We’re taking a break from talking about our favorite fall fruits and veggies to talk about one of our favorite festivals, the Music City Food and Wine Festival!
You may recall my post from last year when I was a volunteer at the brand new Music City Eats Festival. I had such a good time that I sprang for a ticket this year and am so glad I did. This year, the festival was renamed the Music City Food and Wine Festival, and it was once again a great weekend. I tried wonderful food, had some lovely drinks, and got helpful cooking tips from all the demos. And of course, I want to share everything with you!
First, the food.
My favorites were the offerings by 5th and Taylor, Etch, and Martin’s BBQ. 5th and Taylor is a restaurant that hasn’t even opened yet, but they brought a great dish of pork and roasted veggies, including cushaw, a variety of winter squash. Etch had a delicious lamb meatloaf with peach jam. Martin’s was grilling all sorts of tasty things, but my favorite was the okra and the quail.
As for drinks, I enjoyed the tart, refreshing Blackberry limeade made with blackberry moonshine and Eli Mason’s new grenadine. I also had a surprisingly good Chardonnay from Dark Horse. I don’t usually drink Chardonnay, but this was very smooth and has a good price point. However, my favorite thing from the festival was Barritt’s Ginger Beer. I must track this down immediately. I loved it plain and it would make a stellar Moscow Mule.
The chefs demos were also amazing, and I loved hearing the chefs talk about cooking in a way that can actually be done at home.
First up was Tyler Florence, talking about great fried chicken. He said the secret is actually to pre-bake the chicken whole for about 2 hrs at a very low heat, around 200 F. This ensures that when the chicken is fried, it’s completely done on the inside and has a much better texture. After cooking, cut the chicken into pieces and fry it. To keep it extra crispy, he uses rice flour in addition to all-purpose flour to coat the chicken.
Then I watched Amanda Freitag make the perfect omelet. Her secret? You still have to scramble. Cook the eggs on medium-low heat and spread out, then scramble them. Spread and scramble until they are just undercooked, then take the pan off the heat. The hot pan will continue to cook the eggs without overdoing it. Freitag says that the resulting omelet should not have any brown on it.
Finally, I saw Andrew Zimmerman make his version of hot chicken. This whole demo was hilarious. I don’t really have many tips from him, but here’s his recipe for Bangkok Chicken. Be warned – he likes it hot! However, I recommend looking around his website. There’s way more to him than bizarre foods, and his website has some other recipes that look great.
(Note, I was only at the festival on Sunday. I hear Saturday was also incredible!)