The Pensacola Beach Celebrity Chefs are prepped and ready to serve up the food and spice up the crowds at the 10th Annual Taste of the Beach festival Sept. 15-16 on Pensacola Beach.
Presented by the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce, Taste of the Beach is Pensacola Beach’s annual foodie festival that celebrates the beach’s talented chefs and their unique coastal cuisine with cooking demonstrations, chef challenges, sample tastings and a free live concert.
The Pensacola Beach Celebrity Chefs include Jere Doyle of Crabs We Got ‘Em; Dan Dunn of H2O at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front Hotel; Josh Warner of The Grand Marlin; Dennis Moore of Flounder’s Chowder House; and John Smith of Hemingway’s Island Grill.
“This is our way of celebrating the amazing culinary scene happening daily on Pensacola Beach and spotlighting those directly responsible for it — our beach chefs,” said Alison Westmoreland, president of the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce.
The party gets started Friday night with a special, ticketed VIP event at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Front at 6 p.m. Guests will sample specially-created hors d’oeuvres before a beginning a formal, five-course meal and wine pairing while viewing an on-stage cooking demonstration presented by five Pensacola Beach chefs. Tickets are $75 each and can be purchased on the Taste of the Beach website.
The daylong Taste of the Beach outdoor festival opens on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with about 20 beach restaurants showcasing their signature dishes for just $5 each. The festival, which is centered around the Gulfside Pavilion at Casino Beach, amps up the entertainment with chef demonstrations, cooking competitions and live music.
Kicking off the day is the Team Cook Off challenge, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Local celebrities, beach businesses and civic organizations will be invited to compete against each other using surprise ingredients for the chance to win the Taste of the Beach Cup trophy.
Next up is the Chef’s Challenge – starting at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Gulfside Pavilion Stage. The cooking contest pits six Pensacola Beach chefs against each other using a secret ingredient for the chance to win a cash prize, a trophy and bragging rights for a year.
The five Pensacola Beach Celebrity Chefs take the stage at 1 p.m. to present simultaneous live cooking demonstrations. Following the demonstrations, festival-goers with pre-purchased wristbands can sample the chefs’ creations. A limited number of wristbands are available for $20 at www.tasteofpensacolabeach.com. Immediately following will be a Q-and-A session and meet-and-greet.
From 5 to 7 p.m., festival-goers can sample a selection of microbrews and beers provided by Lewis Bear Co. Wristbands can be purchased on the website for $12.
Finally, prepare to get your Classic Rock fix on Saturday night at 7 p.m. when White Tie Rock Ensemble takes the Gulfside Pavilion stage to end the 10th annual Taste of the Beach festival. White Tie is an ambitious group of local musicians that combine classic rock hits by artists such as Journey, Aerosmith, Van Halen and The Eagles with the precision and detail of a symphony orchestra, creating the ultimate music experience.
The concert is free to the public, but a limited number of VIP seating tickets will be sold for $30 each. The VIP area will be cordoned off and will be general admission for ticket holders. Please note that no coolers or extra chairs will be allowed in the VIP area.
For more details, VIP event tickets or lodging information, visit www.TasteofPensacolaBeach.com.