In the Field

Appalachian Homecoming

A Celebration of Modern Appalachian Cuisine

Event Dancing Bear

The inaugural Appalachian Homecoming event will be hosted August 4-6, 2023, by Dancing Bear Lodge & Appalachian Bistro in Townsend, Tennessee. Presented in conjunction with Lodge Cast Iron, the immersive three-day celebration will explore the rich cultural and culinary history of the East Tennessee Mountain Region, welcoming industry leaders like author and James Beard Award Winner Chef Sean Brock, entrepreneur and Blackberry Farm’s Chief Fermentation Officer Roy Milner, and the smokehouse legend Allan Benton of Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams.

The Homecoming weekend will feature these modern Appalachian pioneers, as well as an impressive line-up of other regional influencers, including chefs, farmers, educators, and entrepreneurs. Together, they will celebrate the area’s unique impact on Appalachian culinary culture through curated cuisine, live music, educational workshops, panel discussions, and a community fireside gathering.

“The entire weekend will be an investigation and celebration of Modern Appalachian Cuisine. Through great food, music, and conversation, we will explore the unique traditions and cultural contributions of our region that were established over the past centuries,” explains Houston Oldham, Director of Operations at Dancing Bear Lodge & Appalachian Bistro and Appalachian Homecoming Director. “We look forward to welcoming our guests and experts this summer and in summers to come.” 

Dancing Bear Tastings

The Appalachian Homecoming weekend will kick off with the Fire Pit Welcoming Gathering on Friday, August 4, 2023. This will be a community dinner prepared with fresh summer ingredients from the area, prepared by Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro’s Executive Chef Jeff Carter and his culinary team. Following the dinner, guests will gather at Papa Pete’s Fire Pit for s’mores, libations, and good music.

On Saturday, guests will engage in various workshops led by renowned leaders and chefs in the Appalachian culinary community including Sean Brock, Allan Benton, and Roy Milner. Each workshop will explore a different topic at the foundation of Appalachian culture, past, present and future. On Saturday evening, the Bacon at the Bear Dinner Event will benefit New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center, a nonprofit providing assistance to local children in crisis. This dinner event will feature guest chef stations, curated cocktails, live music and bacon-centric dishes spotlighting the bacon and ham goods from the renowned Allan Benton of Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams.

Concluding the festival on Sunday will be a Farewell Bluegrass Brunch prepared by Executive Chef Jeff Carter and his culinary team. 

  • location

    Townsend, Tennessee
  • date:

    August 04, 2023 - August 06, 2023

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