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Key West Festival to Explore Spanish Food and Wine Jan. 23-28

The 2024 festival is themed “Olé España” to celebrate Spain’s cuisine and vintages.

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Creative cuisine, premium wines and artistry in a subtropical island setting await attendees Tuesday through Sunday, Jan. 23-28, at the annual Key West Food & Wine Festival. The 2024 festival is themed “Olé España” to celebrate Spain’s cuisine and vintages.  

Scheduled events showcase famous Spanish artists such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, food and wine from the regions of their birth and the talents of Key West chefs. Aficionados can expect to taste everything from imported olives and Valencian paella to diverse Spanish vintages including Fino sherry from Jerez.

The appetizing schedule begins with an artist reception at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan.  23, honoring festival artist Carlos Guzmán. The gathering is to feature works by Guzmán, tapas and Spanish sangria at the official welcome center, Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty at 1075 Duval St., Suite 15C.

That evening, a “Hemingway in Spain” dinner is to be presented by the Hemingway Rum Company at Papa’s Pilar Distillery, 201 Simonton St. Recalling famed author Ernest Hemingway’s link to the country, the menu spotlights some of the former Key West resident’s favorite Spanish dishes paired with the distillery’s rums.

Wednesday’s roster features the colorful “Joan Miró — The Harlequin’s Carnival,” named after one of the painter’s iconic works. Set for 5-7 p.m. at the Key West Museum of Art & History at the Custom House, 281 Front St., the event includes a lavish menu that skillfully blends seafood and traditional Spanish fare. Guests can arrive early for a complimentary tour of the museum.

The “Violin & Grapes” wine stroll dinner is slated for 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, highlighting the art of Picasso at the oceanfront Fort West Martello Tower/Key West Garden Club, 1100 Atlantic Blvd. Seven cuisine stations are to be positioned in the lush gardens and ruins of the 19th-century fort, with attendees strolling between them to experience both the setting and the culinary offerings.

The Food & Wine Fest’s anticipated highlight is the Bodegas Güell grand tasting, planned for 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at historic Fort East Martello, 3501 S. Roosevelt Blvd. Backdropped by the Civil War–era fort-turned-museum, guests can sample a menu of Latin-infused offerings including roast suckling pig, taste singular varieties of olive oil and discover a stellar collection of accompanying vintages.

The festival also features events such as a tapas and wine lunch in the garden of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 401 Duval St., where attendees can view the church’s famed “Jesse Tree” grapevine-themed stained-glass window and sip wines from Spain’s Rías Baixas region.

Culinary aficionados can purchase a VIP pass that includes admission to 11 events or buy individual tickets for selected offerings.

Event information, full schedule, prices and ticketing: keywestfoodandwinefestival.com

Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY

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