Of course, not everyone takes significant time off from work this time of the year. The college football bowl schedule (all 115 of them, or whatever there are this year) may scream "no work, all play," but this week, to a lot of people, is not only just another week, but a very busy one.

Regardless of what you are doing, it's fair to say most of us will take a second or two to reflect on the year that was. It may not come until someone hands you a paper cup with some cheap bubbles at 11:56 p.m. Sunday night, but you will.

Of course, there are far more important things to reflect on as 2017 turns to 2018, but the changes we've witnessed in this community on the business front are part of who we are and what we will become 10 years from now. With that as a backdrop, allow me to present our countdown of 2017's top five stories in food.

5. The Savannah Food & Wine Festival in year five sold out!

It's not easy to forget this because it just happened a smidge more than a month ago, but from my seat, it cannot be overstated. The festival has grown every year it has been in existence and the crowds continue to stay right on the heels of what is planned for next year. I don't know of a week-long food event the size of this festival that has sold every single ticket available. Taste of Savannah was sold out by Thursday that week.

An estimated $8 million is tossed in the pot for the local economy, and charities have picked up over $200,000 in five years. This is a win-win for everyone, and it is only going to get better and larger.

4. Sapphire Grill and The Florence closed their doors.

For all of the coverage we provide new restaurants in the area, it's hard to forget the closings that make headlines.

In March, chef/owner Christopher Nason decided he was going to shut his doors at Sapphire Grill after an almost 20-year run on Congress Street. Meanwhile, Hugh Acheson's The Florence finally closed at the end of June, following a disappointing three-year run in Savannah. A lot of factors played a part there, the least of which, actually, was the quality of the food.

3. New restaurants boosted the culinary scene.

The closing of The Florence gave the newly renovated DeSoto Hotel an opportunity to give Chef Kyle Jacovino a chance to stay in Savannah. The 1540 Room is probably the best new restaurant of the year in Savannah.

Not far behind at all is Prohibition Savannah. Toss in East End Provisions on Broughton Street, Bull Street Taco and Sugo Rossa in midtown and you have a rapidly evolving scene in this town. So much to eat and like - to say nothing of what is on the horizon.

2. Husk made it official in Savannah.

Some people may have called it the worst-kept secret in Savannah over the past 18 or so months, but the announcement did come in mid-September. Celebrity Chef Sean Brock was bringing his award-winning Southern food concept to 12 W. Oglethorpe St. in downtown Savannah.

The expectation for this one is high. Brock has made it work in Charleston and Nashville, with Greenville, S.C., open this month as well. Is this town an up-and-coming culinary player or a poseur? Husk is going to help us find out.

1. The death of Scott Waldrup shocked the community.

I don't know if food and beverage in Savannah will ever be touched by a 30-something that way again. We will be lucky if we are.

The night of July 4, The Grey lost its general manager to juvenile violence downtown. Savannah's food scene lost a friend. Scott's passion for food, drink and Savannah burned brighter than almost anyone's in this city.

The story we shared about Scott in the wake of his passing was the single most read article in the six-year existence of my website and was read by people all over the world. Few will forget Scott and his contribution to our growing scene. #cheerstoscott.