It started modestly in 2014 as a two-day gathering for vegans and crunchy granola types. Now in its fourth year, Seed Food and Wine Week, which runs Nov. 1-5 at multiple venues in Miami, has sprouted into a big-time international food festival, featuring 10 events, dozens of “plant-based” chefs and organic wine and spirits producers, and hundreds of food and fitness entrepreneurs.
“I’m super excited about how Seed has evolved and grown,” co-founder Alison Burgos says.
Besides food and drink events, there will be a 5K run hosted by former NBA star Ray Allen on Saturday and two days of seminars and panel discussions at the Seed Summit at AmericanAirlines Arena on Thursday and Friday.
“I think that people are starting to really get it,” Burgos says. “Our mission revolves around getting the community consciously connected to food and the choices we make, for the sake of their health and the health of the planet.”
The first Seed festival drew 2,800 people to two events. This year, Burgos says more than 9,000 attendees are expected, some coming from South America and Europe. About half are vegans and vegetarians, Burgos says, with the other half “people excited to be at a food and wine festival.” Many are curious about a plant-based diet.
“I hear a lot of, ‘We just had a baby, and I want our family to eat healthy,’ or ‘My father just had a heart attack,’ ” Burgos says. An estimated 14 million Americans are vegans or vegetarians, and some “flexatarians” limit meat consumption to one or two days weekly.
“It’s not about labels — we’re not here to judge,” Burgos says. “We just want people to know that you can eat clean, have healthy, real food and feel amazing.”
Burgos, a Fort Lauderdale resident, went vegan after she was confined to a wheelchair for two years earlier this decade with health problems. She says she was inspired to launch a plant-based food festival after attending the South Beach Wine and Food Festival “and not being able to eat anything at their Burger Bash.”
This year’s Seed festival kicks off 7-10 p.m. Wednesday with a VIP party ($75) at Casa Florida, 437 SW Second St., in Miami. A Burger Battle ($60) featuring patties made from vegetables and faux meat takes place 7-10:30 p.m. Thursday at Jungle Plaza in the Design District, 3801 NE First Ave. A Best of the Best dinner on Friday featuring prominent vegan chefs from around the country is sold out. The biggest event will be a tasting village 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday ($55 general admission, $85 VIP) featuring dozens of bites and sips at MANA Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St.
Seed Food and Wine Week is running through Nov. 5 with multiple plant-based food and fitness events in Miami. Weeklong passes and tickets to individual events are available online, with prices ranging from $25 to $559. For information and tickets, go to SeedFoodAndWine.com.