KEY WEST, Florida Keys — A subtropical setting and a celebration of cuisine and libations await attendees Sunday through Sunday, Jan. 26 through Feb. 2, when the Key West Food & Wine Festival is staged in the continental United States’ southernmost island city.
The edible extravaganza spotlights Key West’s lively culinary scene, talented chefs, indigenous ingredients and multifaceted flavors through gourmet galas and tastings, tours and seminars, parties and tasty only in–Key West experiences.
The festival highlight is the Turtles & Sharks & Mermaids “Oh My” grand tasting, held among the undersea denizens at the Key West Aquarium, 1 Whitehead St. Surrounded by creatures of the deep, guests can sample fine vintages and inventive offerings from land and sea, all served by “mermaids” from the Key West Mermaid Festival. The aquatic affair is set for 5-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 — and attendees might even get to pet a shark.
Also highlighted is Old Town Uncorked Unleashed, a wine stroll along Key West’s renowned Duval Street slated for 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. Participants can stroll the street between two historic inns, exploring a mile-long “sipping and shopping” showplace designed to please their palates.
Among other standout events are a sunset kick-off party aboard the historic U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham, now a military museum moored at Key West’s Truman Waterfront Park; a coral reef wine tour and lunch where attendees can learn about pioneering coral restoration efforts at Mote Marine Laboratory’s Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration; and a paella cookoff at the “summer White House” of former U.S. President Harry Truman.
The festival’s extensive schedule also includes a tropical garden and historic architecture tour and tasting, cannabis and culinary workshops, the Master Chef’s Classic tasting and competition, a traditional Stock Island shrimp boil, the “Let Them Eat Cake” French Revolution masquerade dance party and other enticing temptations.
Festival details, schedule, prices and ticketing: keywestfoodandwinefestival.com/