Let me get this straight: I can gorge on barbecue, biscuits and fried pies, learn the secrets of some of the area's finest chefs, and help save the historic Franklin Theatre? Geez, why not toss in a cure for cancer and a free penis enlargement? Sorry—you'll just have to settle for the Franklin Food & Spirits Festival, coming May 30 to historic Carnton Mansion and May 31 to the Franklin Square.
On Friday the 30th, check out a Potlikker Film Festival featuring documentarian Joe York's short films "Hot Chicken," "Fried Pies" and "Whole Hog," as well as a Whole Hog Cooking Class with pitmasters Ed Mitchell and Patrick Martin. The main attraction, though, is a Grand Dinner coordinated by Chef Drew Robinson from Jim N' Nick's Bar-B-Q. Dig this roster of big swinging spatulas in the kitchen: Jason McConnell from the Red Pony; Martha Stamps from Martha's at the Plantation; Tandy Wilson from City House (awesome fried soft-shell crab the other night); the return of kitchen-science wizard Sean Brock from McCrady's in Charleston, S.C.; and John Fleer from Sunburst Trout in Canton, N.C.
Then, on the 31st, the Square spotlights a wide spectrum of Southern cooking with the help of the Southern Foodways Alliance. Eat barbecue, learn the secrets of aging whiskey, explore the rich history of local specialties such as hot chicken and the hot fish sandwich, and visit with the Four Horsemen of Southern food writing: John Egerton, John T. Edge, Jim Myers and Fred Thompson.
Visit the event's website for a full schedule, locations, and ticket information. After the jump: a schedule of some of Saturday's educational events.
SATURDAY, MAY 31
10:30 a.m. Biscuit Workshop
John Egerton & Belinda Ellis of White Lily
11:30 a.m. Ribtastic Grilling
12:30 p.m. Telling the Stories Behind the Food: An SFA Hot Fish Conversation with Bolton's Hot Fish
1:00 p.m. Telling the Stories Behind the Food: An SFA Fried Pie Conversation with Mrs. Carolyn Armstrong
1:30 p.m. Telling the Stories Behind the Food: An SFA Tenderloin Biscuit Conversation with Paradise Ridge
2:00 p.m. Wood That You Could: The colorful relationship of whiskey and oak
Whiskey musings by Jim Myers
3:00 p.m. Cornbread Nation 4 Book Signing & Reading: The Best of Southern Food Writing with Jim Myers, Fred Thompson, John T Edge, & Amy Evans
4:00 p.m. Telling the Stories Behind the Food: An SFA Hot Chicken Conversation with Andre Prince Jeffries
4:30 p.m. Telling the Stories Behind the Food: An SFA Southern Craft Beer Conversation with Bob Budd of Atlanta Brewing Company