Food, The Frugalista Life

Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival returns next year with guests host and more

I was fortunate to participate in all of the First Annual Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival earlier this year. Getting to sample all of the finest foods from some of Tampa Bay’s finest restaurants was such a thrill. Next year, the festival returns with exciting foodie events and specials guests.

The culinary event is scheduled for April 9-13, 2023 and, according to a press release, promises to up the ante from its inaugural festivities. An expanded lineup for 2024 includes the “Experience Water Street” event, a Chef Showdown featuring returning champions, and a larger grand tasting. Featured guest Chef Robert Irvine adds an extra layer of of excitement along with Executive Chef Fernando Mesa of GOYA Foods and honorary chef host Chef Sean Brasel of Meat Market.

2024’s Tampa Bay Wine and Food Festival consists of five events. The week starts off with the ticketed event “An Evening at The Tampa Club” on Tuesday followed by the first-ever “Experience Water Street”, a four-course pairing dinner at the area’s restaurants, on Wednesday, “Experience Hyde Park” on Thursday, the “Chef Showdown” competition on Friday hosted by Irvine and Great Day Live’s Java Ingram. A new charitable component that Friday morning is “Breakfast with Heroes”, a morning breakfast with veterans. The Grand Tasting event on Saturday includes 40+ restaurants with a curated selection of acclaimed wines, cocktails, and craft brews.

“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.”

Chef Robert Irvine couldn’t contain his excitement for the 2024 festivities.

“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.”

2024’s festival continues to support the Eat Smart campaign, which is a program providing healthy meals and nutritional guidance to communities and youth.

Tickets and weekend bundles are available now for presale on the Follow along and be in the know by following along on Instagram @tampabaywff and Facebook @tampabaywff.