A new opportunity to celebrate all things mango is coming this weekend with the advent of the South Beach Mango Festival.The fun will run from 11am until 7pm in Lummus Park on Miami Beach’s famous Ocean Drive.
This community event will offer participants the opportunity to enjoy the work of a range of talented chefs and mango experts, culinary delights and various family activities, all inspired by the versatile and delicious mango.
But never fear – tropical fruit cousins and friends won’t be left out as the festivities also will include; avocados, dragon fruit, coconut, and many other natively-grown fruits.
Lummus Park will be a beehive of activities with
– A Kids Cooking Class
– The “Best Baked Mango” Recipe Contest Judging
– A Kids Mango eating contest
– The Amazing Mango cooking Class
– Healthy Mango Juicing & Smoothies
– A Mixology Competition
– The World Famous Mango Dancers
– A Kids Bounce House
– Live music
The mango craze is hitting an all-time high. There are products ranging from mango shampoo to mango beer. South Florida now joins in commemorating and celebrating the importance and peak of its famed fruit.
This event is aimed at tropical fruit lovers and culinary enthusiasts, as well as the domestic and international visitors who flock to South Beach. It also benefits a vital non-profit philanthropic organization, Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
With this event, South Florida is joining the move towards introducing healthy festivals. Everybody from millennials to families, locals to tourists will have an opportunity to continue to educate themselves on healthy eating options and alternatives, using mango in their recipes and have a great deal of fun in the process.
In addition to a menu of activities, a farmer’s market offering more than 40 varieties of juicy, sweet, locally farmed mangoes will be offered in addition to the mango tastings; cooking classes for kids and adults, a children’s play area; and an entertainment area with live music and dancing.
Top chefs – including celebrity Chef Allen Susser – will offer demos, and a memorable mango-mixology competition.
A sampling of creative farm-to-table culinary creations, showcasing the luscious mango from a variety of South Florida’s top fine-dining destinations and neighborhood cafes will be served as part of the festivities.
This is a not-to-be-missed, uniquely South Florida experience.
The festival itself, was born from the passion of visionary entrepreneur Robert Lansburgh, along with Culinary Director, Chef Allen Susser.
Chef Allen is one of the original members of “The Mango Gang,” the group of supremely talented chefs who injected South Florida with the tropically-infused cuisine in the 1990s. The gang launched local cuisine into the national and international culinary repertoire, attracting new visitors and shining the media spotlight on South Florida as an exciting dining destination.
Recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award as best chef in the Southeast; a famed restaurateur, restaurant consultant, mango aficionado, and educator, Chef Allen is the author of a highly regarded book on mangoes, “The Great Mango Book”.
“South Florida grows some of the most delicious mangoes in the world,”Lansburgh said. “We will bring the local bounty to the Beach and celebrate the mango in all of us.” Mangoes stir a passion inside people and the festival is a product of that passion.”
Chef Allen himself admittedly is wild about mangoes as well.
“Mangoes are a national pastime around the world. Each village and town passionately claims they grow the best mango,” he said.
When it comes to mangoes, Chef Allen notes that there is no “right answer,” noting that everyone has their own favorite.
“You can tell a mango eater by the way they grasp the mango before they devour one,” he said.
Organizer and festival creator Robert Lansburgh was born and raised in Miami Beach, growing up with a mango tree in his backyard. His Aunt Merle kept his affection of mangoes satiated, gathering mangoes from friends in Coconut Grove and bringing them on visits.
Mangoes have become increasingly important to Lansburgh, as the flavorful fruit has really made an impression on his wife, friends, and kids as well. Five years ago, a search on Craigslist yielded a kind man with 15 trees in Miramar. Since then, they have met once a week during mango season for an exchange.
The average delivery is over 100 mangoes.
While eating a Miami mango in his kitchen one said day, Lansburgh said to his wife, “there should be a mango festival here in Miami Beach”. A subsequent conversation with a Miami Beach Commissioner, put the wheels in motion.
Longtime friend and mango enthusiast Chef Allen Susser then came on board.
Being that this is the first ever fruit festival to take over South Beach, there will be no shortage of tropical fruit to go around at the various mango competitions, top restaurants, stations for artists, vendors, and sponsors, with a plethora of tastings and recipes.
The event is sponsored by Miami New Times, Miami Beach Life magazine, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Miami.
Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $12 for Miami Beach residents, and kids 7 under are free. VIP tickets $59.
As a taste of what’s to come, please visit the website www.sobemangofest.com and visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mangosfestival.
Additional information is availble through Kat at CEO@do-tellpr.com or call 305-490-5911