This month, the Alabama Tourism Department will unveil the Art of Alabama Food, a traveling exhibit documenting the beloved and varied cuisine of Alabama along with the free “100 Dishes To Eat in Alabama Before You Die” mobile app. The Art of Alabama Food will make its debut in New York City with a weeklong exhibition leading up to Super Bowl Sunday. The tour will make subsequent stops in Atlanta, New Orleans and Nashville, Tenn., later in the spring.
“With a large pool of culinary talent and innovative restaurants, it’s an exciting time for Alabama food,” says Alabama Tourism Department director Lee Sentell. “We’re excited to share a taste of that with New York City and the New York-based media, as well as a large swath of the South in a memorable way that inspires more visits to and coverage of Alabama.”
The art-gallery-style photo exhibition is open to the public and on display from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 in the gallery space of New York’s Chelsea Market. Thirty-six images selected from the Alabama Tourism Department’s brochure “100 Dishes To Eat in Alabama Before You Die” will entice guests and inform them about some of Alabama’s best local restaurants. Guests will also be invited to download the free mobile app in order to browse the complete list of 100 Dishes. The mobile app takes consumers on a culinary road trip through the state and features Alabama’s most memorable and iconic dishes, chefs, restaurants and overall food experiences.
On Thursday, Jan. 30, the exhibit will be transformed into the ultimate tailgate experience featuring Southern fare, lively jazz music and a contemporary vibe. Some of the dishes on display will be prepared by Alabama guest chefs, including:
Bob Baumhower, Baumhower’s – locations throughout the state James Boyce, Cotton Row – Huntsville Lucy Buffett, LuLu’s – Gulf Shores Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club – Birmingham Chris Lilly, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q – Decatur Tasia Malakasis, Belle Chevre – Elkmont Nick Pihakis, Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q – locations throughout the state Wesley True, TRUE – Montgomery
The invitation-only event will be from 5 to 9 p.m. at 75 Ninth Avenue. More than 500 New York-based food and travel writers will be invited to learn more about the Art of Alabama Food. Dishes such as Belle Chevre’s Chevre Cheesecake and Lucy Buffet’s Sassy Sliders will be served, as well as Chris Hastings’ Bouillabaisse and Bob Baumhower’s Compleat West Indies Salad. Traditional sweet tea will be the house beverage of the evening, and fresh Alabama Gulf seafood will be featured predominantly in the menu.
The Art of Alabama Food will tour the Southeast this spring with stops in New Orleans, Nashville and Atlanta. The full schedule is as follows:
The Art of Alabama Food: Gallery Tour
January 27 – February 2: Chelsea Market, New York (gallery open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday, January 30)
April 22 – 28: Hotel Monteleone; New Orleans
May 12 – 18: The Mall at Green Hills; Nashville, Tenn.
May 26 – June 1: Lenox Square Mall; Atlanta
For more information on the Art of Alabama food, visit artofalabamafood.com or follow the hashtag #AlabamaFood on social media.
The Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) helps ensure that Alabama’s economy gains maximum benefits from tourism. More than 23 million travelers spent a combined total of $10.6 billion in the state in 2012, supporting the jobs of 161,376 Alabamians. The agency was created in October 1951 by legislative act to promote travel to and through Alabama. It does this both nationally and internationally. ATD is funded by one-fourth of the 4 percent state lodgings tax collected by hotels, motels, campgrounds and other accommodations.
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