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The Official 2016 Music City Food + Wine Festival Recap

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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman

We can hardly believe that the 2016 Music City Food + Wine Festival is over! But what a weekend – between demos, tastings, and panels, we kept our minds and bellies full. We don’t want to let go just yet – so here’s a recap video and some of our favorite photos from this year to relive the best weekend ever. Well, until next year…



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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman


Saturday

We had a wet start, but the rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. We still dressed up in our weekend best and headed down to the park. The incomparable Grand Taste tent kicked things off, with Chefs showing off their latest and greatest dishes.

The day continued with Chef demos, tastings, and panels. Some opted to mix things up…

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

While others cooked mussels with Ludo Lefebvre

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

Or chatted with Nancy Silverton at her book signing.

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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman

With all the great drinks, we definitely stayed hydrated.

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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman

We had a party in our pantry with Tony Mantuano

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And then we partied with DJ Mel, ending Day 1 of MCFW with a lot of dancing, and an epic Elton John sing along.

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

Harvest Night

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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman

Saturday night, we headed down to Walk of Fame Park for Harvest Night. We dined, drank, and danced the night away with an all-star lineup curated by the Kings of Leon. Lee Ann Womack, Jorge Blanco, Holly Williams, Langhorne Slim, Jessie Baylin, Matt Shultz, Aaron Lewis, Hunter Hayes, Shaun Jacobs, Charles Kelley, and Colin Hay all came out and sang some of the greatest hits of the 80s!

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

Of course, the Chefs were not going to be outdone by the music! Mashama Bailey, Matt Bolus, Sean Brock, Lisa Donovan, Kelly Fields, Vivian Howard, Katy Keefe, Billy Durney, Tim Love, Tony Mantuano, Nancy Silverton, Ludo Lefebvre, Tandy Wilson, Aarón Sánchez, Michael Symon, and Jonathan Waxman.

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

It was truly a night we’ll never forget!

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

SUNDAY

We woke up Sunday to a beautiful, sunny day. It was the perfect day for a Gospel Brunch! Gale Mayes kicked it off with her gorgeous, strong voice, and had everyone dancing and singing along.

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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman

Of course, we had to pause for a moment to grab a Tito’s Bloody Mary from the Bloody Mary bar too.

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Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman

We headed over to Martin’s BBQ + Friends to see what he was cookin’…and boy, was it good!

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

Over in the Demo tent, Michael Symon wowed us with his steak and stovetop grilling techniques.

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

Once again, the Grand Taste tent was a sight – and taste – to behold.

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Photo by Nathan Zucker

There were so many perfect, tiny bites – but they all added up to make us quite full.

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Photo by Nathan Zucker

There was so much amazing food by our favorite Chefs – and of course, some of the best drinks we’ve ever had.

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Photo by Nathan Zucker

The Pappy Hour on Sunday was a chance to have a drink that many of us never thought we’d taste!

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

Thanks, Nashville. We had an amazing time with you this weekend.

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Photo by Cambria Harkey

SEE YOU IN 2017!

Weekly Dish: Jonathan Waxman

Does the incomparable Jonathan Waxman really need an introduction? Although he calls Manhattan home, he is at the helm of both Adele’s and Bajo Sexto Taco Lounge in Nashville, and has most recently been taking San Francisco by storm with Waxman’s SF. We snagged him for a few minutes to pick his brain on food, music, and more!

Jonathan-Waxman_headshot1 What’s the first thing you ever cooked? Shortbread cookies.

What’s your favorite easy dish or cocktail to make? Guacamole & chips.

What are you favorite and least favorite food trends? Anything with duck.

Are there any chefs that have had a big influence on you? Alice Waters.

Are there any spices or ingredients that you think are underrated? All the Indian ones.

What music have you been listening to lately? Schubert & Mozart.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? St. Regis with Grey Kunz.

Weekly Dish: Jason McConnell

As the Owner + Executive Chef of the McConnell Hospitality Group, Jason McConnell is pretty busy. He oversees three restaurants – Cork & Cow, 55 South, & Red Ponyan event space, and a catering company, and still found time to chat with us about Nashville, the best meal he ever had, and more.

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What’s the first thing you ever cooked? Chocolate Gravy. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with grandparents and much of that time was in the kitchen. Chocolate gravy on homemade biscuits was a Saturday tradition.

What are you favorite and least favorite food trends? Favorite: The resurgence of traditional Southern cooking. Least: Beautiful food that has no flavor.

Why did you choose Nashville to work and live in? I had family here and when I came to visit, I immediately saw that Nashville was a small “big city.” The Chefs knew one another on a personal level and even as the town has grown, there is still that connectivity.

What music have you been listening to lately? I listen to anything and everything, Sturgill Simpson to the Getto Boys.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Tetsuya in Sydney, Australia about 10 years ago. It was 17 courses and the first 7 were raw.

What are you most excited about doing / seeing / tasting at MCFW? I’m excited to taste everything but am most excited about spending the time with my fellow Chefs, enjoying what we do best in a fun setting that showcases why the Nashville culinary scene is pretty unique.

Weekly Dish: Andrew Little

Seasonal and spontaneous, Andrew Little’s ground-to-gourmet plates create a visceral experience, always meant to tell a story behind the meal. As the Chef at Josephine, he brings a fresh perspective to cooking, always seeking to use every part, and extract the fullest flavors.

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What’s the first thing you ever cooked? Grilled cheese and canned tomato soup.

What are you favorite and least favorite food trends? Favorite: Chefs connecting with their roots and resurrecting traditional food ways.

What’s your favorite part of the Nashville culinary scene? Nashville has a dynamic and creative restaurant/chef scene. Everyone is in it together and there is such a great sense of camaraderie.

Are there any spices or ingredients that you think are underrated? Old Bay.

What music have you been listening to lately? Howard Tate, Susto, Chris Stapleton

What are you most excited about doing / seeing / tasting at MCFW? I’m most excited about seeing, tasting and listening to the ideas and concepts that the local Nashville chefs bring to the table.

Weekly Dish: Giovanni Pinato

This week, we’re chatting with Giovanni Pinato of Giovanni Ristorante. The Italian native came to Nashville after a lengthy career in LA and NYC, and he now runs his restaurant with a passion for fresh ingredients, flying in fresh fish daily from Greece and Portugal!

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What’s the first thing you ever cooked? Risotto.

What’s your favorite easy dish or cocktail to make? Spaghetti Agliolio.

What’s your favorite part of the Nashville culinary scene? Living and working in Nashville is a challenge but I love this community.

Favorite part of the culinary scene? BBQ.

Are there any chefs that have had a big influence on you? Patrick Clark.

Are there any spices or ingredients that you think are underrated? Saffron.

Tips for the Weekend!

The 2016 Music City Food + Wine Festival is almost here!

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Locations

The Grand Tasting, Chef Showcase and all demos and panels are located in downtown Nashville at Bicentennial Park.

Saturday night’s Harvest Night is located at nearby Walk of Fame Park.

Sunday’s Gospel Brunch is also located at The Grand Taste at Bicentennial Park.


Festival Map

Check out the 2016 Event Map below for Bicentennial Park! Be in the know before you go.

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Festival Hours

On Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th, the gates at Bicentennial Park will open at 11:00am and close at 4:00pm.

Saturday’s Harvest Night takes place between 7:00pm and 11:00pm at Walk of Farm Park. Food will be served from 7-9pm and music will be from 9-11pm. Sunday’s Gospel Brunch is from 11:00pm until 12:30pm at The Grand Taste at Bicentennial Park.


Picking Up Your Passes

Passes may be picked up at the Box Office, located at the entrance of the festival on 6th Ave. between James Robertson Parkway and Harrison Street. Harvest Night Passes can be picked up at the Walk of Fame Park Box Office, located at the entrance of the festival on 4th Ave. between Demonbreun Street and Broadway.

BOX OFFICE HOURS

Bicentennial Park
Thursday, September 15: 2PM-6PM
Friday, September 16: 9AM – 6PM
Saturday, September 17: 8AM – 4PM
Sunday, September 18: 8AM – 3PM

Walk of Fame Park
Saturday, September 18th
6pm – 9pm

You’ll need both your Pass and ID to access the festival, so don’t leave home without them!


Getting Here

Maps for directions to each event location can be found on our Getting Here page.

Lyft is partnering with Music City Food + Wine Festival to get attendees safely to and from the festivities. If you’re new to Lyft, get $10 off each of your first 2 rides with MCFOODWINE. Download the app to get started.

The official Lyft pick up and drop off spot for Bicentennial Park is at 6th Avenue and Harrison Street. The official Lyft pick up and drop off spot for Walk of Fame Park is at 4th Avenue and Demonbreun Street.

Heading in from out of town? Grab a seat on a Southwest plane and take advantage of low fares and nonstop flights. Find Southwest fares online only at southwest.com.

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Parking

On Saturday and Sunday, guests may park for free in the state employee parking lot located at the corner of 6th Avenue and Harrison Street. Additional parking may also be found in the state parking lots located around the State Capitol.

ADA parking is available on a first-come first-served basis at the corner of 5th Avenue North and Harrison Street for persons with state issued license plate, placard or decal.


Where To Stay

Need a hotel? We’ve partnered with select hotels to offer our ticket holders discounted hotel rates over the festival weekend. When you book your hotel room through us, $2 per room night goes to Second Harvest Food Bank. Inventory is limited, so head to our hotel page to reserve your room now before they’re gone!


Plan Your Schedule

Be sure to check out the schedule before the weekend to plan out your preferred, demos, panels and activities. Seating begins 15 minutes prior to each demo and will be on a first-come, first-served basis so be sure to arrive early!


Meet The Talent

Meet your favorite chefs and pick up a signed cookbook! Swing by the Book Signing Tent on both Saturday and Sunday, then head to the Festival Store to check out our 2016 festival merchandise and take home your own copy of other featured books by the Festival’s top chefs and talent!


What To Wear

Nashville has been seeing sunny days in the 70’s and 80’s which cool off to the 60’s at night, so be sure to carry extra layers for nighttime. Be sure to follow Music City Food + Wine Festival on social media (links below) for weather-related updates.

Remember that Bicentennial Park and Walk of Fame Park are grass-covered and not ideal terrain for high heels. Most importantly, dress comfortably so you can maximize your time at the festival!

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Connect With Us

Follow along the festival fun all weekend and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Remember to use the festival hashtag when sharing your photos: #MCFW.

Weekly Dish: Daniel Lindley

Daniel James Lindley, most recognized as a James Beard Foundation nominated chef and restaurateur, is the Executive Chef and Owner of 5th & Taylor and Alleia. He began his cooking career as a teenager working in local restaurants before volunteering on a hospital ship bound for Europe and West Africa. By the time he was 23, he was the executive chef at St. John’s and the rest is culinary history. We snagged a minute with him to catch up on the first thing he ever cooked, his influences, and more…

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What’s the first thing you ever cooked? Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

What’s your favorite easy dish or cocktail to make? Dish: Guacamole / Cocktail: Veggie Infused Margarita (beets and cucumbers are some of my favorites).

Why did you choose Nashville to work and live in? Nashville is just up the road from my hometown of Chattanooga. I love the combination of fresh, creative energy coupled with Nashville’s beautiful history and culture.

Are there any chefs that have had a big influence on you? Tom Colicchio and Frank Stitt.

What music have you been listening to lately? Patrick Watson

Weekly Dish: Karl Worley

Chef Karl Worley grew up in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, where he learned to cook from his grandfather. Through sourcing top quality seasonal ingredients, he is known for creating delicious dishes that honor the deep-rooted traditions of the South. In 2012 he opened Nashville, TN’s popular Biscuit Love Truck. Biscuit Love Brunch, the first brick and mortar, opened in 2015 and was recognized as one of Bon Appétit’s 50 Best New Restaurants. We caught up with him to chat about Nashville, his favorite meal, and more!

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What’s the first thing you ever cooked? Fried bologna sandwich on squishy white bread. With plenty of butter.

What’s your favorite easy dish or cocktail to make? It is usually bacon and sunny side eggs for Gertie, our 6-year-old.

Why did you choose Nashville to work and live in? My wife wanted to move back home after Gertie was born. I was not happy until I actually started working here and realized how it is one big family. Everyone is kind and helps each other out!

What music have you been listening to lately? Carolina Chocolate Drops and the new Lumineers.

What are you most excited about doing / seeing / tasting at MCFW? I love our festival. It really does feel like Nashville. I am excited to see what’s new this year. I am also excited to see Pat’s Live Fire event.

Weekly Dish: Kaelin Ulrich Trilling

Oaxacan-born chef Kaelin Ulrich Trilling, executive chef of Nashville’s Bajo Sexto Taco Lounge, has cooking in his genes. He is the son of acclaimed cookbook author, cooking school founder, and Mexican food authority Susana Trilling. Trilling’s cookin’ up authentic Mexican cuisine at Bajo Sexto, including tacos served with house-made tortillas. We found out what he’s been listening to, what he’s looking forward to at MCFW, and more!

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What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? When I ate at Pujol. The steak tartare was out of this world and there were two tacos – a smoked suckling pig and a lamb barbacoa with green tortilla – that I still dream about!

What’s the first thing you ever cooked? Two fried eggs with grilled tomato & toast.

Why did you choose Nashville to work and live in? The chefs in this city are generous and inspiring as peers. We are lucky, too, to have such beautiful produce to work with.

What are you favorite and least favorite food trends? Most: incorporating ingredients that are not commonly used, like masa, which is a staple in Mexican cuisine but under-used in other types of cuisine. Also, I love that chefs are working more with farmers and becoming more appreciative of ingredients and the process it takes to raise produce and livestock.

What music have you been listening to lately? 21 Pilots, Notorious BIG, Damian Marley.

What are you most excited about doing / seeing / tasting at MCFW? I look forward to tasting the dishes that the out of town chefs are cooking, as well as meeting some of the new chefs and experiencing a taste of their restaurants. I love to taste what Pat and his friends barbecue, and I am excited to cook some new dishes from Bajo Sexto taco lounge and share what we are doing with festival attendees.

2016 Merch Preview!

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Show you had the good taste to attend the Music City Food + Wine Festival with official event merchandise. We have a fresh crop of goodies including t-shirts, hats, kitchen essentials and more! And, of course, Parnassus Books has stocked the latest titles from our culinary and spirits experts. Come see us in person at the Festival Store next weekend — we’re right outside the Grand Taste!

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Take the festival home with one of our classic Music City Food + Wine branded items. From shirts and hats to cutting boards, aprons, mugs and more – We have what you’re looking for!

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We are thrilled to showcase our special capsule collection using artwork from the limited-edition poster created for us by local hero Hatch Show Print. Sport their vintage wood block design in your choice of a unisex crew tee, women’s muscle tank, and kitchen hand towel.