The Savor St. Pete Festival was a major success despite cooler weather hitting Pinellas County this weekend. People showed up with their heavy coats and sweatshirts, ready to enjoy chow down and sip on some locally made hooch. With breathtaking views of the bay from North Straub Park, the combined scenery and cuisine made it a truly extraordinary event.
All of our favorite St. Pete restaurants made an appearance preparing samples of their top dishes, including Birch & Vine of The Birchwood Inn. Executive Chef Lee Aquino prepared a fried chicken dish with strawberry-rose boba balls, smoked caviar, saffron rouille, and fennel. The dish was paired with a refreshing white rum strawberry cocktail, Pink Skies.
Aquino participated in a chef competition Saturday morning, defending his title after last year's victory with an octopus carpaccio dish. This year he went up against Chef Kevin Bell of Tryst Gastro Lounge who prepared a filet minion with a Gorgonzola crema over a bed of arugula. The two chefs tied for the win, each earning the title of 2021's Best Chef.
Keel Farms winery and brewery of Plant City, Florida was also in attendance. They offered samples of their new Pecan Pie Cider (which was out of this world!) alongside other customer favorites. In addition to ciders, they were also offering samples of their incredible strawberry and blueberry wines.
Blueberry wines were popular this year, practically taking over the Savor St. Pete festival. Stella Rosa also had a new blueberry wine for guests to taste, in addition to a variety of other flavors. Island Grove Wine Company also had several blueberry wines to choose from, some sweet and some dry.
In addition to blueberry wine, Savor St. Pete also featured some of the area's favorite local establishments to grab some food or drinks. Attendees got to sample beers from Green Bench Brewing Company and Funky Buddha Brewery, cocktails from St. Petersburg Distillery, and food from Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille.
If you missed out on the festival this past weekend, there are similar events coming up over the next few months. Cocoa Beach Uncorked will be in December and the Savor SoFlo Festival is scheduled for the end of April!