While the FOKOLs are certainly impressive — folks like John Besh, John Currence,Tom Colicchio, Giada De Laurentiis, Mike Lata, Ed Lee, Donald Link, Tim Love, Aaron Sanchez, Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo, Michael Symon and Jonathan Waxman — this is, after all, a Music City event, so the more local chefs included, the better. A major portion of both days of the festival will be dedicated to "Flavors of Nashville," which will feature many of our local favorites. Here's the official announcement:
Featuring different chefs and restaurants on Saturday, September 21, and Sunday, September 22, Flavors Of Nashville will give attendees the opportunity to meet some of the city’s top chefs, while sampling signature dishes from a diverse line-up of restaurants. New additions to the Flavors of Nashville line-up include: Kahlil Arnold (Arnold’s Country Kitchen); Roderick Bailey (The Silly Goose); Brian Bills (The Wild Hare); Nick Bishop Sr. (Hattie B’s); Larry Carlile (Silo); Jay Flatley (Tavern); Hal Holden-Bache (Lockeland Table); Robert Grace (Kayne Prime); Philip Krajeck (Rolf & Daughters); Margot McCormack (Margot Café, Marche); Arnold Myint; Nick Pellegrino (Mangia Nashville); and Charles Phillips (1808 Grille).
These chefs and restaurants will be joined by previously announced Flavors of Nashville local and regional participants: Erik Anderson & Josh Habiger (The Catbird Seat); Carey Bringle (Peg Leg Porker); Matt Farley (The Southern); Sarah Gavigan (Otaku South); Joseph Lenn (The Barn at Blackberry Farm); Pat Martin (Martin’s Barbecue); Deb Paquette (Etch); Giovanni Pinato (Giovanni Ristorante); Barclay Stratton (Merchants); and Tandy Wilson (City House).
In addition to showing off our chefs, there will also be cooking demonstrations and panel discussions on four different stages located at Public Square Park alongside the Flavors of Nashville on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cooking demos should be appointment viewing as that's your best chance to hear from the biggest names of the festival — folks like Giada, Symon, Love, Lee, Link, Sanchez, Currence, Besh, Nancy Silverton and even Trisha Yearwood. As of now, there are six of these demos scheduled each day, along with panel discussions like "Hog Talk" and "Bourbon vs. Moonshine."
A little bit of bad news: Due to scheduling conflicts Tom Colicchio and Mike Lata have had to cancel, which I'm sure will disappoint a few female foodies I know out there who have crushes on Colicchio and anyone who has ever enjoyed Lata's food. Nonetheless, it's a pretty darned impressive bunch of chefs coming to town.
The national and regional visitors will be responsible for the Harvest Night Dinner in Hall of Fame Park behind the Downtown Hilton Hotel on Sept. 21. According to the event website:
Saturday’s not-to-be-missed Harvest Night brings together top chefs with ingredients from local growers for a veritable farm-to-palate extravaganza. Using fresh, local produce, individual chefs will tantalize guests with the distinctive dishes that set them apart.
Guests will sample signature sensations from such celebrated chefs as Michael Symon, Jonathan Waxman, Trisha Yearwood, Tim Love, John Besh, Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo, Aarón Sánchez, Nancy Silverton, Donald Link and Ed Lee all enhanced by the perfect wine, spirit or beer pairing. Harvest Night promises to captivate the senses and inspire the soul.
Last but not least, don't forget about Petty Fest, presented by Jameson Irish whiskey. Yeah, a concert featuring a bunch of bands and players contributing their versions of Petty cover songs might seem a bit incongruous for a food festival, but if they want to share the fun I'm more than happy to attend. From what I've heard about past Petty Fests, the participants bring a joy and humor to the performances that is contagious throughout the audience, especially once the Jameson gets to flowing.
Tickets are admittedly a little pricey, but when you consider the breadth of the experiences that are offered and what it would cost to attend a similar festival in say, Atlanta or Charleston (minus the travel and hotel costs!), I'm sure plenty of folks will make the leap to be a part of the inaugural Music City Eats. Here's the ticket info:
Music City Eats ticket options include a 2-Day Pass or All-In Pass; all attendees must be 21 years of age or older. The 2-Day Pass ($275 per person) includes access to cooking demonstrations, wine & spirits tastings, intimate panel discussions, Saturday’s Flavors of Nashville and Sunday’s Flavors of Nashville Revival Brunch, and a one-year FOOD & WINE Magazine Subscription (US Only).
The All-In Pass ($500 per person) includes access to cooking demonstrations, wine & spirits tastings, intimate panel discussions, Saturday’s Flavors of Nashville and Sunday’s Flavors of Nashville Revival Brunch, Saturday’s Harvest Night presented by CITI and Petty Fest presented by Jameson, as well as a one-year FOOD & WINE Magazine Subscription (US Only).