Craft Food & Wine Festival is this Sunday at The Columns in downtown Memphis.
This new culinary festival is all about eating local. The event will offer two two-hour tasting sessions that day for attendees to sample and savor culinary creations from over 40 local vendors.
Cheeses, sauces, popcorn, charcuterie, jams and jellies, and baked goods are a few of the offerings. Local beers, teas and cider as well as a Bloody Mary bar will also be served. Organizer Cristina McCarter describes it as “a farmers market with free samples.”
As they walk in the door, each attendee is given a wooden cheese board to arrange their samples. It’s a play on creating your own butcher board.
Chef Aaron Winters of Sur La Table is one of the chefs that will be participating, preparing a butcher board for guests to sample.
He offered the following advice on making your own butcher boards at home.
First, use local ingredients when you can. Charcuterie from City Block Salumeria and goat cheeses from Bonnie Blue Farm are two of his go-to’s. He also picks up veggies from the farmers market and pickles them to use as garnishes.
Aaron said that one of biggest errors people make is not having enough contrasting flavors. If you have a funky cheese, he recommends serving something sweet like a tomato jam with it. Balance salty charcuterie with fresh or dried fruit.
He also pointed out that most cheeses and charcuterie are best at room temperature. Don’t keep your board in the refrigerator until your guests arrive. Be sure to let the ingredients come to room temperature before serving so that the flavors open up.
For more information and tickets to the event, visit craftfoodandwinefestival.com.
This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit.