Celebrated event organizer and producer Alison Burgos, along with partner and entrepreneur, Michelle Gaber, are raising Miami’s culinary capital by pioneering a food and wine festival the likes of which only take place in a few select cities, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. While these other vegan festivals may last a day or two, the Seed Food & Wine Festival takes place in Miami and the Magic City’s unofficial motto “Go big or go home” means that vegan and omnivorous foodies alike can expect five full days of edible and educational events.
SFWF 2014 is the first of what will be an annual gathering that celebrates spirits, craft beer, fine wine and all kinds of plant-based cuisine, while also raising health awareness. The Festival gathers some of the most talented vegan chefs around, as well as vegan celebrities, athletes, and health experts for an educational, enriching, but most of all delicious, five days of food, wine, film, parties and events. This festival will also include a large-scale outdoor festival featuring food and wine samples, music, and more. It begins Wednesday, October 15 and running through Sunday, October 19.
Again, this being Miami, don’t expect a foodie version of the Burning Man music festival. All SFWF events, including the day-long Festival, will project the essence of the city itself – sexy sophistication. Peripheral events include upscale dinners, garden parties, a Southern-style brunch and film screening, with the full-day Festival taking place on Saturday the 18th from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 110 NE 36th Street in Midtown Miami. Whether they’re vegan, vegetarian or just veggie curious, savvy locals who enjoy fresh, organic and locally-sourced food, craft beers, spirits and quality wines will appreciate SFWF.
SFWF’s co-founder, Alison Burgos, is no stranger to organizing and promoting large-scale events. Since 1998, Burgos has produced events and destination weekends in Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte and Puerto Rico – events that attract over 40,000 people annually. After a battle with rheumatoid arthritis that left her temporarily confined to a wheelchair, she sought out alternative ways of healing, which led to her raising her food consciousness. Burgos, a self-proclaimed foodie, adopted a primarily plant-based diet, which improved her health dramatically. The transformation she experienced inspired her to educate others on the benefits of plant-based diets, and that inspiration culminated in the Seed Food & Wine Festival.
Eating a more conscious plant-based diet lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure, while also lowering the risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. A plant-based diet is also good for the environment and promotes an animal cruelty-free life. But unlike some may think, a plant-based diet doesn’t consist entirely of “rabbit food.” SFWF will demonstrate just how delicious a plant-based diet can be with plenty of delectable vegan food, wine, spirit, and craft beer samples, plus cooking demonstrations performed by celebrity chefs. Seed is expected to draw 5,000 attendees who enjoy fresh, farm-to-table gourmet cuisine and conscious living during the five-day festival, not only pleasing discriminating palates, but increasing food awareness among Miami residents.
Tickets to the Festival cost $40 for General Admission and $75 for VIP. General admission includes beer, food and wine tastings. VIP extras include admission one hour before the Festival opens to the general public; access to the VIP lounge, which features an open spirits bar; and a meet and greet with celebrity chefs and speakers. Follow the Seed Food & Wine Festival on Twitter: @SeedFw, Facebook: Facebook.com/seedfoodandwine, and Instagram: SeedFW.