Weekend Platter: Festival for grilled cheese, Top Local Chef and more

Badass beer and grilled cheese in festival form, plus other food and drink tastings for the weekend.

After you snag a free Evos milkshake, indulge in these five other food and drink events this weekend.

Unwind at the Funky Buddha Tap Takeover & Wine Tasting at South Tampa's Craft & Curd from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Guests will enjoy a tasting of five Funky Buddha Brewery drafts, plus eight wines, cheese and salami. Full pours and take-home growlers will also be available. $10. 2908 W. Gandy Blvd., Tampa, 813-443-0853.

Then, from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, check out a wine class at Cru Cellars, also based in South Tampa. Students will sip chardonnay (the featured Cru University wine) while noshing on cheese plates. Instruction will include an in-depth informational session about chardonnay, helping students learn the wine's characteristics and how to describe them. $50. 2506 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, 813-831-1117.

For more fun between 7 and 11 p.m. Saturday, head to Tampa Bay Brewing Company's annual BadAss Beerfest. Forty-three local craft breweries and five homebrew clubs will pour their wares at the brewery's Westchase location, in addition to the rain-or-shine event's six food trucks, a boat trip raffle in the Reef Donkey Charter Boat, and live music from bands like The Black Honkeys. $35 in advance, $50 at the door. 13937 Monroes Business Park, Tampa, 813-247-1422.

Say cheese! The Tampa Grilled Cheese Festival will hit Ybor City's Centro Asturiano de Tampa beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday. Festgoers will land multiple riffs on classic grilled cheese sandwich as well as other dishes. Food trucks and vendors from around the region, including Riddle on the Griddle, Jimmy's Slider Truck and Planet Grilled Cheese, are planned for the dog-friendly event. Free, money for food and drinks. 1913 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa.

Those seeking a more competitive Funday don't want to miss Top Local Chef + Tampa Bay Marketplace at the Gulfport Casino. Hosted from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, eight area chefs are set to battle it out using Valencia oranges. It's up to spectators to crown the People's Choice, but a five-person panel of judges will also determine their own winner. In between the food samples and cash bar, browse the marketplace's curated selection of local vendors for one-of-a-kind goods. Tickets may be purchased online. $25. 5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport, 727-893-1070.

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