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The South Beach Seafood Festival Returns With More Space on the Sand

click to enlarge The South Beach Seafood Festival 2021 returns to Lummus Park. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LALAN PRODUCTIONS/SOUTH BEACH SEAFOOD FEST
The South Beach Seafood Festival 2021 returns to Lummus Park.
Photo courtesy of Lalan Productions/South Beach Seafood Fest
After a one-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, the South Beach Seafood Festival returns to the sand for its eighth iteration, bringing some of South Florida's most talented seafood chefs together for a variety of events, dinners, competitive cookoffs, and beachside tastings.

The seafood extravaganza, dubbed Seafood Week, will run Wednesday, October 20, through Saturday, October 23, and once again benefit CI Foundation's Eat Smart program, an effort that promotes healthy eating among Florida's youth.

“We are so excited to be back to celebrate South Florida and all the incredible culinary mastery of the area. After the difficult year everyone had and the creativity we saw, there's nothing more we would like to do,” says Tod Roy, who cofounded the festival with his wife, Valerie Roy. “We missed not being able to showcase the local talent and bring the community and friends from near and far together to dive into the kickoff of stone crab season the way we like to do it, South Beach style.”

The five-day fete starts Wednesday, October 20, with a sold-out evening at Joe’s Stone Crab. On Thursday, October 21, the Shelborne hotel will host a "Crabs, Slabs, and Cabs" dine-and-wine-around party with several local chefs (tickets cost $150).


Some of Miami's best culinary names go head-to-head in a battle for seafood supremacy on Friday, October 22, during the evening's "VIP Chef Showdown." The competition spotlights seven different battles, each pitting two chefs in a duel, with toques like Brian Nasajon of Beaker & Gray and Bernie Matz (formerly of Bodega, now owner of Cafe Bernie in Miami Beach) cooking on stage.
click to enlarge The South Beach Seafood Festival returns with multiple events. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LALAN PRODUCTIONS/SOUTH BEACH SEAFOOD FEST
The South Beach Seafood Festival returns with multiple events.
Photo courtesy of Lalan Productions/South Beach Seafood Fest
"What the South Beach Seafood Festival does to highlight the local culinary talents is so important. We all work so hard all year long to bring together the flavors of South Florida day in and day out.,” says Matz. “This festival is all about us and that's what sets it apart. No matter how much fun we have with the chef competition, what’s amazing is that we all get to come together, kick off stone crab season, and really showcase the best culinary cuisine in the area while having a great time."

On Saturday, October 23, Seafood Week's main event will take over five blocks of Lummus Park, with 15 pop-up cafes from eateries such as Pubbelly Sushi, Red the Steakhouse, and Ella’s Oyster Bar offering more than 70 different menu items plus an open bar of cocktails and wines. The day will also include a "Culinary Showcase Kitchen" by Milam’s Markets, live-music stages, and other interactive experiences.

The two-block VIP Village will feature a Goya culinary pavilion, sampling stations from eateries such as Old Lisbon, Mau, Miami, and Tur Kitchen, along with wine tastings, a taco lounge, and live DJ sets including Rockwell.

According to Todd Roy, this year’s bash will accommodate a maximum of 1,200 attendees, allowing for ample social distancing.

“Since we are on the beach, we have access to 250,000 square feet of open air space. We have more space capacity without increasing the amount of attendees," he notes. " We are also adhering to CDC guidelines to ensure we stay smart, keep safe, and follow protocols that have been set in place by the authorities and municipalities to ensure everyone can enjoy the week responsibly.”

South Beach Seafood Festival. Wednesday, October 20, through Saturday, October 23. Festival ticket prices start at $55 and are available online via sobeseafoodfest.com.