Feb 23, 2015 • By

A South Beach start to the 2015 Munchies

This weekend, thousands of people (including us!) lined up to experience the best of the best in food at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

We experienced delicious drinks and tasty eats all weekend, but there was one big event that we were particularly excited about: the festival’s closing night party. It was all about “The Munchies” and kicked off voting for our 4th annual Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards!

Munchies

Once again, led by TV personality and author Andrew Zimmern, we had 43 expert panelists choose 100 food favorites across 20 categories to make up this year’s award nominees. Munchies winners are then chosen by popular vote.

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Last year, voters decided their favorites in categories like Best Pizza (Roberta’s in Brooklyn, New York), Best Donut (Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut), Best Chef (New York’s April Bloomfield), and Best Food City (New York City).

This year, we’re keeping things fresh by throwing something new into the works: elimination voting. This makes voting a little easier, especially when you have so many favorites to choose from.

And we’re also introducing four new Munchies categories (Best Cocktail Bar, Best Steak, Best Sandwich Spot, Best Ramen), as well as the first-ever expert panel-selected Munchies Food Thought Leader award.

For 2015, this recognition went to Dan Barber of Bluehill Farms, which was announced by Zimmern at the SOBEWFF Munchies event.

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Since nominees include the biggest movers and shakers of the food world, SOBEWFF was the perfect place to kick off this year’s vote with a Munchies-themed event. Munchies iPad ambassadors roamed the crowd, encouraging attendees to be the first to vote. Lucky guests received awesome Munchies flip-flops, and everyone could get their photo taken to share with food-loving friends.

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But best of all was the food: attendees snacked on a delicious selection of eats from past and present Munchies winners and nominees: a Shake Shack ShackMeister burger loaded with ale-marinated shallots and shack sauce, Mac & Cheese-stuffed chicken wings from Sauced Up food truck, okra & shrimp beignets from Hominy Grill, and pit-smoked brisket from Hill Country Barbecue Market.

Attendees could also personalize a snack mix of cereal favorites including Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Honey Nut Cheerios, Chex, Trix and Cocoa Puffs.

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And you know what? Nothing says celebration like a sip of a Silly Rabbit Cocktail to go with it. We all felt like winners here!  (We just might not be hungry for a while … wait, who are we kidding?!)

The-Munchies

So, how can you get in on the fun?

Vote and tell us your choices at Tablespoon.com/themunchies. You can vote daily now through March 31, 2015.

We’re excited to see who takes home the Munchies award honors this year, and we hope you are too!  Winners will be announced on Tablespoon.com the first week of April.

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