Second Annual Music City Food + Wine Festival Maintains Momentum


Entry into the Grand Taste Events.

The world-class Music City Food + Wine Festival took place over the weekend (September 20-21) in Nashville, featuring premier food and musical talent from the Southern region and beyond.

Among Saturday’s events was Trisha Yearwood sharing the secret to her Skillet Apple Pie. “This is the second year for food and music to intertwine in Nashville,” she said during the cooking demonstration. “It makes so much sense for those two elements to combine here. For me, it’s incredibly perfect.”


Trisha Yearwood visits with fans before heading back to Atlanta, GA.

After performing two shows on her 50th birthday the night prior, Yearwood arrived in Nashville at 2:00 a.m. with her sister Beth, who joined her onstage for the morning demonstration. “I usually stay to sign books, but I’m getting on a plane to fly back to Atlanta right after this,” said Yearwood, whose career is handled by Ken Levitan’s Vector Management, the company behind the festival. While on a world tour with husband Garth Brooks, Yearwood is prepping a cookware and cutlery line, a new cookbook expected in 2015, and a new album from RCA Nashville, currently available for pre-order. The fifth season of her Food Network cooking show is airing episodes recorded in Oklahoma. “Garth and I just moved back to Nashville,” she said. “Going forward, I’ll be on the road so I don’t know how the [taping] schedule will look.”

The afternoon’s Grand Taste events continued at Public Square Park, including selections from a who’s-who list of fine local restaurants, including mozzarella and peppers from City House, skirt steak from Lockeland Table, bourbon butterscotch pudding from Buttermilk Road/Husk Nashville, pulled pork on a black eyed pea cake from Watermark, pâté from Porter Road Butcher, and a lemon chiffon in caramel cake from the International Culinary School of the Arts. Specialty drinks from Deep Eddy, Dixie, and Titos, were irresistible. World-class vintners were featured alongside those from Nashville’s back yard (Arrington Vineyard), as well as from Paso Robles, CA (Liberty School Wine), and Winebow selections from Chile, Spain, and Italy, and many more.

Vendors welcoming the larger, second-annual crowd included Alabama-based Billy Reid, Nashville-based leather designer Peter Nappi, and Nissan’s Infiniti, whose US headquarters is located in Franklin, Tenn.

Evening events took attendees to Walk of Fame Park for celebrity chef preparations and an outdoor concert. Harvest Night dinner highlights included Ashley Christensen’s pimento grits and succotash, and Amanda Freitag’s falafel cone with green goddess, alongside dishes by Jonathan Waxman, Masaharu Morimoto and Tyler Florence. Rubbing shoulders with the crowd were many of the evenings performers, including hosts Kings of Leon, and celeb guests including Nashville’s Connie Britton.


Harvest Night finale chorus singing “Friends In Low Places.”

The Kings opened the concert with “Dixieland Delight,” kicking off a variety of cover song performances representative of Music City. Jamey Johnson sang “Set ‘Em Up Joe,” Charles Kelley performed “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and then “Hey Good Lookin’” with Ashley Monroe, who also offered “Bartender’s Blues.” Moon Taxi brought “The Race Is On” while a very pregnant Holly Williams sang “I Saw The Light.” Phosphorescent shined with “Guitars, Cadillacs,” Michael McDonald played “You Don’t Know Me” and “Busted,” and Mandy Barnett sang “Walk The Line.” Hunter Hayes performed “Fast As You” and “Folsom Prison Blues” before the Kings of Leon chorus (including Garrett Hedlund from Country Strong, and Hayden Panettiere from Nashville) rounded out the evening with “Friends In Low Places.”

Festivities continued through Sunday, featuring Margot’s Margot McCormack, 404 Kitchen’s Matt Bolus and more.

Music City Food + Wine is produced by Vector Management’s Ken Levitan and Andy Mendelsohn, Kings of Leon, Jonathan Waxman, and C3 Presents (Austin Food & Wine Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Lollapalooza).


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine,, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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