Cooling temps and an end to summer vacation season means it’s time to hit the road and head to the events that celebrate the South’s rich and varied culinary culture. From weekend-long food festivals to one-day blowout culinary events, you can connect with talented culinary professionals, sample their craft, and broaden your knowledge of the ingredients integral to a location’s fabric. Whether you plan to road trip to one of these destinations or you want to support the culinary community right at home, season your fall calendar with one of these delicious culinary events.
Chow Chow Food + Culture Festival — Asheville, North Carolina
Celebrate Southern Appalachia’s rich foodways and the people who shape it during a weekend of culinary workshops, chef dinners, seminars, and signature events at Chow Chow. This food-focused festival returns to various Asheville locations for its fourth year of educating, feeding, and connecting attendees with the terroir, ingredients, and community anchoring western North Carolina’s culinary traditions.
euphoria — Greenville, South Carolina
A festival darling among both chefs and event goers, euphoria returns to downtown Greenville with four days of food, drink, and music events. Through more than 50 different programs, you can enjoy guided libation tastings, cooking demos and competitions, educational seminars, and guest chef dinners.
Join the cohort of 200-plus chefs descending upon Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward for a four-day festival complete with tasting tents, signature dinners, and fringe events.
Firebox: BBQ on the Bluff — St. Simons Island, Georgia
The Firebox Initiative Inc. supports service industry members facing unexpected financial crises, and their keystone fundraiser Firebox brings pitmasters from around the Southeast to the beautiful Gascoigne Bluff every last weekend in September. With talent from all around the Carolinas, Georgia, and the Gulf Coast, you’ll catch a taste of barbecue variations unlike any other festival.
BayHaven Food & Wine Festival — Charlotte, North Carolina
The annual BayHaven Food & Wine Festival is a first-of-its-kind event that celebrates Black experts in the hospitality industry and promotes education around Black foodways. Join chefs, mixologists, distillers, winemakers, and farmers for tasting tents, demos, multi-course dinners, and symposiums.
The Gathering — Maryville, Tennessee
Join culinary professionals in the heart of the Smoky Mountains for an immersive culinary weekend of signature dinners, drink tastings, demos, and panel discussions. Hosted at the rustic-glam RT Lodge, tickets include your stay at the hotel along with all meals and weekend activities curated specially for the event.
FOOD+ — Birmingham, Alabama
Dive into Birmingham, face first, during a weekend that celebrates the city’s dynamic culinary industry. Through seated dinners, epic brunches, chef demos, and signature events, FOOD+ brings people together to preserve tradition and celebrate innovation within Birmingham’s—and Alabama’s—food scene. Don’t miss the weekend’s cornerstone event Food+Fire, a massive Southern tailgate led by pitmasters and chefs.
The world’s top whiskey brands head to South Carolina, and you can join the brand ambassadors in Charleston’s Cedar Room where they’ll be pouring more than 100 premium whiskeys, bourbons, and scotches. Match the oaky, smoky flavors with complementing hors d’oeuvres and barbecue fixings prepared by chefs and pitmasters from around the Southeast.
Amelia Island Cookout — Amelia Island, Florida
Held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, this three-day event pairs top chefs with the diverse cuisine and regional, seasonal ingredients found on this North Florida barrier island. Michelin-trained chef Okan Kizilbayir leads this inaugural festival, and he’s joined by other notable names, including chefs Dylan Benoit, John Tesar, Jae Jung, and David Hsu and sommelier Michael Kennedy. Events include collaborative dinners, interactive demonstrations, guided food and drink pairings, and a chef-led cookout.
Crafted — Alys Beach, Florida
Join renowned craftspeople for a weekend that highlights the collaborative efforts between people within the craft beverage industry, artists, and culinary professionals. From professional storytellers to master distillers and mixologists to musicians, you’ll find a sensational four-day festival complete with a Maker’s Market, beverage seminars, and the penultimate Spirited Soirée. Proceeds from the event benefit local organization, Cultural Arts Alliance.
This multi-destination live fire tasting event spans 14 cities around the country in its 2023 tour, and heads to Miami on November 12 and Charleston on December 10. Sink your teeth into smoky, meaty delicacies from more than 20 talented chefs and help the judges determine the “Best Bite of the Day.”
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by TLP Editors
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by TLP Editors