Do Savannnah

Taste of Savannah ‘an amusement park’ of cuisine, spirits, craft brews, history

  • Taste of Savannah (Savannah Morning News file photo)
  • Taste of Savannah (Savannah Morning News file photo)
  • Taste of Savannah (Savannah Morning News file photo)
  • Taste of Savannah (Photo courtesy Savannah Food & Wine Festival)

Taste of Savannah ‘an amusement park’ of cuisine, spirits, craft brews, history

07 Nov 2017

The Savannah Food & Wine Festival’s Taste of Savannah gives you exactly what it’s supposed to — a taste of all Savannah (and beyond) has to offer.

Along with great chefs and Southern hospitality, fresh Lowcountry ingredients and visiting celebrities, you also get a taste of Savannah’s history with the venue on the grounds of the Georgia State Railroad Museum.

Your ticket will get you unlimited tastings of hundreds of wines, spirits and craft beers in your souvenir leaded crystal wine glass. Top Savannah restaurants will be serving small plates available for purchase, and you’ll receive five food tokens with your ticket.

The event not only features hundreds of tasting stations, but also stages set up across the grounds to offer cooking demos and educational experiences from some of the South’s best chefs.

Cooking demonstrations will be set up at the Publix Main Stage. At 1 p.m., Chef Tony Charbonnet from Publix Aprons Cooking School will show you how to create “Lamb Strip Loin over Porcini Risotto with Sweet Peat Mint Pesto.” At 2 p.m., Chef Sean Brock, who will open Husk Savannah in December, will present his lesson on “Pickled Shrimp with Hearts of Palmetto.” At 3 p.m., celebrity Chef Jernard Wells, aka “The Chef of Love,” will present “Sticky Cheese Grits and Shrimp.”

A celebrity cookbook author signing tent will feature Wells along with Jerry Slater, Janice Shay, Jennifer Booker, Sean Brock and Cynthia Graubart.

The only problem you may have when you walk through the gate is the over-abundance of options throughout the day. Several local chefs have offered their advice to make the most of Taste.

Brian Cripps, executive chef of PACCI Italian Kitchen + Bar in Savannah, is one of the many local chefs you’ll get a chance to meet at Taste of Savannah. He will be a part of the “Meet the Makers” stage at 3:15 p.m. Cripps says when he goes to these types of events, he likes to “graze.”

“First, I walk around and see what all is offered. Then I go around and pick and choose. You don’t have to eat everything. Before you dive in, walk around and soak everything in — it’s like when you go to an amusement park. You don’t ride the first ride you see; you take your time to see what rides are offered.”

Other chefs agree. Chef Will Herrington, executive chef of The Kitchen 320 at B Historic Savannah, says Taste of Savannah is so big, it’s best to narrow down your choices to the places you have never been to.

“This is an opportunity for you to try new stuff and see what other chefs and restaurants are doing. It’s a chance for you to get out of your comfort zone, too.”

If all that eating and drinking isn’t enough, supporting these signature events during the festival helps support local charities, as well.

The Savannah Food & Wine Festival is a nonprofit event, so proceeds raised throughout the week will benefit various Savannah charitable organizations and the festival’s own Coastal Hospitality Education Foundation, which provides educational scholarships for culinary and hospitality students in the Coastal Empire and the Lowcountry.


What: Taste of Savannah

When: 1-4:30 p.m. Nov. 11

Where: Georgia State Railroad Museum, 655 Louisville Road

Cost: $70



Tastemakers in the Round

Audience tastings for the first 200 people in each session.

Publix Main Stage Cooking Demos, presented by Eat It and Like It

1-1:45 p.m.: Chef Tony Charbonnet, Publix Aprons Cooking School, “Lamb Strip Loin over Porcini Risotto with Sweet Peat Mint Pesto”

2-2:45 p.m.: Sean Brock, Husk Savannah, “Unchartered Territory: Pickled Shrimp with Hearts of Palmetto”

3-3:45 p.m.: Jernard Wells, Food Network, “Sticky Cheese Grits & Shrimp”

Atlanta Magazine, “Meet the Makers”

1-1:30 p.m.: Jennifer Booker, chef and author, Atlanta

1:45-2:15 p.m. Eric Crane, Empire Distributors, Atlanta

2:30-3 p.m.: Cynthia Graubart, chef/author, Atlanta

3:15-3:45 p.m.: Matthew Basford, Canoe, Atlanta

4-4:30 p.m.: Old Fourth Distillery, Atlanta

The Local Palate Magazine, “Meet the Makers”

1-1:30 p.m.: Pat McNamara Noble Fare, Savannah

1:45-2:15 p.m.: Andrew Wilson, The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market

2:30-3 p.m.: Rodney Scott Rodney, Scott BBQ, Charleston

3:15-3:45 p.m.: Brian Cripps, PACCI Italian Kitchen + Bar, Savannah

4-4:30 p.m.: Pusser’s Rum, British Virgin Islands

Big Green Egg, “Grilling Gurus Stage”

1-2 p.m.: Orchid Paulmeier, One Hot Mama’s, Hilton Head Island

2:15-3:15 p.m.: Duane Nutter, Southern National, Mobile, Ala., “Kentuckyaki Springer Mountain Farms Chicken Thighs, Grilled Okra & Bok Choy with Toasted Peanuts”

3:30-4:30 p.m.: Matthew Raiford, The Farmer & The Larder, Brunswick

Georgia Grown Village Stage

1:15-2 p.m.: Holly Chute, executive chef, Georgia Grown, “Tybee Island Shrimp & Gouda Grits”

2:15-3 p.m.: Todd White, Albany Technical College, “Asian Pork Sliders”

3:15-4 p.m.: Holly Chute, executive chef, Georgia Grown, “Greens Three Ways: BBQ Turnip Greens, Asian Mustard Greens and Beef Sliders with Buffalo Blue Collard Slaw”

4-4:30 p.m.: Todd White, Albany Technical College, “Blazing Blueberry Pepper Jelly Panini”

Celebrity Cookbook Author Signings

1:15-1:45 p.m.: Jerry Slater

1:30-2 p.m.: Janice Shay

1:45-2:45 p.m.: Jennifer Booker

3-4 p.m.: Sean Brock

3:15-4 p.m.: Cynthia Graubart

4-4:30 p.m.: Jernard Wells