There are so many great restaurants on Pensacola Beach, that most visitors cannot try them all during an average vacation. So if you’re a foodie, we recommend you plan a visit in September and sample the best dishes from almost all the local restaurants at the Taste of the Beach Festival. The festival will take place at the Gulfside Pavilion at Casino Beach on September 14 and 15 between 9am and 4pm.
Best of all you get to enjoy this gastronomic surplus with your toes in the sand. Eating on the beach is one of life’s best pleasures and crisp blue skies and ideal temperatures make the fall an optimum time of the year to feast outdoors on the Gulf Coast. Taste of the Beach is a great excuse to both sample our island cuisine and embrace the change of season.
Dozens of local chefs will be participating, offering up both signature dishes and new creations. Wander through tent after tent sampling yummy Gulf Coast seafood and other southern favorites.
In 2013, celebrity chef Andrew Zimmerman will add zest to this gastronomic beach party with a cooking demonstration and a meet and greet.
Celebrity chef Dan Dunn from H20 Cajun Asian Grill in the Hilton Gulf Front Hotel will serve Grilled Kailbi Ribs with Tuna Mac Salad mixed with chopped spam and scallions. He will also be serving up Angry Pork Nachos made from a whole roasted pig, grilled and served with corn tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno, manchego cheese and creama.
Dan Dunn is the only regional celebrity chef who calls Pensacola Beach his home and is proud to be part of a vibrant beach culinary scene. He says, “I enjoy this event more then most. I appreciate how it brings our community together at the end of the tourist season. I look forward to seeing friends, some of which I’ve known for two decades.”
Another new up and coming chef that will be strutting his stuff at this year’s festival is Mike Tilton from Riptides Sports Grill in the Holiday Inn Resort. Chef Tilton recently won first place at the annual Crab Cake Cook off at the Seville Quarter. He will be serving a Yucatan style seafood cocktail tossed with fresh local tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro and served on iceberg lettuce wraps. This dish, called Yucatan Seafood Wrap, is one of the great new additions to the Riptides menu. Chef Tilton will also be sampling New Orleans style sandwiches with hot ham, salami, capicola, Mortadella cheese, marinated olive salad and melted Provolone on a fresh Muffaletta bun.
Red Fish Blue Fish, the newest sensation on the beach, will be participating in the festival for the first time. Their culinary team will be showing off what they think is likely to become two of their most popular menu items – Gulf Beach Tacos and Shrimp Creole. The tacos feature soft flour tortillas and slow braised Mexican spiced beef in gravy with blended Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, fresh avocado, tomato and lettuce, served with a side of Namprik dressed Asian slaw. The creole is a classic, simple, NOLA favorite with a kick and includes fresh Gulf shrimp and Andouille sausage stewed with tomatoes, onions, celery, bell peppers, and traditional Cajun spices.
Fun happenings like surf camps, live music, corvette show, mermaid parade, and crab races will just add to the good times. Awards for the best dish will be given out at the end of the day on Sunday.