Miami is a world class destination that has served as a playground for travelers since the beginning of the 20th century. Visitors are attracted to the city’s tropical climate, unmatched nightlife, fashion, and highly rated restaurants. The city has something for everyone whether it’s can't-miss community festivals or miles of white sand beaches.
The Deering Seafood Festival has been one of Miami’s top culinary events for the past 13 years, and the 2017 installment will take place on March 26 at the Deering Estate, located on the coast of Biscayne Bay. The event is a full seafood experience complete with meals from a variety of Miami's top restaurants and cooking demonstrations from some of the city’s top chefs. Live entertainment will be performed on the main stage throughout the day, and there will be a marketplace with a variety of vendors. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Deering Estate Foundation, which helps the community by promoting education, environmental conservation, and historic preservation. We got the opportunity to interview Lisa Treister, a representative for the event, to talk about this celebration of seafood.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
LT: This year is the 13th Annual Deering Seafood Festival, so clearly it’s been a great success.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
LT: The festival attracts more than 8,000 people throughout the day.
RAL: What is the typical demographic makeup of the event?
LT: The festival draws a large variety of groups, from singles and couples to families with children. The event attracts locals and visitors from around the world.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
LT: The festival is the only one of its kind in South Florida. There will be a variety of seafood meals and beverages offered, and non-stop live entertainment and activities for children. This year a craft beer garden will be open during the festival. One of the crowd’s favorite activities is the Chef Demo Tent, where five well-known local chefs will cook their favorite seafood dishes and share them with the audience. The sixth chef is the student winner of the Johnson & Wales cooking competition.
RAL: What activities can attendees expect?
LT: There will be non-stop musical entertainment, including the Bahamas Junkanoo Revue (stilt walkers) and Legacy of Steel’s steel drummers parading through the property. Other activities include:
Live cooking demonstrations by well-known chefs
Creative activities for kids in the Kid Zone
Interactive event stations with microscopes, dissections, touch tanks and art geared to teaching the importance of the world’s oceans
Rock climbing wall
Pelican Skipper pontoon boat rides; and
Artists Lane, featuring unique creations by local artisans.
RAL: What dining options will patrons encounter?
LT: Seafood Alley, presented by Golden Rule Seafood, features a dizzying array of food options including conch salad, oysters on the half-shell, stone crabs, lobster sliders, fried shrimp, and much more!
RAL: What is the overall environment like?
LT: The festival takes place in a historic 444-acre natural and archeological preserve that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The food and entertainment are spread out on the large front lawn that sweeps down to Biscayne Bay. Guests set up their chairs and blankets there. The kids’ activities take place in a special area surrounded by beautiful, tall trees, and the cooking demonstrations occur under a tent in the courtyard of the historic Deering home.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
LT: As a major tourist destination, Greater Miami offers a large selection of lodging options. The Deering Estate is located about 30 minutes south of downtown Miami, in the Village of Palmetto Bay. Travelers can look for lodging in local cities including Miami, Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Kendall, Homestead, and even the Florida Keys. Special corporate rates have been given in the past by The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, the Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove and the Hampton Inn in Homestead.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
LT: The Deering Seafood Festival is a major winter event in Miami, with visitors buying their tickets online well in advance. The money raised by the festival supports the Deering Estate Foundation, which is comprised of dedicated advocates of the Estate and active supporters of education, research, cultural arts, environmental conservation and historic preservation. The Deering Estate is one of the major institutions serving the South Dade area and particularly the Village of Palmetto Bay.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
LT: The Deering Seafood Festival is an old-fashioned day of fun in the beautiful outdoors of South Florida. Add a sumptuous spread of seafood choices and live entertainment, plus activities for the kids, and you have yourself a perfect day. That’s why, year after year, the Deering Seafood Festival is named by BizBash magazine, the well-read special events industry publication, as one of the top five food festivals in South Florida.
For more information about the Deering Seafood Festival, please visit the event website.