November 18-22, 2015
Hotspots Exclusive Interview with Alison Burgos by Mike Halterman

Last year, the very first Seed Food and Wine Festival was held in Miami, and it was welcomed with open arms by thousands of people who were interested in attending a one-of-a-kind seedlogo2festival for the Sunshine State: an environmentally-conscious and sustainable plant-based food and wine festival.

This year the festivities are sponsored by Whole Foods, and the festival stretches across five days, starting on November 18 and ending on November 22. There will be a number of events going on across the five-day event, such as wine and beer tastings, celebrity chef dinners, movie screenings, a 5k run, a food tasting village, health and wellness groups, and much more. This year the festival will debut such events as a plant-based burger battle and a farm-to-table dinner.

Tickets are available for purchase for all of the events across the five-day festival. The tasting village will be a part of the festival’s events on Saturday, November 21. Tickets specifically for the tasting village cost $50 per person in advance and $55 at the door. VIP tickets, which include access to the VIP room, mixologist open bar, celebrity chef bites, lounge seating and meet and greets, cost $90 in advance and $95 at the door. To buy tickets, visit seedfoodandwine.com/festival.

alisonburgosI spoke with festival organizer Alison Burgos about what’s in store for this year and why it’s important a festival like Seed Food and Wine exists in this exclusive Hotspots interview.

How excited are you to bring back the Seed Food and Wine Festival?

We’re very excited. The goal this year is to build upon and elevate the great experiences people had last year.

We added several new events this year, and I think the most anticipated one is the plant-based burger battle. The goal of this event is to find the most delicious plant-based burger in the country. seed1Twelve chefs are competing from all over the United States and the Bahamas. Each burger will be paired with a craft beer and there will be live music. Everyone’s excited about this because there will be a lot of bragging rights involved.

Then on Festival Day, we’re kicking off the day with a 5k run and we’re welcoming quite a few local and nationally-known vegan celebrities, such as Rich Roll, John Lewis, Ella Magers and Miami’s own Frankie Ruiz. Afterwards, there will be a yoga class for 500 people, and then the festival doors will open. My hope is that people will find the festival to be fun, transformative, educational, and most of all, delicious.

Tell us a little bit about the farm-to-table dinner that will be held on Festival Day at Tongue & Cheek Restaurant. This event looks exciting!

This one is really close to my heart. With this dinner, not only are all the ingredients sourced from local organic farms right here in South Florida, but we have amassed a group of five really talented chefs to participate in this event. What’s fun about this is that these chefs aren’t necessarily known for preparing plant-based dishes, but they are so respected in their field, so I can’t wait to see what they’ll prepare.  Jamie De Rosa and Todd Erickson are two chefs who will seed6be participating in this event, and they took time out to be a part of last year’s festival, and it meant a lot to me because they’re inspirations to me personally. They’re going to dish out some great food.

How important is it that a festival like this is held in a city like Miami?

I think it’s really important. Miami has been placed on the culinary map as a place to find exceptional food, just like New York, Chicago and Las Vegas have been.

Also, Miami’s idea of health and fitness has changed over the years. Not too long ago it used to be bodybuilding and Botox. As a community that has an epicurean level of sophistication, to be able to experience and express this conscious, sustainable, yet delicious side to plant-based food and drink preparation here in Miami is absolutely imperative.

For more information on Seed Food and Wine Festival, visit seedfoodandwine.com. Follow them on social media by following their pages on Facebook (facebook.com/seedfoodandwine) and Twitter (twitter.com/seedfw).

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.