6th Annual West Alabama Food and Wine Festival: Culinary Event Offers New Additions
The West Alabama Food and Wine Festival continues to build its culinary clout, with a renewed focus on local restauranteurs and brewers, and even a “Battle of Shrimp and Grits” that foodies won’t want to miss.
The 6th Annual WAFW is set for Thursday, April 12 at the Tuscaloosa River Market. This year’s event features tasting selections from 19 local restaurants, an espresso and dessert station, and drinks from five West Alabama breweries and four local wine distributors.
Proceeds from the WAFW benefit the West Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross.
“Our goal is to raise $12 thousand to support our local Red Cross,” said Julie Mann, festival co-chair. “It’s great to be on volunteer committee that is dedicated to having a ton of fun (and eating well) while giving back to the community.”
Mann adds that community support is critical.
“We tend to think of Red Cross only when disasters happen,” she said. “While they were absolutely instrumental in helping after the tornado hit Tuscaloosa, what most don’t realize is they are helping in our community every single day, from assisting people affected by home fires to partnering with our fire departments to make sure every house has a smoke detector installed. They make a difference.”
Here are the Top Five Things to Do (Other than Sampling the Food and Wine) at WAFW 2018:
1. Snag a good spot to watch the Battle of Shrimp and Grits
Iron Chef America Champion Chef Chris Hastings will challenge Chopped Jr. Champ Chef Fuller Goldsmith in an epic Battle of Shrimp & Grits. Find a good viewing spot near the stage as they demo their own versions of this classic Southern dish.
2. Watch the sunset from the Spirits Tent
Set along the river, enjoy live acoustic music and suds from five breweries under the Spirits Tent. The sunset on the water is a spectacular sight for guests while unwinding at a patio table.
3. Vote for the Best Dish
Guests will cast ballots for their favorite dish served at the event, giving bragging rights to one local yokel for the year.
4. Splurge on a VIP ticket
A true foodie will find value in the added experience the VIP ticket brings. VIPs will get front row seats for Battle of Shrimp & Grits and get to taste and judge the qualifying dishes. Waiter service will also be provided at each of the VIP tables. Only 50 VIP spots are available.
5. Keep your glass
Guests will receive a keepsake, stemless wine glass commemorating the festival. The glass will be used for tastings during the event and can be taken home.
Tickets are $50 for general admission and $75 for VIP admission. To purchase tickets, and to see a full list of participating restaurants, visit westalabamafoodandwine.org.