Good news for Broward festivalgoers who feel overlooked by this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival: A new chef-studded culinary bash is coming to Hollywood.
A two-day showcase of South Florida’s acclaimed chefs, restaurants and breweries, the inaugural SAVOR SoFLO Festival will take place June 5 and June 6 on the sands south of host hotel Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. The centerpiece of this oceanfront bash: A 28,000-square-foot Grand Tasting Village tent along the palm tree-lined Hollywood Broadwalk will feature what SAVOR SoFLO calls a “first-class culinary showcase” of cooking demos and talks, beer and wine tastings, and chef competitions.
Festival founder Tammy Gail says the timing of SAVOR SoFLO – two weeks after South Beach Wine and Food Festival ends – is sheer coincidence. Unlike that much-larger beach bash, Gail wants hers to be strictly local, and so invited only South Florida restaurants, chefs and tastemakers, she says.
“I see us as an alternative to South Beach,” Gail says. “Everyone loves a great food and wine festival but there wasn’t one on the beach Broward could call its own,” Gail says. “This is a festival for curious foodies and it’s far more accessible. Instead of focusing on the rock-star celebrity chefs, the real celebrities will be the local chefs.”
The lineup, so far, is in flux, Gail says, but will include appearances and cooking demos from chefs at Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. Although the city of Hollywood gave her the unofficial greenlight to organize SAVOR SoFLO a year ago in March 2020, the Hollywood City Commission only approved her festival plan on March 17, she says. She’s currently in negotiations to feature eight restaurants and twice as many chefs under the Grand Tasting Tent.
“This is a work-in-progress,” Gail says. “The reality is, with our national partners, we’ve been working on this for a year. We have 20 grocery brands and 15 beer brands and spiritmakers all coming. It’s all coming together.”
For its inaugural year Savor SoFLO will limit attendance to 4,000 for both days, Gail says, and will adhere to CDC guidelines on mask-wearing and social distancing. Registration will take place at Johnson Square Plaza, 3031 Johnson St.
An honorary board member of December’s Winterfest Boat Parade and founder of Fort Lauderdale breast-cancer fundraiser Glam-a-Thon, Gail and her South Florida connections run deep. Along with South Florida events, she also programs Cocoa Beach Uncorked and SAVOR ST. PETE, two sister culinary festivals.
Admission to SAVOR SoFLO will cost $75, which includes unlimited tastings under the Grand Tasting Village tent, along with a limited-edition wine glass and tote bag. The $100 VIP lanyard grants access into a separate 9,000-square-foot VIP Spirits Lounge tent, south of the Grand Tasting Village, which will be stocked with top-shelf alcohol.
The inaugural Savor SoFlo Festival will take place 1-4 p.m. June 5 and June 6 at 901 N. Broadwalk on Hollywood Beach. Admission is $75, $100 for early noon entry and access to VIP Spirits Lounge. Go to SavorSoFlo.com.