Top Bites from 2019 Memphis Food & Wine Festival
As you enter the lush botanical gardens with soft music playing in the background you are handed a real, full-size wine glass and you know you're in the right place. The massive trees, a painted sunset and cool fall evening set the tone for a wonderful night.
This being my first time at the Memphis Food & Wine Festival I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I ended up very impressed. It was an elegant and sophisticated event. The setup was really nice with all the vendor booths in a large circle, and over a dozen tables with seating in the middle. On the far end was a massive stage bookended by two enormous TVs.
You could tell that the food was the focal point of the evening, and wine was the perfect accompaniment. Every other booth was wine and food and wine and food. There were no white claw or liquor vendors in sight. Contrary to popular opinions on instagram, that’s a good thing.
The festival was more than just about offering great food, great wine and good times, but it was all for a great cause with donations going to FedEx Family House. It's great seeing the proceeds going to a great cause benefiting families with sick kids.
My strategy was to grab a bite of food, hit the neighboring wine booth, then grab a couple more bites and go for another refill. The plates and silverware were high quality and recyclable, which added to the experience (see examples above).
Although you didn’t see the ‘celebrity’ chefs that you might find at other food festivals, the lineup was peppered with top-notch award-winning chefs with accolades that included French Master Chefs, Michelin-Starred restaurants and James Beard Foundation winners.
At many food festivals, dessert isn’t much of a focus. At The Memphis Food and Wine Festival I found a number of amazingly excellent desserts that all stood out in their own right. Being the proud owner of a giant sweet tooth, I thoroughly enjoyed all the delicious offerings with my favorite bites being from Interim Restaurant Executive Pastry Chef Frank Oysel and The Peabody Hotel Executive Pastry Chef Konrad Spitzbart.
The Top Bites for me that evening were the following:
Additional details to offer guests a great experience and extend their evening’s enjoyment, were at least four big screen TV’s that I saw playing the prime time college football games with comfy seating and tables for standing.
The Memphis Food & Wine Festival was a fantastic evening and offered quite the experience. It was such an enjoyable time with a beautiful blend of amazing food and wonderful wines. I can’t wait to return next year.