Key West Bacchanalia Means Cuisine, Competition and Celebrated Chefs

Key West Bacchanalia Means Cuisine, Competition and Celebrated ChefsContemporary and traditional cuisine, a star-studded group of chefs and libations from around the globe are to characterize the fifth annual Key West Bacchanalia. The gourmet gala is set for Friday through Sunday, June 13-15, with a tempting menu of events for food and cocktail aficionados.

Culinary notables sharing their talents at Key West Bacchanalia include nationally renowned chef and cuisine pioneer Norman Van Aken, Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” contestant Howie “The Bulldog” Kleinberg and Executive Chef Maria Manso of Key West’s Pier House Resort & Spa.

Events are to begin Friday, June 13, with an evening of Key West inspired tapas prepared by former Key West resident Van Aken, a James Beard Foundation award winner known as the father of New World cuisine, and the critically acclaimed Manso.

Key West Bacchanalia Means Cuisine, Competition and Celebrated ChefsScheduled for 6-8 p.m. at the Pier House, 1 Duval St., the evening also features cocktails and a book signing by Van Aken, author of “My Key West Kitchen,” “No Experience Necessary” and other highly rated books. Wine aficionados can enjoy De Bortoli wines from Australia including Emeri Sparkling Pink Moscato and Emeri Crisp White.

Saturday’s standout event pits Key West chefs against “Top Chef” contender Kleinberg in a competition to create the world’s best burger. The challenge is set for 3-7 p.m. at Rick’s Entertainment Complex, 202 Duval St., and attendees’ votes determine which entrant earns the culinary crown. Other attractions include a Rums of Puerto Rico grand tasting village.

Key West Bacchanalia Means Cuisine, Competition and Celebrated ChefsSunday brings an offbeat rum and barbecue bash for bulldogs and their human companions. “The Bulldog” Kleinberg and his crew plan to serve Angus beef barbecue while offering cooking tips and insights. The mouthwatering meat-lovers’ event is to take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hog’s Breath Saloon, 400 Front St., and well-behaved bulldogs are welcome.

Tickets can be purchased for each individual event or in multiple-event packages. The Key West Bacchanalia benefits the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, which works to provide awareness, prevention, support and ultimately a cure for paralysis.

Event information, schedule and ticketing:
Key West visitor information: or 1-800-LAST-KEY