Hukilau 2014: The Final Blowout Set for June

Monica McGivern
Drink up one last time.
Tikiphiles we've got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that Hukilau 2014 is going to be bigger and better, with five days of music, entertainment, and Tiki drinks scheduled at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort and the Mai-Kai from June 11 to 15.

The bad news is that this, the 13th annual Hukilau will be the last...ever.

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South Florida Fair Returns January 17 - February 2: Time for Fried Oreos!

Laine Doss
The Krispy Kreme burger. Now in low-cal (just kidding).
The South Florida Fair is back and that means time to chow down on all manner of fried and sugary treats.

The fair, which takes over the South Florida Fairgrounds from Jan 17 - Feb 2, 2014 features rides, concerts, pig races, high divers, and animal exhibits. But we're in it for the glorious, greasy, fried food.

Because we're considered food professionals, we're sharing five tips for you to enjoy the fair food.

See also: Five Best Food and Drink Events in South Florida This Weekend: South Florida Beer Week, Bus Loop, and More

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Aventura Wine and Food Festival Promoter: "This Is a Lesson Learned"

Thumbnail image for aventurawineandfoodfestival.jpg
Aventura Wine and Food Festival via Facebook
Yesterday, Clean Plate Charlie received a number of emails and phone calls regarding the Aventura Wine and Food Festival, held this past Sunday at Gulfstream Park.

None of them were good.

One industry insider -- who prefers to remain anonymous -- told us, "There were only about six check-in counters that I could see, and they were slow as snails, 'cause they had to check each printout coupon and then put wristbands on." And "they didn't think about the basics like trash bins, duh! It was disgusting having spilling plates of food in teeny bins. There were black trash bags which didn't look very appetizing."

We contacted Diego Ciola, marketing manager for the event promoter, South Florida Festivals, for comment and received the following email today:

See also: Aventura Wine and Food Festival: Long Lines, Food Shortages UPDATED

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Cooking Channel's Eat Street to Film Palate Party at Funky Buddha Brewery

Palate Party via Twitter
Eat Street films Palate Party. You're invited.
Eat Street, the Cooking Channel show that highlights the best food on wheels is returning to south Florida to shoot some food trucks.

We know our trucks are high quality, but we also suspect the fact that the production crew is from Canada has something to do with their filming around Florida in January.

This weekend, the crew is in Orlando, filming for a few days before heading south to Funky Buddha on Friday, January 17 to film Palate Party for a future episode.

See also: Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Bottle Day: Funky Buddha's Epic Beer Festival Is Next Week

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Have Brunch With Santa at Brio Tuscan Grille Locations

Brio Tuscan Grille
Everyone loves Santa!
Christmas is here and with it comes the usual activities like pictures with Santa and shopping at the mall.

But why just take a picture with Mr. Claus when you can have brunch with him at Brio Tuscan Grille?

The restaurant's South Florida locations are offering a special holiday brunch with Santa this weekend and next weekend.

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Heads Up: Boca Raton Wine And Food Festival Today and Sunday

Boca Food and Wind Festival
Wine and dine yourself this weekend.
One gastronomical gathering worth attending tonight and tomorrow is the Boca Raton Wine and Food Festival. The three-day culinary affair kicked off Friday night with a fancy four-course sit down dinner. And tonight's grand tasting is a ticket to tastebud journey like no other.

Sunday will wind down with a host of events from demos to food fun surprises.

Now in its fourth year, event organizers Robert Stanfield and Russell Spadaccini claim this fest is the largest outdoor culinary shindig of its kind in South Florida. While that's a high claim, what Clean Plate Charlie can tell you is that this affair is like no other food festival.

Firstly, the organizers intend to not only please attendees palates but also educate everyone on various topics. A bee keeper hailing from North Florida will give an interactive lesson on endangered bees and how honey is made. For those out of the loop, bees serve a vital role in the world's ecosystem.

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Eat and Drink Like a Champion at Cefalo's Legends Suite at Sun Life Stadium

All photos by Laine Doss
A view to kill for....killer food.
If you think going to the stadium is all about beer and hot dogs, guess again. As sports fans have gotten more sophisticated and ticket prices have risen, so has cuisine at sports arenas. That means you're as likely to see someone enjoying sushi or a single malt Scotch as you are a Budweiser. And, Dolphins fans looking for an ultimate culinary experience might be interested in attending a home game at Cefalo's Legends Suite at Sun Life Stadium.

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PETA's Ingrid Newkirk Coming to Fort Lauderdale; Sublime's Owner to Host Q&A

Ingrid Newkirk makes a Fort Lauderdale appearance.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA for short, has been accused of going overboard and using heavy-handed publicity stunts for getting its message across.

That may be true, but the organization, led by founder Ingrid Newkirk, does the one thing it sets out to do -- it makes people acutely aware of both the organization and its causes.

Its outrageous campaigns can almost be called "performance art", like when nude models smear themselves in red paint and pack themselves into giant foam meat trays or campaign to have grouper renamed "sea puppies" because no one would want to eat a puppy.

See also: Model/Real Housewife of Miami Joanna Krupa Unveils PETA Campaign at Sublime

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Kitchen Collab at Tongue & Cheek: Jamie DeRosa and Clay Conley Joined Forces for Cutting Edge Food

Image courtesy Brustman Carrino
Dena Marino (center) and Michael Schwartz (far right) joined other Miami chefs at Tongue & Cheek to sample the five-course menu prepared by Jamie DeRosa and Buccan's Clay Conley.
During the past year, it seems as though South Florida has seen more pop-ups, chef collaborations, and one-off dinners than ever.

Perhaps it's because South Florida is developing a real culinary identity and prowess. Menus are becoming more creative and diners are more willing than ever to put their trust, and their palate, in the hands of the chefs and cooks.

However, in the restaurant industry -- where burnouts, freakouts and turnover are common -- breaking out of the day-to-day routine with a special dinner and totally new menu is as much for those behind the line as it is for those sitting in the dining room.

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Broward/Palm Beach Chefs Take Over Tongue & Cheek Miami Beach for Kitchen Collab Dinners

Courtesy Tongue & Cheek
Lindsay Autry invades South Beach tonight.
South Beach is being invaded. No, it's not plane loads of tourists from New Jersey (though that's coming soon enough).

It's chefs from Broward and Palm Beach who are making the trek down south for a series of collaborative dinners at Tongue & Cheek restaurant. And if these chefs can make the drive south, maybe you should too.

After all, we know you've been dying to check out Jamie DeRosa's restaurant Tongue & Cheek, which offers whimsical takes on classic American cuisine and finely crafted cocktails (hint: try the Bourbon for Apples), and these Kitchen Colab dinners are the perfect reason to head down to Miami and show strong support for some of the best chefs farther north in our territory.

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