Monday, September 24, 2018

Music City Food + Wine 2018 – HOT HOT HOT

Another festival has come and gone. If there’s a takeaway from this year’s Music City Food + Wine festival the best word to describe it is HOT. Temperature-wise this may have been the hottest festival I can remember. And while it was hot, myself & other festival attendees still managed to have a blast despite the heat. Of course the temperatures were cooler Friday night, which made the night option seem like such a smart choice. There’s definitely a different ambiance to the night event, a bit of magic in the air. 

Left: Adele’s bite with red sorghum, charred corn, heirloom cherry tomato, jalapeño jam, cilantro pesto, coriander blossom

Upper Left: Capitol Grille’s Double H Meatballs with bourbon smoked paprika glaze atop whipped goat cheese with a sprinkle of kale. Bottom Left: oyster shooters from Henley.

Right: Tomato Tart from 5th & Taylor.

Middle left: Oak Steakhouse‘s CAB Beef Belly with rosemary milk cracker, caramelized onion, bleu cheese mousse, tomato jam.

Bottom left: Greko Street Food‘s salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, Greek feta cheese, kalamata olives, crispy chickpeas, green onions, cucumbers, & creamy GReKo dressing.

As much fun as Friday is, it can also feel like a big pre-game to the main event, Saturday’s Grand Taste. Remember when I said the word to describe this festival was hot? Well, that was also because I snagged some delicious Hattie B‘s hot chicken. Admittedly I do not typically eat hot chicken. When we order Hattie B’s, I always get southern (zero heat). But I figured I could manage a small festival sized portion, and I was right. This was worth the hype.

Hot also describes the feeling at Martin’s BBQ & Friends Live Fire. Some of my favorite bites were snagged from here. The smoke rising into the air was a signal, this was the place to be.

Top left: Vivek Surti

Lamb rib seasoned to perfection and so soft and tender it pulled right off the bone. I didn’t catch who cooked this, if anyone knows, please let me know!

Vivek Surti in action.

As crazy and simple as it sounds, this okra was one of my favorite bites. Maybe it’s because I just love okra, or maybe it was the seasoning + live fire. I wanted to go back for seconds, thirds, and fourths, but I’m not that greedy.

Belle Meade Bourbon‘s “Cold Fashioned” is something we have been conditioned to seek out every year at the festival. Especially this year in the heat, it truly provided great relief. Tell me, does anywhere in town serve this??

BJ Lofback of Funk Seoul Brother, with his KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) was another hot bite at the festival. This stuff is like crack (though not to be confused with his Crack Rice…).

Top Left: ‘Which Hunt from The Mockingbird featuring cheddar biscuits, chicken breakfast sausage, american cheese, pepper jelly. Top Right: Grilled Ham, Kale and Cabbage Salad with Corn, bacon and Scallion Muffin from Smithfield.

Bottom left: Dan dan cold noodles from Tànsuǒ. Bottom right: killer Southern Smokehouse Bloody Mary featuring Tabasco, Titos’s Vodka and Smithfield flavored Bacon garnish.

Top left: cocktails from Cumberland Bar. Top right: Canned wine from Francis Coppola wines. Bottom left: Proper Bagel

It wouldn’t be a Music City Food + Wine without a refreshing cucumber gin drink from Hendrick’s Gin!

Top left: DJ Case Bloom spinning the good tunes. Bottom left: Americano Tapas Bar with the Chinese five spice pumpkin panna cotta with apple tarragon duck confit salad.

Right: Shrimp dish from Thai Esane. Special thanks to Nina for not making it too spicy!

Ticket holders had the opportunity to enter into a lottery to win a spot in the exclusive Pappy Hour. At this year’s Pappy Hour they sampled the 12 year Van Winkle Special Reserve and the 15 year Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve along with special Blackberry Farm beers Ampersand Saison, Classic Saison, and Vintage Abbey Quad Saison. That’s my husband there in the hat and glasses, he scored a coveted seat at the table for this bourbon with beer back experience.

Toyota brought a fun user experience yet again with their Travel.Eat.Repeat tent. Just like last year I waited until the very end of the festival to hit this up, and managed to score a fun bag, passport holder, luggage tag, and personalized cutting board. I love that I have souvenirs to last forever from this festival!

Top left: My friend Ally thumbs it up from the Toyota Avalon after finishing her cutting board. Top right: showing off my tri-star cutting board!

Middle left: passport holder & luggage tag. Bottom: canvas bag, J’eat yet? 

I don’t know how we did it, but we powered through and made it to Harvest Night. I’m SO glad we did. The whole night had a Studio 54 theme and the music was absolutely amazing. I mean… we heard Ruby Amanfu sing “I Will Survive”. It was AMAZING! Other acts that came out included Little Big Town, Sheryl Crow, Phillip Phillips, and Elle King brought the FIRE with “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. And then everyone came out for Earth Wind & Fire’s “September”. Oh yeah… and there was food. Great food!

This was the year I convinced multiple friends & even coworkers to come to the festival. It was great having so many friends there, but I have to say, socializing really cut into my eating time (ha, j/k… sort of). Believe it or not there was a lot of things I never had to chance to sample. Shame! I’m already looking forward to 2019!

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