Famed Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival Adds Exclusive Culinary Soirée to Kick Off Celebration, June 6–9, 2019

Vero Beach, FL (April 22, 2019)– New to this year’s Vero Beach Wine + Film (VBWFF) festival, presented by Vero Beach Outlets, foodies and wine aficionados alike can commence the four-day fête with fare and festivity duly dubbed Devour! Vero Beach Chefs and Shorts, 6 p.m., Thursday, June 6, at the Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, Shoreline Room and Patio.

From the creators of Devour! The Food Film Fest, this cinematic spread will feature provisions prepared by five celebrity chefs, each inspired by a short film. The visual vignettes will screen for an intimate group of viewers after the vino is uncorked and the courses are unveiled.

“We are up-leveling the gala dinner experience!” said Jerusha Stewart, VBWFF executive director. “We’re thrilled that we’ll be the first-ever hosts of Chefs and Shorts in Florida, where the talents of the state’s most cutting-edge culinarians will be savored by a lucky group of festival goers.”

The inaugural savoury celebration is included in the purchase of a VBWFF premiere pass, or individual event tickets can be secured online at vbwff.com.

“This is a completely immersive and fun culinary experience,” said Lia Rinaldo, managing director of Devour! The Food Film Fest. “Guests get to see films they wouldn’t get to see anywhere else, and they get to have chefs in front of them inspired by what they have just seen on the big screen — it’s the ultimate screen to plate!”

Starring chefs include: Clayton Charles Carnes, Cholo Soy Cocina, West Palm Beach; Malka Espinel, TIMO, Miami; Michael Howell, Devour! The Food Film Fest; Winston Guerrero, Cobalt, Vero Beach; and Norman Van Aken, Three, Miami.

Chef Van Aken — the only Floridian chef inducted into the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” — will prepare a flavorous plate to accompany a pithy filmic portrait of Charlie Trotter entitled “Charlie Trotter: After Love, There Is Only Cuisine.”

Although Chef Trotter, a gastronomic originator most-known for his eponymous Chicago eatery, passed away in 2013, he remains one of the world’s most influential restaurateurs and Asian-inspired epicureans.

“This event gives me an ongoing way to honor my dear friend [Charlie] in a way that I think he would enjoy,” Chef Van Aken said. “He could be devastatingly funny, which was a trait more people should know. I will try to create a dish that will make him smile … and I look forward to sharing the time with others who were inspired and lifted by Charlie’s unique genius.”

Four additional shorts will spotlight international chefs and diverse regions around the world, including micro farms in Mexico. Chef Guerrero, a Colombia native who brings more than two decades of distinct culinary culture to Vero Beach, will underscore the film “From Milpa to Mesa” with a traditional dish.

“The dish we are going to prepare is very popular in Mexico; however not so familiar on the East Coast of the United States,” Chef Guerrero said. “Some ingredients will be indigenous, but the presentation will have a twist. Once guests taste our dish the flavors will be nostalgic to some and surprising to others, but we don’t want to ruin the surprise by giving too much away!”

About the Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival, Inc.

The Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival, presented by Vero Beach Outlets and hailed as “The New Summer Sundance” by the Huffington Post, will be held June 6-9, 2019. The “Top 100” film festival pairs compelling cinematic storytelling with global fine wines while highlighting the best of Vero Beach – art, natural beauty, eco-awareness, toe-baring lifestyle, emerging chefs and coastal hospitality as well as special Centennial events in honor of the City of Vero Beach.

This year’s festival theme, “A Wide Lens on Life” is inspired by the festival’s mission of connecting diverse visual artists with their audiences at a compelling, captivating cinematic celebration. Proceeds from the festival benefit Suncoast Mental Health Center. The center offers supportive services to children and families along the Treasure Coast, including St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee counties. The Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival is a 501(c) (3) organization.

VBWFF partner festivals include: Devour! Film Fest, Sonoma International Film Festival and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

VBWFF festival venues include: American Icon Brewery, Riverside Theatre, Vero Beach Museum of Art, Costa d’Este, Grind & Grape, WOW! TastingLounge Pavilion, Heritage Center, Vero Beach Theatre Guild, The Wave and the Vero Beach Hotel and Spa.

VBWFF partners include: Vero Beach Outlets, Kite Tax Lien Capital, Boston Barricade, Décor Envy, Riomar Title, Varietals & More, Indian River Home Care, AllThingsTreasureCoast.com, Inside Track Almanac, City Guide of Sebastian & Vero Beach, Cultural Guide of Indian River County, Frosch Travel, Celebrity Cruises, Bruno’s Chocolate Creations, Café 66, Chef Ashley Allison, Wild Thyme Catering and Wood ‘n Spoon.

For additional information on upcoming events, films, and all things Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival, please visit VBWFF.com.

About Devour! The Food Film Fest

Combining cinematic talent with extraordinary gastronomic activities, Devour! The Food Film Fest is the world’s largest film festival focused on food and drink. This annual, six-day festival hosts 100+ events, high profile chefs and celebrated filmmakers from around the world.

In 2018, Devour! attracted over 13,000 food and film lovers to their core event in Nova Scotia, Canada, and satellite events around the world. The eighth edition of Devour! is slated for October 22-27, 2019. For more information, please visit devourfest.com.