Music City Eats Recap
I’m not sure how it’s already October, but that’s what my calendar says, so I guess I have to believe it.
According to that same calendar, it has been 2.5 weeks since the big Music City Eats Festival hit Nashville. Seriously? I feel like it was just a few days ago. My intention was to recap my experience a couple of days after the event…but if I’m being honest, nothing in my life seems to go as planned these days, so I might as well just quit planning!
As I mentioned before, I was a “local ambassador” of sorts for MCE, which basically meant that I helped them spread the word about the festival and provided them with some content about the Nashville food scene for their blog. What I haven’t mentioned previously is that in my other life (you know, my real job), I was also connected to the event.
Goo Goo Cluster was one of the major sponsors, providing totes and Goo Goo Clusters for every attendee. An epic Nashville food event like this simply had to have Nashville’s very own candy, right?? And we made that decision long before we saw this interview with Chef Jonathon Waxman, one of the founders of Music City Eats. He loves Goo Goos! (I swear we did not bribe him or pay him for that endorsement!)
I tell you all of that in the interest of full disclosure. Yes, I did get a free ticket, but, as is always the case, I wouldn’t bother writing about this if I didn’t think it was worth writing about. Do I think the $275 price tag for a paying person was worth it? Yes. But there are some ifs:
If you are a drinker. The amount of booze flowing at MCE was pretty astounding. And that is not a complaint, quite the opposite.
If you aren’t a vegetarian. There weren’t a lot of vegetarian options, so if I wasn’t a meat eater, I would’ve been pretty disappointed in the food selection.
If you are interested in meeting and listening to chefs talk about food. The panels were fantastic and I loved how accessible and friendly all the chefs were. Yes, Giada is just as stunning and sweet as she seems on tv. Michael Symon is funny as all get out and I now have an even bigger crush on him.
For a first time event, I was impressed with how well everything seemed to run and with the way everything looked.
All in all, I had an absolute blast. I got to spend a lot of time hanging out with my buddy Erin and many of my other food blogger/writer/just all around cool friends. Um, and I ate. And drank. A lot. These pictures are not even 5% of what was consumed.
My fingers are crossed that Music City Eats returns next year, and the year after that, and the year after that and so on! I can only believe it will get better and better.
So what about those of you reading this that also attended…Any highlights or thoughts on the way things were run? I’ve actually got a meeting tomorrow to give feedback so would love your input!
Here’s hoping that if it comes back next year, the tickets will be a little more affordable. I wish so much I could have afforded to have attended.
I agree Susan! I think they should have a 1-day pass, as 2 full days of eating and drinking is A LOT to handle. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of it, but I think there are many people that would like to see a 1-day for a more affordable $125 or so…
Overall, MCE exceeded all of my expectations. Very well run and organized and a fantastic first start.
1. Better ticket options. Prices were certainly steep, but having tickets to just the demos/tastings or harvest night or maybe all day Saturday/Sunday would have allowed people to pick and choose instead of going all-in at $500, which is a prohibitive for most.
2. I would have loved to see them host (sit down) dinners with out of town chefs. I enjoyed Harvest Night the most because that’s when I got to taste food from chefs who came in from out of town.
3. At some point, I think this event, if it wants to be successful, has to come from Nashvillians or a group of people from Nashville who are able to tell the food story of the place they work, live and play in. There were a lot of great chefs left off the Nashville list who shouldn’t be. But this event should get a group of Nashville chefs together and get advice on how to show off the food culture of this city.
4. THERE NEEDS TO BE COFFEE, YO!
I had a blast, mainly because I got to hang out with you and all my other favorite media types! But would I have paid $275 for that? No. Several of the booths were out of food as early as 1pm! I think I might have paid $50 to go for a day and another $50 to go to the concert at night. I really hope they adjust the prices accordingly next year so more of the general public can attend!
I so badly wanted to go to this but there was no way I could shell out that much money for a ticket. Sounds like a lot of fun!!
Susan and I would have gone but @ $275 a person…. that’s 3 date nights at some of the best restaurants in town…. Etch, Kayne Prime, etc. etc. or 4 date nights at Mangia to watch Nick do his thang and eat all night long. Or, a year’s worth of trips to Carl’s Perfect Pig in White Bluff.