Although the festivities of the holiday season have come to an end, the Southern food scene is busier than ever. We took a look at what’s going on in the Southern food world and found the best, arranging them according to their dates to help you plan your road trip. Now it’s time for you to brave the cold and indulge in a new season of Southern culinary arts.
Photo credit: Nataniel Susantoputra / Unsplash
Carolina Chocolate Festival
Feb. 3 and 4, 2018: Morehead City, North Carolina
Chocolate lovers beware: You may end up in a cocoa coma if you attend the Carolina Chocolate Festival. There are plenty of opportunities to taste chocolate throughout the weekend between a bake-off, a wine and chocolate dinner pairing, and a chocolate spa experience. The sugary sweet weekend sounds like the perfect way to relax and indulge in such a decadent treat.
Photo credit: Jennifer Pallian / Unsplash
Way Out Wineries Mardi Gras Road Trip
Feb. 9-11 and 16-18: Comanche, Granbury and Lometa, Texas
Put on your beads and dress up as if you were celebrating Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street for this Texan wine tour. Over two weekends in February, eleven wineries in Texas will “laissez les bon temps rouler” for an over-the-top Mardi Gras celebration. Along with wine tastings, each location will be offering Cajun dishes and transforming into French bistros to make the experience more authentic. Make sure to collect even more beads and Mardi Gras goodies along the tour.
Photo credit: Kym Ellis / Unsplash
A Noodle & Dumpling Affair
Feb. 28, 2018: Richmond, Virginia
The focus will be on all things boiled and steamed at this event in downtown Richmond. Diners attending A Noodle & Dumpling Affair will get to experience the unique and inventive flavor profiles of Asian cuisine while noshing on noodle and dumpling dishes crafted by many different chefs, including world-renowned master chef Peter Chang. As guests walk around, they will be able to graze on each dish while sipping on beer, wine or sake.
Photo credit: Charles Deluvio / Unsplash
Flora-Bama’s “Super” Bowl Chili Cook-Off
Feb. 3, 2018: Flora-Bama Lounge and Oyster Bar, Alabama
At Flora-Bama Lounge and Oyster Bar, Super Bowl weekend is about more than football. It's time for the 24th Annual Flora-Bama "Super" Bowl Chili Cook-Off. Over 20 teams will be cooking up at least five gallons of chili, and guests will vote on their favorites. Some of the interesting variations in the past include alligator chili and white chicken chili. Proceeds from this delicious event go to the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life.
Photo credit: Southern Kitchen
Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival
Feb. 10, 2018: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Beer and bourbon lovers — Get ready for an intoxicating event. The Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival makes a stop in Fort Lauderdale on February 10. With over 60 beers on tap, 40 bourbons to taste and plenty of barbecue to fill your belly, this festival sounds like every Southerner's dream. Along with the amazing food and drink offerings, attendees will be able to listen to live music and play backyard games like giant Jenga and cornhole.
Photo credit: Adam Jamie/Unsplash
World Famous Cajun Extravaganza Gumbo Cook-Off
Feb. 10, 2018: Lake Charles, Louisiana
The Mardi Gras celebration in Lake Charles takes a roux-filled turn at the World Famous Cajun Extravaganza Gumbo Cook-Off. More than 60 teams will be cooking up gumbo with flavors ranging from chicken and sausage to wild game and seafood. This event isn’t just for the professionals, though. Everyone from amateurs and home chefs to professionals will be competing. As festive music plays throughout the Civic Center, gumbo lovers will get to taste the different gumbos and vote on their favorites.
Photo credit: Southern Kitchen
Charleston Wine + Food Festival
Feb. 28-March 4, 2018: Charleston, South Carolina
It’s going to be a busy weekend at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. In one of the most beautiful cities in the South, top chefs, artisans, food enthusiasts and winemakers will share their knowledge and love of food. Whether you’re obsessed with brunch, or you want to work on your wine tasting skills or indulge in a multi-course dinner, the festival’s 100+ events offer something for everyone.
Photo credit: Breville Facebook
South Florida Garlic Fest
Feb. 9-11, 2018: Lake Worth, Florida
Properly nicknamed “the best stinkin’ party in South Florida,” the South Florida Garlic Fest showcases the most innovative and creative ways chefs are using garlic. Attendees with adventurous palates will be able to taste everything from garlic crab cakes to garlic ice cream. The weekend will also feature live entertainment featuring musical acts from Buddy Guy, Dispatch, Collective Soul, Sister Hazel and Trombone Shorty. In addition, garlic aficionados can be explore the numerous health benefits of the alium — in case you need another reason to eat it.
Photo credit: South Florida Garlic Fest Facebook
Feb. 17, 2018: Atlanta, Georgia
Get your fill of cold beer, live music and as many oysters as you can eat at OysterFest in Atlanta. The festival, which takes place at Park Tavern, will include performances, from Coyote Anyway and Atlanta Funk Society, that'll keep you dancing throughout the evening. Oysters are the main focus of this festival, but other food items, like Park Tavern’s signature fried shrimp, will also be available to snack on.
Photo credit: Ashley Audette Facebook