Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival, one of the region’s most anticipated culinary events, is back from April 9 through April 13, 2024 as a five-day extravaganza of unforgettable foodie events, presented by Breakthru Beverage Florida and GOYA Foods hosted with the support of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. This year’s festival promises to surpass last year’s inaugural edition with an expanded lineup, including the new “Experience Water Street” on Wednesday evening; a thrilling Chef Showdown competition featuring last year’s champions who are all back to defend their titles; and an even larger grand tasting event that’s not to be missed.
The festival is proud to announce celebrity chef Robert Irvine, known for his dynamic culinary style and engaging personality, as the special celebrity guest who will add an extra layer of excitement to the festivities, along with Executive Chef, Fernando Desa, of GOYA Foods, with honorary chef host, Chef Sean Brasel of Meat Market.
The festival builds on the outstanding success of the 2023 event, created by CI Management, known for their South Beach Seafood Festival and producers of Las Olas Wine and Food Festival among other events. The 2024 Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival consists of five separate ticketed events taking place throughout the exhilarating week. The festivities kick off on Tuesday, April 9, with “An Evening at The Tampa Club,” a private, invite-only ticketed experience. The following evening, guests will gather at one of the city’s most exciting neighborhoods for the first-ever “Experience Water Street,” where participating restaurants will showcase their unique culinary styles in this newly launched event that includes different four-course pairing dinners that will be set at their favorite dining destination in the area with celebrity chef collaborations to top it off. The following night, ticketed guests will be able to enjoy another set of popular hot spots at “Experience Hyde Park,” showcasing the crème de la crème of culinary talent in Tampa’s buzzing Hyde Park area.
The legendary “Chef Showdown” competition makes its way once again to Florida’s west coast on Friday night as Tampa Bay’s top chefs gear up for an exciting night of ultimate cook-offs on the all new Publix Showcase Kitchen stage and presented by GOYA Foods and Mountain Valley Water. Hosting this year’s festivities is celebrity guest and official Chef Ref for the night, Chef Robert Irvine of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible, along with Great Day Live’s Java Ingram. The world-class chef, entrepreneur and philanthropist will be on hand along with title sponsor, his newest spirits line, Irvine Spirits, to help attendees select this year’s champion. This year’s event will include a new charitable component earlier in the day on Friday with “Breakfast with Heroes,” a morning breakfast with 200 veterans, sponsored by Publix and hosted in partnership with the Robert Irvine Foundation, which helps at-need veterans and first responders in a variety of ways: training service dogs, making mental health and wellness services available, providing mobility devices for the disabled, and much more.
On the festival’s climactic Saturday, attendees will converge at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for the “Grand Tasting” event. This afternoon extravaganza promises a lavish spread of delectable bites and invigorating drinks, courtesy of Tampa Bay’s premier dining establishments with upwards of 40+ restaurant partners showcased. Complementing these culinary delights will be a curated selection of internationally acclaimed wines, cocktails, and craft brews, all tailored to offer a VIP experience, created exclusively by wine and spirits provider, Breakthru Beverage Florida and their suppliers. This is a chance to savor the very best of Tampa Bay’s gastronomic offerings in a picturesque setting, closing out the festival in a flavorful fashion. This year the festival’s organizers have added plenty of additional seating and shaded areas to keep guests comfortable and cool as they feast and imbibe, with the all new Ashley Ultimate Lounge and more, our Official Indoor and Outdoor Furniture Partner..
“Bringing five days of unparalleled culinary enjoyment and excitement to Tampa Bay fills us with tremendous pride,” expressed Valerie Roy, Director of Marketing and Client Strategy at CI Management, the orchestrators of the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival. “Our dedicated production team, along with the region’s top culinary talents, have put together an even more stellar series of events than last year. These not only showcase the best of the local dining scene, but also capture the essence of the region’s vibrant gastronomy. We are thrilled to officially make this an annual celebration that unites both residents and visitors in appreciating and reveling in the flavors of Tampa Bay.”
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival this year, as the celebrity chef host throughout the week,” says Irvine. “It’s an incredible opportunity to experience and celebrate the vibrant culinary scene of my home, Tampa Bay. The festival is a spectacular showcase of local talent, creativity, and the diverse flavors that make this region so special. I’m looking forward to engaging with the community, sharing my passion for food, introducing everyone to my new spirits line, Irvine Spirits, and highlighting the amazing talent that Tampa Bay has to offer during this extraordinary gastronomic celebration.”
This year’s festival continues to support the EAT SMART campaign, a 501 c(3) nonprofit program that provides healthy meals and nutritional guidance to the local community and Florida’s youth through programs in our event destinations, local school systems and partner education non-profits.