6th Annual Music City Food + Wine Sensory Affair Highlights Nashville Talent

Little Big Town appears at 2018 Music City Food + Wine event. Photo: Charles Reagan Hackleman/Charles Reagan Studios

Nashville’s sold-out 6th annual Music City Food + Wine festival offered multi sensory flavor, tastings, demonstrations, DJs, gospel and A-list musical guests rooted in Nashville.

Music City Food +Wine co-producers, Kings of Leon, curated a musical lineup nearly 20 artists for Saturday, Sept. 15’s ‘70s-80s themed disco evening including the Kings themselves (“Get Down Tonight” and “Every 1’s A Winner”), Little Big Town (“We Are Family”), Sheryl Crow (“Night Fever”), Brandy Clark (“How Deep Is Your Love”), Elle King (“Don’t Leave Me This Way”), Moon Taxi (“Play That Funky Music White Boy”), steel guitarist Robert Randolph (“You Sexy Thing”) and many more.

Music City Food + Wine’s Harvest Night at Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park. Photo: Charles Reagan Hackleman/Charles Reagan Studios

Kings of Leon perform at the 2018 Music City Food + Wine Harvest Night. Photo: Nathan Zucker

The themed concert was held at the Walk of Fame Park after a tasting of higher profile chefs like Urban Cowboy’s Tom Bayless’ tomato sandwich with a decadent sesame bun, heirloom tomatoes and a charcoal mayonnaise. Meanwhile, Titos was serving a jalapeno-garnished margarita and Zac Brown’s Z. Alexander Wine was poured.

Sunday was capped again with a gospel brunch, now for the third year with its centerpiece, Nashville gospel goddess Gale Mayes. With a seven-person backing choir, Mayes inspired the crowd, dispersing handkerchiefs and performed a cover of Eric Clapton’s “Change The World.” Flavor highlights included Brandon Frohne’s (Holler & Dash) chorizo biscuit & gravy, Laurence Faber’s (Blackberry Farm) preserved peaches and cream, and the donut shop serving banana pudding and blackberry donuts and donut holes from a variety of chefs, Lauren Anderson, Lisa Donovan, Caitlyn Jarvis, Davis Reese and Danielle Veit.

Gale Mayes steps off stage during 2018 Music City Food +Wine Gospel Brunch. Photo: Charles Reagan Hackleman/Charles Reagan Studios

Blueberry donuts. Photo: Charles Reagan Hackleman/Charles Reagan Studios

During the three-day festival DJs again spun background beats while flavors soared. Additional festivities continued at the festival’s second site on Bicentennial Mall with Don Julio tequila hosting a mariachi band before their antique pickup truck. This was opposite the tent from Ilegal Mezcal’s ice sculpture, designed for taking shots through the slide. Little Big Town’s Four Cellars wine was also served alongside Zac Brown’s. Stand-out treats included Fin & Pearl’s smoked salmon deviled egg, which was tinted pink from a beet pickling process. Always superior Lockeland Table (Hal M. Holden-Bache) served its Korean beef taco in a nacho form. Mangia’s Nick Pellegrino delivered a beef short rib meatball, and Jeff Ruby Steakhouse offered, among other things, a peaches infused crisp with Jack Daniels creame.

Supermodel Lily Aldridge, who is married to Kings of Leon lead singer Caleb Followill, made an appearance this year, judging the Friday Night Throwdown competition, hosted by Jessie James Decker.

Dates for the 2019 festival have not yet been announced.

Sheryl Crow plays 2018 Music City Food + Wine festival. Photo: Charles Reagan Hackleman/Charles Reagan Studios

Chef Tim Love dances to Mariachi. Photo: Charles Reagan Hackleman/Charles Reagan Studios

DJ Zane. Photo: Charles Reagan Hackleman/Charles Reagan Studios


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, 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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