The quickest and most effective way to describe the 2017 Savannah Food and Wine Festival comes in 2 words.
The 5th Annual event held all over Savannah proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, something that some people may have wondered once upon a time, but now there is no debate. If you build it they will come.
The 1st SFWF was slapped together in a matter of 9 months. Co-Founders Jan Gourley and Michael Owens held an initial discussion early in 2013. 10 months later, the first event was off and running. Even if the execution wasn’t exactly perfect. Long lines and other issues were common that first week, but 5 years is a lot of time to get it right.
Thursday night’s Eat It and Like It Secret Savannah Speakeasy was the largest we’ve held yet, with over 600 people in attendance sampling some of the best in the city like Circa 1875, Noble Fare, Prohibition and more. Wednesday’s James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour event at the Westin Savannah Harbor was exceptional as well. Friday night’s BBQ Masters event not only sold-out but offered some of the best BBQ in the South. It was all delicious.
The main event, though, Taste of Savannah offered probably the most civic pride. We hosted the Publix Supermarkets Taste Makers in the Round stage with various chefs offering cooking demos. That included celebrity chef Sean Brock of Husk (coming to Savannah later in 2017) preparing a Pickled Shrimp and Hearts of Palmetto Dish to a full house.
Ticket sales for Taste of Savannah ended on Thursday. 2 full days before that event took place. Clearly, the demand was high for what has obviously become Savannah’s best food day of the year. Dozens of booths featuring local and regional bites scattered about at the Georgia Railroad Museum offered the perfect backdrop for visitors from all over the world. A picture perfect day didn’t hurt either.
If you missed out on all of the fun, have no fear, the festival will be back in 2018. Tickets typically go on sale in the Spring. Keep an eye out because if our 5th effort was sold out, then the 6th and beyond will likely be as well.
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