Bar Fight!

The winning drink emerges at the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival.

A new champion emerged in the master mixologist showdown at the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival. The VLFWF welcomed more than 17,000 guests from every state, 150 restaurants, celebrity chefs, mixologists and culinary talents during its seven-day run in January. The new champion in master mixologist showdown, aka Bar Fight! A Spirited Competition, was Diego Calvo of The Restaurant People. His Flatlander’s Stolen Honey cocktail was a combination of Vermont’s Barr Hill Gin, Stowe Cider, Pumpkin Seed Milk and Honey-Maple Cinnamon, and Florida lemon.

Myles Robinson and Nicolette Bonkowski were runners up.  The event was presented by the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority and held at Rooftop @1WLO.

Bar Fight is just one of the VLFWF Signature Events. The festival attracts thousands of foodie fans during the week-long line up of culinary classes, chef-led dinners, annual favorites like the Poolside BBQ Battle and new to this year Wok ‘n Roll, all culminating at the Grand Tasting.

A new contender claimed the title of the “Poolside BBQ Champion.” Apocalypse BBQ swept the fan favorite and judges choice for the title. The cookoff – also presented by the DDA  – took place at Hyatt Centric Las Olas. 

The inaugural Wok ‘n Roll event sold out as it celebrated Asian flavors during a street food-style experience paired with entertainment from Polynesian Proud and Spank the Band. The event with more than 10 local Asian restaurants and spirits brands was held at Backyard in partnership with Two Happy Buddha’s.

The Grand Tasting welcomed celebrity talents, including award-winning chef, TV personality, author and philanthropist Chef Aarón Sánchez. Sharing the stage were celebrity chefs Jason Smith and Nancy Fuller. Chef Nicole Layog cooked up a lively demonstration as well.

Next year’s event will take place Jan. 13-19. For the latest updates, follow @VLFoodWine on Facebook and Instagram (#VLFWF). Visit VLFoodWine.com for limited-time special pricing and updates.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.