Nashville may be lauded for its music scene, but these days its reputation in the food industry is just as prominent. So it only makes sense to combine the two in one sinfully decadent and harmonious event: Music City Eats.
Fronted by Tennessee-based rock group Kings of Leon, the two-day festival took place this past weekend and highlighted some of the city’s most celebrated chefs through presentations and panels, while also bringing in a few big names from the outside like Giada de Laurentiis, Michael Symon, and John Besh.
Throughout the afternoon, attendees could eat their way through the Flavors of Nashville booths or pop into the various talks and demonstrations taking place under the covered tents.
Many notable locals were on hand at the marketplace to offer their own spin on regional cuisine, such as Top Chef contestant and Blvd owner Arnold Myint, Roderick Bailey of the Silly Goose, and Chef Matt Farley from The Southern Steak & Oyster, who served up a crispy corn cake with jalapeno bacon, pimento cheese, quail egg, and collard green pesto.
Etch’s owner and executive chef Deb Paquette whipped up some of her award-winning pork, accompanied by a shot of Nashville’s new sipping cream, Whisper Creek.
Liquor reps came out in droves to showcase their new products—such as J.P. Wiser’s Spiced Whisky, debuting next month—alongside craft distilleries like the Kentucky-based Willett family and big guys like Jameson.
Saturday night was the climax of the weekend, with an additional roster of guest chefs cooking up a Harvest Night supper out on the lawn of Walk of Fame Park and a mash-up of musical entertainment that included Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Trisha Yearwood, and Norah Jones taking the stage during the Tom Petty tribute Petty Fest at War Memorial Auditorium.
The Kings’ Caleb Followill said the team plans to make Music City Eats annual event, so you’ve got plenty of time to save up—both the calories and the money; passes started at $275 a pop—and plan to attend next year.