Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Boca Raton Wine and Food Festival 2012

Two weekends ago was the 3rd Annual Boca Raton Wine and Food Festival.  I filled my tank with gas and headed out to Boca on Saturday night to find out what this "Culinary Affair" was all about. I had tickets to their Grand Tasting, a 1/6 mile stretch of palate pleasing samples prepared by 70 chefs from the Tri-County Area, and over 50 tasting stations throughout the festival offering the world's finest varietals of wine.

Hosted by Resident Executive Chef Lee Bakley and Executive Chef Juan Montalvo, the Grand Tasting event took place on Saturday, November 11th, from 6-10 pm in the beautiful Boca Corporate Center and Campus (former IBM Headquarters), located at 5000 T-Rex Avenue. The area was transformed into a gastronomical global showcase featuring 6 World Culinary Regions and a Sweet Endings Village. The walkway was creatively decorated in representation of the regions and it was fun to see a lot of the chefs and their staff dressed in costumes.

The Hungry Cuban

Believe me when I tell you the place was packed! Besides the endless tables of delectable bites and the array of fine wines, there was also live entertainment and cooking demonstrations in an area called Kitchen Alley. Among the chefs we got to speak to was Chef Juan from The Hungry Cuban. After serving 28 years as a firefighter and paramedic captain for the city of Deerfield Beach, Chef Juan decided to follow his passion for cooking. He graduated from culinary school, used his extensive firehouse cooking background and started his paella company; bringing nutritious foods to his clients and cooking up tasty Paellas at catered events. I'll admit I mozied on down to his table a few times. The paella was finger licking good!

Creating something delectable

NYY Steak in Seminole Casino
Coconut Creek
Sweet Revenge
The culinary world trip through the festival proved to be not only delicious, but also a sensory experience with each new bite. Although it was my first time attending the Boca Raton Wine and Food Festival, it certainly will not be the last. Besides the Grand Tasting Event, the festivities included a exclusive Dinner Under the Stars on Friday night, featuring a four course dinner with wine pairings. Saturday morning showcased Perfect Pairings, where their Executive Culinary Team explored the art of pairing food and wine by conducting aromatic experiences to identify the fruits, vegetable and herbs that inspire each food and wine pairing. The festival continued the morning after the Grand Tasting,   by celebrating the Jazz Bubbles and Brunch; a chic, European delight, an array of brunch stations. 

Candy's Cake Pops
Molecular Cocktails
After my Grand Tasting Experience at the Boca Raton Wine and Food Festival, I can certainly see why it's called a Culinary Affair. I can't wait for number 4 next year! Check out their website at http://www.bocaratonwineandfoodfestival.com to see a full listing of the participating chefs as well as more information on the event.

Nice Souvenir...Cheers!


  1. Thanks for posting this article and for mentioning me.

    Chef Juan

    1. You're very welcome! Hope to see you again soon. :)

  2. As someone who has grown up in the area I think that you have done a wondering job on displaying your places that you went to and I also think that you picked some great places to go. I hope that you had a great time. Liv Lean Meals