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Memphis Food & Wine Festival

Showcase of Local and National Chefs and Vineyards Benefits FedExFamilyHouse

Story by Gaye Swan | Photos by Don Perry

Memphians turned out in force to celebrate three passions: food, wine and community at the Memphis Food & Wine Festival. In its second year, the event is growing in popularity, attracting chefs and wineries as well as guests.

At the Memphis Botanic Garden, twinkling lights lined the Live Garden and tempting aromas beckoned as guests sampled the creative dishes of acclaimed local, regional and national chefs. Knowledgeable wine vendors helped patrons select the perfect wine. Music from Ghost Town Blues Band and Jack Rowell & the Royal Blues Band filled the air.

The featured chef was Guy Savoy, a French master chef with three Michelin stars to his credit and the owner/chef of restaurants in Paris and Las Vegas. “Prominent event sponsor Caesars Entertainment and Horseshoe Casino went over the top in arranging his trip to Memphis,” said Sherry Chimenti, Director of Marketing. “Chef Savoy was charmed by Memphis,” said Chimenti. “And festival goers that visited him in the Horseshoe tent and experienced his culinary vision can attest that Chef Savoy definitely charmed Memphis.”

He served a wonderful artichoke and black truffle soup, a favorite among the sold out crowd. Guest chefs also included Gerard Bertholon who prepared 72-hour sous vide beef short ribs with creamy grits and Shari Haley and Joe Cartwright served champagne apple pie with candied orange peel. Tony McPhail of Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and Deb Paquette of Etch and Etc. in Nashville also wowed guests with their culinary creations.

Local chefs were in hot demand! Jose Guiterrez of River Oaks Restaurant served a shrimp terrine with a salad of haricot verts, Parisienne mushrooms, and truffle vinaigrette. Erling Jensen offered squid ink pasta, lobster, and adobo crème and Nick Vergos served his famous Rendezvous ribs.

Wineries included Silver Oak, served in festival sponsor Ellichman Vein & Vascular Centers’ tent. Pol Roger Champagne was served in the FedEx tent in complimentary engraved champagne flutes.

The Silent Auction was a popular place for event-goers. With 33 items available, there were items for every taste – including two Rolex watches donated by Sissy’s Log Cabin.

“FedEx was quickly on board as the presenting sponsor again this year. Beyond their monetary support, their festival volunteers are invaluable to the success of the event,” said Chimenti. Funds benefit the FedExFamilyHouse, which provides housing for families with children at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, and is currently in the process of expansion.

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