By Eli Khazzam, Economic Development Manager, City of Hallandale Beach

For the third year in a row the Hallandale Beach Food & Groove Festival returned on a grand scale! On Saturday evening, February 26 the city of Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and South Beach Food and Wine festival organizers produced the City’s hallmark event in front of the Pegasus Sculpture at Gulfstream Park. It was an evening of dining, dancing, and drinking in a large open-air venue with cuisine from over 25 of Hallandale’s restaurants, representing four continents of culture. The event was hosted by celebrity chef Nick DiGiovanni. Mr. DiGiovanni was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 Rising Stars in the Culinary World in 2020.

Festivals provide a way for cities to produce a unique brand: a theme that becomes embedded in the locale. Here in South Florida, the South Beach Food and Wine brand is a theme – an international name. It’s about showcasing the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. The Food & Groove Festival incorporates this idea with the best of its local chefs and restaurants.

This year’s Hallandale Beach Food & Groove Festival saw a 100% increase in attendance from 2021 as attendance doubled from 500 to 1,000 attendees. Some were tourists and many were locals from the South Florida region. With a “dress in whites” theme, balmy breezes, and aromas of spicy dishes; the event could have easily been mistaken for Caribbean island resort.  Tickets cost $75 per person for entry.

Why the big turnout? Festival goers yearned for a return to the pre-pandemic pace of life in Hallandale Beach and South Florida. In a large, open-air environment, they were able to celebrate safely and enjoy the all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink promise of the event in class. There were two live bands, a disc jockey, stilt walkers, and fire dancers. Each guest received a high-quality gift bag complete with treats for wining and dining in class.

The following restaurants participated in the event:

  • El Tamarindo Coal Fired Pizza & Par
  • Ten Palms
  • Chapultepec Mexican Restaurant
  • Moises Bakery
  • Belly Fish
  • Limon Hallandale
  • CAO Bakery & Cafe
  • The Krazy Vegan
  • La Estancia Argentina
  • Il Mercato
  • Matteo’s Trattoria
  • Yardhouse
  • Dunn’s River Island Cafe
  • Don Lolo’s
  • Ceviche Avenue
  • Chef Irie
  • See Thai & Japanese Cuisine
  • Nana’s Sapibon Haitian Restaurant
  • Wapo Tacos!
  • El Tayta
  • Urban Thai & Sushi
  • D’s Delights
  • Mable’s Island Kitchen
  • Yudy’s Bakery

This year also saw the presentation of Best of Show awards for participating restaurants at the event. Restaurants had the opportunity to win first, second, or third-place awards. These awards will be based on presentation (the visual appeal of how your cuisine is arranged on each plate, cup, or bowl), uniqueness (the originality of your culinary creation), and of course tastiness!  Prizes were awarded were awarded to Dr. Limon (1st Place), Dunns River Island Café (2nd Place) and Ceviche Avenue (3rd Place). The contest was judged by a panel of three judges.

Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency looks forward to producing an even bigger and better even in 2023 with a new themes, contests, and features.

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