Hot Dish

A Festival for Every Kind of Food Lover

From meals alongside Rachael Ray to swamp cabbage and schnitzel, the southern stretch of the Sunshine State has no shortage of food events in late February and early March.

BY February 24, 2016












It seems like there’s a festival for everyone in southern Florida over the next two weeks. Find the perfect one for you below.

If you’re a……….


Celebrity Chef Devotee:

It’s put on by the Food Network and Food & Wine on Miami Beach, and for the past 15 years their top talents have flown down for the parties and dinners. Tickets are available for many events, so you still have a chance to mingle with your favorite TV stars.


Craft Beer Connoisseur:


Both of these festive gatherings feature bottomless samples of local, statewide and national craft brews. Bonita’s will have more than 100 different types of suds available, and a slew of local barbecue and other food trucks will be selling on-site. Naples’ will be held at the pretty Bayfront, and tickets include food samples from local restaurants like 7th Avenue Social, Tacos & Tequila Cantina and The Turtle Club.


Adventurous Eater:

For a taste of Cracker cuisine at its finest, head in-state to LaBelle for the 50th anniversary of this homage to swamp cabbage—which actually is not cabbage, but the heart of the sabal palm, our official state tree. Try it in a stew or as a fritter alongside a parade, rodeo, car show and more.


Not Afraid to Wear Lederhosen:

Who says Oktoberfest should be only in October? In an effort to re-create a similar rousing celebration of Bavarian revelry, a local stylist with German roots, Sashy Zachmann, and his wife started throwing their own winter “alm party” (the German way of saying "a party in the mountains") six years ago. Now, more than 400 people are expected to attend their event on March 5 in Naples, and the $40 ticket covers unlimited schnitzel, spaetzle and imported beer.


American as Caramel Apples and Fried Twinkies:

If you yearn for a dose of nostalgia through funnel cake and cotton candy, don’t delay in heading over to the Lee County Civic Center for a spin on the giant ferris wheel, snow cone in hand. 


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