Home » Arts and Entertainment Guide » From Clambakes To Cajun Cooking, Here's What To Expect At SOBEWFF's CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series

Arts and Entertainment Guide

From Clambakes To Cajun Cooking, Here's What To Expect At SOBEWFF's CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series

The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) has brought hundreds of thousands of foodies and renowned chefs from across the country to South Florida since 2001. Its presence in Broward County began in 2016 with the Taste Fort Lauderdale Series, now the CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series. This year’s five-day festival will be bigger than ever, with events making debuts all the way up in Palm Beach County. From Feb. 20 to 24, 11 events will be held in Fort Lauderdale, featuring clambakes to Cajun cuisines. We spoke with big-time chefs hosting drool-worthy dinners you definitely don’t want to miss.

Sam and Cody Carroll

Cajun-Cooking Master Class & Lunch

You’ll be hosting a Cajun cooking master class for CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale guests. What tips and tricks will you impart on students?

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Cajun cooking is all about using what you have and making it taste good. More than anything, we want our students to learn that you can pretty much use whatever resource you have available and turn it into something delicious for everyone to enjoy. It’s what us Cajuns are known for: resourcefulness. It’s all about using whatever ingredients you have available and turning them into a flavorful meal to enjoy with family and loved ones.

While the majority of events take place on South Beach and in Miami, why host your event in Fort Lauderdale?

We think Fort Lauderdale is just as good of a location to teach a Cajun class as any. Cody and I can teach a Cajun cooking class just about anywhere—in a farm, on the beach; you name it and we’re there cooking. We’re excited to bring this style of cuisine to South Florida and hope that the people are just as excited as we are. They can expect anything from making a roux to making hearty gumbo.

What other events and chefs are you looking forward to at SOBEWFF?

We’re really looking forward to the “Grand Tasting” on Sunday. A ton of great chefs under one roof with booze and good food—can you name a better event? I know a couple chefs from New Orleans will also be in town, like Nina Compton. Cody and I are great friends with her and her husband; so hopefully, we’ll run into them. We’re also looking forward to just meeting all the great talent and making new friends.

Jeff Mauro

Jeff Mauro

Bloody Mary Brunch, co-hosted with Geoffrey Zakarian

With so many events taking place on South Beach and in Miami, why is The Bloody Mary Brunch a good fit for CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale farther up north?

[The Diplomat Beach Resort] provides a perfect relaxed vibe for guests to enjoy a Sunday brunch. Once they arrive and taste our specialty bloody marys and featured dishes, they will certainly feel like they are on vacation.

What’s the most exciting thing about SOBEWFF?

It’s been a couple years for me, so I’m excited for all of it. For me, it’s about shaking hands, taking goofy selfies and connecting with the thousands that spend the time to come out to these awesome events. I love my chef friends, but I do it for the people, you know?

What are you looking forward to doing while you’re in Florida?

I’m looking forward to dipping my toes in the sand while sipping on a cold one and feasting on crab claws; all much needed after a long Chicago winter.

Alex Guarnaschelli

Alex Guarnaschelli

Clambake, co-hosted with Jorge Ramos

You’re co-hosting the Clambake at Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach. What draws you to Broward instead of South Beach?

The greatest thing about the SOBEWFF is that all the money raised goes to such a great cause. (The festival benefits FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center.) If we can extend the festival’s range past South Beach and into Fort Lauderdale with fun event programming, why not do it? Plus, a clambake is super fun.

What can attendees expect to see this year?

Expect to see a wonderful mixture of different chefs collaborating in such a great part of the world, having lots of fun and mischief—and lots of seafood. It’s going to be awesome.

What do you like most about Fort Lauderdale?

My first impression of Fort Lauderdale was during spring break in college. Now that I have returned so many times as an adult, Florida has so much natural beauty. I like that it’s so mellow and also filled with so much energy at the same time. Buy tickets. See you there.

Local Arts & Entertainment Scene

Art and Culture Center of Hollywood

The center presents contemporary gallery exhibits for visual arts, performances and educational programs for children and adults to learn about the arts. 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood; 954.921.3274; artandculturecenter.org

ARTSERVE

ArtServe allows local artists and cultural groups to enrich the community’s knowledge of the arts by promoting individual works, mentorship opportunities and collaborative networking with businesses and fellow artists. 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954.462.8190; artserve.org

BB&T Center Home to the Florida Panthers since 1996, the BB&T Center can host 20,000 people in its innovative arena. It is an A-list location for concerts, sporting events and presentations. 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise; 954.835.7000; thebbtcenter.com

Bienes Center for the Arts

The state-of-the-art black box theater and performance center is located on the campus of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale. The 300-seat facility regularly presents regional and national theater productions, concerts, events and exhibits as well as educational seminars. 2801 SW 12th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954.513.2270; bca-sta.org

Broward Art Guild Inc.

The oldest and largest organization of working artists in Broward County, the Broward Art Guild Inc. is a volunteer-run organization that works to preserve and share art. 3280 NE 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale; 954.537.3370; browardartguild.org

Broward Center For The Performing Arts

As a host to more than 700 performances each year, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts exposes Fort Lauderdale locals to Broadway musicals, operas, ballets and concerts in its venue overlooking the New River. 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954.462.0222; browardcenter.org

Broward Stage Door Theater

The Broward Stage Door Theater hosts shows that have audience members reaching for tissues and smiling from ear to ear. With two theaters that hold about 500 people, this facility welcomes local and international performers. 8036 W. Sample Road, Margate; 954.344.7765; stagedoorfl.org

Coral Springs Museum of Art

The 30,000-square-foot center and art museum exhibits diverse Florida, national and international artists. The museum also features an International Peace Garden with sculptures and beautiful landscaping. 2855 Coral Springs Drive, Ste. A, Coral Springs; 954.340.5000; coralspringsmuseum.org

Culture Room

The Culture Room is a fun concert venue for Indie, punk, modern rock and heavy metal bands. 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 954.564.1074; cultureroom.net

FAT Village

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Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre

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Hard Rock Live

The 5,500-seat arena hosts plenty of musicians, comedians and sporting events for enthusiastic fans. 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 954.797.5555; seminolehardrockhollywood.com/hard-rock-live.htm

Hollywood Bandshell

Home to 30 live bands, the Hollywood Bandshell features free local music to passersby. 200 Johnson St. & the Broadwalk, Hollywood; 954.921.3404; margaritavillehollywoodbeachresort.com/entertainment

Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center

This center features regular local dance performances. 1770 Monroe St., Hollywood; 954.921.3439; artandculturecenter.org/theater

Lauderhill Performing Arts Center

The 1,143-seat theater hosts diverse, quality performing arts programs. 3800 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill; 954.777.2055; lpacfl.com

Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center

With 498 seats, this auditorium enhances the academic experience at NSU and holds academic seminars and arts programming. 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd., Davie; 954.462.0222; nova.edu/miniaci/

NSU Museum of Art

This hub of the South Florida art coast provides the community access to innovative exhibitions, a collection of more than 6,000 works and exceptional artistic expressions. 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954.525.5500; nsuartmuseum.org

Parker Playhouse

The community is brought together through academic and artistic performances at the Parker Playhouse. 707 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale; 954.462.0222; parkerplayhouse.com