including upscale dinners, garden parties, a Southern-style brunch, a film screening, and a large-scale outdoor festival. Expect vegan celebrities, celebrity chefs, professional athletes, and health experts, plus food, wine, beer, and spirits samples.

Entrepreneur Michelle Gaber and event organizer and producer Alison Burgos cofounded the event after realizing the lack of education surrounding plant-based diets. "We are excited that Seed will be a catalyst to open up a conversation in South Florida about plant-based health, sustainability, and compassionate living," Burgos says.

And as foodies, the two knew there was much more to vegan living than tossing some kale and spinach in a bowl and drowning the mix in raspberry vinaigrette.

While part of the inspiration for Seed stemmed from a desire to raise consciousness and introduce Miami residents to a more healthful lifestyle, the pair also wants to demonstrate that vegan dishes can be just as sophisticated and palate-pleasing as nonvegan recipes.

The festival is scheduled to begin Wednesday, October 15, and run through Sunday, October 19, with the full-day outdoor festival taking place Saturday, October 18, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. In addition to food and drink samples, the outdoor festival will feature live cooking demonstrations, music, and other entertainment.

SFWF 2014 is the first of what is slated to be an annual gathering and the only one of its kind in Florida. Burgos has had huge success organizing and producing large-scale events -- everywhere from Miami to Las Vegas to Puerto Rico -- that attract more than 40,000 people a year.

Early projections indicate that SFWF will draw 5,000 attendees during the five-day festival, and it's no surprise -- Miami's vegan and vegetarian community has long been clamoring for an event of this kind to sprout.

General admission tickets to the Seed Food & Wine Festival cost $40, and VIP admission costs $75. General admission includes beer, food, and winetastings. VIP extras include early admission, access to the VIP lounge and an open bar, plus a meet-and-greet with celebrity chefs and speakers. The festival will take place in midtown; an exact location has yet to be announced. Visit seedfoodandwine.com.

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