Music City Food & Wine Festival, to be held September 15-17, 2017, invites guests to taste, sip and tap their toes in the historic venues and outdoor spaces of downtown Nashville. The brainchild of James Beard Award-winning chef Jonathan Waxman and Nashville’s own Caleb and Nathan Followill of the rock band Kings of Leon, the festival melds the finest of Nashville’s culinary and entertainment scenes to create a one-of-a-kind experience that has foodies and music lovers coming back for seconds. As the Followill brothers told Worth, “You can taste great food at most any food festival, but you’re not going to match the southern hospitality, live music scene, and quality local flavor that’s native only to Music City.”
Below, Worth takes a look at some of the highlights of the three-day event, now in its fifth year.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2017
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
The festival kicks off in Bicentennial Park with the Grand Taste event, which features signature dishes from some of the city’s best eateries alongside offerings from more than 80 international and national wineries, spirits purveyors, breweries, restaurants and artisans. Simultaneously, the annual Chef Showcase presents local chefs serving up their best-known dishes.
In the Redbud Tent, festival cofounder Jonathan Waxman; James Beard Award winner Hugh Acheson; chef, author and entrepreneur Susan Feniger; and the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern will host cooking demos throughout the evening. In the Panel Tent, local and national chefs and restaurant owners will share a lively discussion and divulge culinary secrets of success.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2017
11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
The demos, panels and tasting sessions continue on Saturday with appearances from legendary New Orleans chef-restaurateur John Besh, Chicago restaurateur Jimmy Bannos, the master of urban western cuisine Tim Love and Top Chef champion and Chopped all-star Marcus Samuelsson.
Join Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery’s Preston Van Winkle, great grandson of iconic bourbon maker Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, for Pappy Hour, an intimate tasting that will take place in the afternoon and showcase a variety of aged Old Rip Van Winkle bourbons in neat pours as well as cocktails handcrafted by Shane Batchelor and Eric Melvin of local hot spot Gray & Dudley.
Saturday concludes with the Harvest Night celebration in Walk of Fame Park. Guests can mingle with the festival’s culinary stars and sample their signature dishes, while award-winning steel pedal guitarist Robert Randolph closes out the night.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2017
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Due to popular demand, Sunday’s Gospel Brunch, held at Walk of Fame Park, has been given its own separately ticketed event. “The Sunday ritual of going to church and then breaking bread with loved ones is special. And we’re thrilled to celebrate and honor that tradition with a tremendously talented Gospel Choir and some of the city’s best breakfast cuisine and cocktail favorites,” say the Followills. With a soulful performance by Grammy Award-winner Gale Mayes, another star-studded line-up of local and national chefs, and creative brunch fare, Sunday isn’t a day to skip.
The All-In Ticket ($525 per person) allows guests to experience the full weekend of Music City Food & Wine Festival programming.
The Friday Evening Ticket ($165 per person)
The Saturday Ticket ($165 per person)
Harvest Night Ticket ($275 per person)
Gospel Brunch ($85 per person)