Savor SoFLO Festival Review
Disclosure: I was given VIP all access tickets in exchange for this post. All opinions here are my own.
The weather for Hollywood Beach was projected to be 60% chance of rain, but it was nothing but blue sky and sunshine for the first day of Savor SoFLO. The food fest kicked off its second year with fun music, a huge variety of sponsors, entertaining demos, unbeatable swag, eye-catching art, and plenty of photo ops. Taking place behind the iconic Margaritaville Beach Resort, it was the quintessential Hollywood Beach event. Read on to see why this is a can’t-miss event for next year.
There is a reason we skipped dinner after the fest — there was so. Much. Food.
Publix (because it’s not a Florida event without them) served up chicken bacon ranch naan bites, mango salsa topped with coconut whip, smoked salmon crostinis, petit fours, and more. Drastix Street Eats had chicken, steak, and shrimp bites topped with one of their signature sauces. Flavors included curry mint, almond pesto, coconut peanut, strawberry bbq, honey balsamic, sweet pineapple, and many others. Bolay, Chosen Foods, Noodle Station, Twin Peaks, and Vicky’s Bakery were among the sponsors as well. From the clam a la chalaca at Margaritaville’s booth to the paella at The Casino at Dania Beach, our hands were never empty.
Of course, all that food needs something to wash it down. Islamorada Brewery, 3 Daughters, Funky Buddha, and Voodoo Ranger were just some of the breweries present. Wineries included St. Augustine’s San Sebastian, Josh, and Stella Rosa among others. Mountain Dew had a fun tent with their four new seltzer flavors, and Casamigos served up creamy cocktails in coconuts. Florida Dairy Farmers seemed to be a fan favorite with their boozy milkshakes. Ole Smokey Mountain brought a taste of Tennessee moonshine to the Sunshine State while Long Drink displayed their tasty seltzers. For those that didn’t imbibe, Zephyrhills, S.Pellegrino, Vita Coco and V8 provided plenty of hydration.
Cooking competitions kicked off the event (Margaritaville won) with two cooking demos in the afternoon. Chef Bruno cooked tacos with Greek yogurt horseradish tzatziki sauce, even providing words of wisdom. “It’s not that these ingredients don’t go together, it’s that they take time,” he said.
Following was Chef Maria with Chosen Foods, who developed more than 20 products with the company. She made a chicken kabob with lemon dressing and said that she marinates chicken with Greek yogurt.
The best part of both demos? There were passed food samples.
The swag gifts started immediately upon arrival with a tote bag and engraved wine glass accompanied by a lanyard. Koozies, snacks, t-shirts, visors, sunglasses, totes, protein bars, chocolate, cookies, snacks, coupons, cups, and numerous other freebies were the reason my arm was sore by the end of the event. Gray Whale Gin had cute tote bags and pins, while Chosen Foods had a fun spinning wheel with their products, such as their mayonnaise, cooking oil, and dressing. Mountain Dew was one of the most generous booths with their seltzer cans, shirts, and koozies.
Aside from a beautiful sky and ocean as a backdrop, there was a multitude of photo ops. Tito’s Vodka had a 360 photo booth, Margaritaville had a fun beach theme, and Publix had a gorgeous greenery setup. Guests would be remiss to dismiss a quick pic.
Be sure to snag your admission for this two-day event next year. Tickets are sold for General Admission ($85) and VIP ($125) with partial proceeds going towards Glam-A-THON™ and Memorial Healthcare Foundation for breast cancer initiatives. While both ticket types include unlimited tastings, the VIP tickets allow tastings one hour earlier than general and include access to the VIP Spirits Lounge. Visit SavorSoFLO.com.