The 10th Annual Deering Seafood Festival was a complete sell-out as nearly ten thousand hungry people drove, biked, walked and used the free shuttle to partake in this annual seafood pilgrimage.
Of the Estate’s 444-acres, all 14-acres of their beautiful "back yard" was alive with music, food and happy patrons.
At the all-day event, crowds took in celebrity chef cooking demonstrations from, among others, Oceanaire, Ocean Reef Club, Pierre’s at Morada Bay and Truluck’s sharing how they make their meals special. Several audience members, including Sara Cohen (Palmetto Bay), asked questions, tasted and learned from the master chefs.
Families not only ate great food, but also had lots of other activities to keep them entertained. The little ones enjoy Deering Discovery Cove (a scavenger hunt) and the Li’l Shrimp Kids Zone filled with bounce houses, rock climbing and play activities. And everyone could stroll the artist village, take a historic tour, enjoy a walking tour of the manicured grounds or take a pontoon boat ride.
The main event, of course, was food, with the aromas emanating from all corners. Golden Rule Seafood, Sports Grill, Rodbenders, Black Point Ocean Grill and half a dozen other food and drink vendors made sure if you desired it, they could deliver your favorite menu item.
Mary Pettit, Executive Director of the Deering Estate Foundation explains, “Without the amazing sponsors, none of this would happen. It is they who lay out the up front money and both Deering and the community at large who benefit.”
The largest food sponsor, Golden Rule Seafood, served up a ton of goodies. Their operations director Courtney Reeder said, “We brought a raw bar with stone crabs, raw oysters on the half shell, signature shrimp, cocktail shrimp, crawdaddies. We also have fried shrimp, conch and fish.”
As if that wasn’t enough, a traveling band called Bahamian Junkanoo Review parades around with stilt walkers and colorful music and costume. A main stage also provided great music throughout the day.
Christine and Rene Ortega from Cutler Bay summed it up best, “It’s been great. We’ve been enjoying the day and the festivities. Every year we taste a little bit of everything. We’re getting down on all of it!”