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Music City’s 7th Annual Food + Wine Festival

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The Music City Food + Wine Festival  is coming up, September 20-22, 2019. This will be their seventh annual event. Tickets are on sale now at . Y’all know how proud I am to live in Nashville, and this year’s event sounds like one NOT to miss!

Local Chef Nick Pellegrino, and *that* Susan Williams, doing the Mashed Potato, at Nick’s restaurant “Mangia Nashville”. Nick will be one of the celebrity chefs at this year’s Music City Food + Wine Festival. But…Nick….”do ya love me? Now that I can dance?”

The Food + Wine Festival will be held at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park on Friday, September 20, from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m., and Saturday, September 21, from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  It will offer immersive cooking demonstrations, a dynamic roster of chefs and artisans serving signature dishes and drinks at the Chef Showcase, intimate Meet the Maker and Tasting Sessions, Book Signings.

Here are some of the activities and personalities you can look forward to: 

Music City Food + Wine Festival Highlights for 2019:

The Food + Wine Festival programming includes the return of the Friday Night Throwdown, featuring celebrity sous chefs from the Nashville Predators and the Tennessee Titans; the star-studded Harvest Night; intimate tastings with renowned wine experts and sommeliers Helen Johannesen of Los Angeles’ Helen’s and Jon & Vinny’s and author, speaker and showman Mark Oldman; Sunday’s Gospel Brunch; engaging cooking demonstrations; tastes from local chefs and restaurants; dynamic wine, beer & cocktail tastingslive musicbook signings; and more. 

Kickoff: the Friday Night Throwdown

Back by popular demand, the Friday Night Throwdown returns to Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park on September 20. Join chefs Carla Hall (chef, author, TV personality) and Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Woodshed Smokehouse, Queenie’s Steakhouse, Love Shack, White Elephant Saloon, Gemelle) for the ultimate culinary throwdown as they go head-to-head in a spirited cooking demo, captaining teams featuring celebrity sous chefs from the Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. Each team will be challenged to create a meal from a surprise ingredient box, with a celebrity panel of judges determining the winning pair.

Chefs from Outside Tennessee

Throughout the weekend, attendees will have the opportunity to get up close and personal as chefs lead interactive and fun Cooking Demonstrations, including James Beard Foundation Award winner Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Xoco, Leña Brava, Cruz Blanca, Frontera Cocina, Bar Sótano); Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio); Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto Restaurants, Morimoto Asia Restaurants; Momosan Ramen & Sake); and Aarón Sánchez (Johnny Sánchez).

Local Chefs

Featuring a dynamic roster of chefs and restaurants on Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21, the Chef Showcase will enable festival goers to meet some of the region’s top chefs, while sampling dishes from a diverse line-up of restaurants.  The chef restaurant showcase is scheduled to feature some of Nashville’s most beloved personalities and destinations, including: Lokelani Alabanza (Hattie Jane’s);Hrant Arakelian (Lyra); Carey Bringle (Peg Leg Porker); Derek Brooks (Capitol Grille);Casey Carstens (Americano); Gerard Craft (Pastaria); Crystal De Luna-Bogan (The Grilled Cheeserie Melt Shop + Food Trucks); Luke Fabian (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro Knoxville); Matt Farley (TomKats Hospitality); Tony Fraske(Makeready Libations & Liberation @ The Noelle); Daniel Gorman (Henley); Mike Haggerty (Sea Salt); Hal M. Holden-Bache (Lockeland Table); Vui Hunt (Vui’s Kitchen); Michael Kopfman (Stateside Kitchen @ Dream Nashville); Kevin Korman (Whitebird @ The Edwin, Chattanooga); Daniel Lindley (5th & Taylor, Alleia); Bron Lindsey (Adele’s); Michael Lishchynsky (Bourbon Steak); B.J. Lofback (Funk Seoul Brother); Mike Morales (Sunda); Deb Paquette & Jess Lambert (Etch); Nick Pellegrino (Mangia Nashville); Giovanni Pinato (Giovanni Ristorante); Jess Rice (My Poor Tired Liver); David Rule (Church & Charles, Knoxville); Shawney Severns (Pemrose); Joshua Simpson (Proper Bagel); Nina Singto (Thai Esane); John Stephenson & Joey Molteni (Hathorne); Trevor Stockton (RT Lodge, Maryville); David Tieman (Five Points Pizza); Murphy Vaughn & Chris Bowater (SILO); Eric Zizka (Saltine); and more to be announced.

 Beer, Wine & Spirits Experts

Learn from a star-studded collection of sommeliers, wine, beer & spirits experts during a series of intimate Tasting Sessions and Meet the Makers experiences, including Helen Johannesen (partner, Helen’s and Jon & Vinny’s) and Mark Oldman(wine expert, author and speaker).

Saturday Night: Harvest Night

On Saturday, September 21, Walk of Fame Park will be home to Harvest Night, with an all-star line-up of chefs and live music under the Nashville skyline.  Chefs will serve signature dishes with a live musical performance by Chicago Plays The Stones, two generations of Chicago Blues stars paying homage to The Rolling Stones, whose own sound was inspired by the great bluesmen of all time.

Harvest Night chefs include: Rick BaylessJessica Benefield & Trey Burnette (Two Ten Jack, The Green Pheasant); Matt Bolus (The 404 Kitchen); pastry chef and James Beard Foundation Award-winning writer Lisa Donovan; James Beard Foundation Award winner Sarah GruenebergCarla HallMatt Hyland (EMILY, EMMY Squared, VIOLET); James Beard Foundation Award winner JJ Johnson (Fieldtrip, Henry at Life Hotel, NYC); Cheetie Kumar (Garland, Raleigh-Durham, NC); Tim Love; Margot McCormack (Margot Café & Bar, Marche); Rob Newton (Gray & Dudley); Deb Paquette (Etch, etc); Aarón Sánchez; James Beard Foundation Award winner Jonathan Waxman(Barbuto, Adele’s, Jams, Brezza Cucina); and James Beard Foundation Award winnerTandy Wilson (City House).

 Sunday Gospel Brunch

On Sunday, September 22, join an acclaimed group of chefs and restaurants as they serve brunch favorites set to a spirited live gospel performance at Music City Food + Wine’s Gospel Brunch at Walk of Fame Park.  Experience brunch staples some of Tennessee’s most beloved chefs served alongside eye-opening cocktails, wines and coffee, including: Katie Coss (Husk); Pat Martin (Hugh Baby’s); Claire Meneely(Dozen Bakery); Rob Newton; Donna Piatko (The Old School Nashville); Jonathan Searle (Proof on Main, Louisville); and more chefs and restaurants to be announced.

 Ticket Information: Options and Pricing

Music City Food + Wine Festival ticket options include an All-In Ticket, as well as Friday Evening Ticket, Saturday Ticket, Harvest Night Ticket, and Gospel Brunch Ticket. All attendees must be 21 years of age or older.  Ticket prices are inclusive of all food and drink.

The All-In Ticket ($525 per person) enables guests to experience the full weekend of Music City Food + Wine Festival programming, including Friday and Saturday festival access; the Friday Night Throwdown; interactive cooking demos & book signings; hands-on beer, wine and cocktail tasting sessions; tastes from Nashville’s best chefs & restaurants; access to Saturday’s Harvest Night and Sunday’s Gospel Brunch.

The Friday Evening Ticket ($165 per person) includes single-day access to Friday, September 20 Festival programming at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, including interactive cooking demos & book signings; Friday Night Throwdown; hands-on beer, wine and cocktail tasting sessions; tastes from over Nashville’s best chefs & restaurants; and more.

The Saturday Ticket ($165 per person) includes single-day access to Saturday, September 21 festival programming at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, including  interactive cooking demos & book signings; hands-on beer, wine and cocktail tasting sessions; tastes from Nashville’s best chefs & restaurants; and more.

Harvest Night Ticket ($275 per person) is available as a stand-alone ticket option for Saturday evening, September 21.  Harvest Night brings together signature dishes from world-renowned chefs from Nashville and across the country with a live musical performance.

Gospel Brunch ($85 per person) is available as a stand-alone ticket for Sunday, September 22, at Walk of Fame Park. Gospel Brunch features a dynamic roster of restaurants and chefs serving creative brunch favorites. Get a jump-start on the day with eye-opening cocktails, wine, coffee, and a spirited live gospel brunch performance.

For more information, please visit or follow the festival on Twitter ( and Facebook ( #MCFW.

*that* Susan Williams, and the Music City Food + Wine Festival

As I mentioned, this will be the Food + Wine festival’s seventh year, here in Music City. The wonder of it all, to me, is that for every one of those six years prior to this one, they keep neglecting to send me a press pass.

To help them understand how truly important I am, allow me to present to you a few of my bona fides: 

*that* Susan Williams With Famous People:
(none of whom will be at this festival)
maybe except for Susan….

Chef Anne Burrell & That Susan Williams

Chef Anne Burrell, a personal shero of mine, with *that* Susan Williams. Taken at the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival. THEY wanted me at their festival. As far as I can tell, she won’t be at this festival….but…plenty of other food celebrities will!


Chef Ming Tsai, of the PBS cooking show, “Simply Ming”, and *that* Susan Williams. Isn’t he adorable? And that Restraining Order he took out is no longer being enforced. This photo was taken at the Emmy’s, when my husband was nominated for one. 


Then there was the time last month when *that* Susan Williams got to hang out with grilling expert Steven Raichlen, author of “The Barbecue Bible” and more recently, “The Brisket Chronicles”, when we were both in the green room of Today in Nashville as WSMV Channel 4.


An unreasonably tall *that* Susan Williams & Maneet Chauhan, local restauranteur, and judge of Food Network’s show, “Chopped”.

Restauranteur, Food Network star, and cookbook author and chef Geoffrey Zakarian, also taken at the Greenwich Food + Wine Festival. He’s auditioning here for one more side job: to be a male fashion model. 

See? Ah is kind…Ah is smaht….Ah is important…

Send me a press pass this year, Music City Food + Wine Festival. And one for my enchanting photographer husband, who makes all the celebrities (and me!) look so great.


Wednesday 5th of June 2019

This looks like an amazing, not-to-miss event! I love Nashville and would love to visit in September just to attend and see you, Susan!

Susan Williams

Wednesday 5th of June 2019

Come on, Melissa!!!


Tuesday 4th of June 2019

Wow!! That is one jam-packed weekend! Your post makes me really feel the energy that will be there!

Susan Williams

Wednesday 5th of June 2019

So many cool events!


Tuesday 4th of June 2019

An amazing city and an amazing event! I never even knew this was a thing. Thank you for posting about it and in such detail!

Susan Williams

Wednesday 5th of June 2019

I'm glad I could help spread the word, Jessica!


Tuesday 4th of June 2019

I’m thinking the way you described the Festival, it now needs to go on my bucket list! I can only imagine how much more I’ll want to go after reading your comments WHEN you do finally get invited! And I loved your picture captions!!

Susan Williams

Wednesday 5th of June 2019

What's life without a few laughs, right, Brita?

Donna Hubbs

Tuesday 4th of June 2019

Wow! Now I want to go to this fantastic event! Thanks for posting about it! (Loved the pictures!)

Susan Williams

Wednesday 5th of June 2019

I promise better pictures if we get to go, Donna! LOL.