Get ready to have your tastebuds tantalized by some of the Southeast’s best chefs at this Mississippi summer food festival

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Where can you taste some of the most mouth-watering dishes from award-winning chefs in Mississippi and beyond?

Delicious morsels from City Grocery in Oxford, Dickie Brennan’s in New Orleans, The White Pillars in Biloxi, Restaurant Tyler in Starkville and many other popular restaurants will be served at the 2023 Natchez Food and Wine Festival on July 28 and 29.

If you haven’t purchased tickets for this year’s events, you will want to move that up on your to-do list.

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“The Saturday night Invitation to the Natchez Table at Stanton Hall is sold out,” said Lyn Fortenbery Jenkins, executive director of the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce. “There are only a few tickets left for the Invitation to the Natchez Table at Dunleith. Those went quickly. And the Wine and Cheese Tasting at The Castle has sold out.”

And, more than half of the supply of tickets to the Friday Night Visit Mississippi’s Tastings Along the River has been sold. Famed New Orleans Chef and Restaurateur Dickie Brennan will emcee the Tasting event on Friday night.

Guest chefs include Victoria “Tori” Loomis of The Gathering Girl; Nic Swogger, chef at City Grocery of Oxford; Chef de Cuisine Devan Giddix of Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House in New Orleans; Chef and owner Austin Sumrall of White Pillars in Biloxi; Chef Karen Carrier of The Beauty Shop Restaurant and Bar in Memphis; Chef Jesse Houston of Fine & Dandy of Jackson; Chef Taylor Bowen-Ricketts of Fan and Johnny’s in Greenwood; Katie Dixon, chef and owner of The Birdhouse Café in Hattiesburg and cookbook author; Cheese Mongers Richard and Danielle Sutton of St. James Cheese Co. of New Orleans; Chef Derek Emerson of CAET in Ridgeland; Chef Mitchell McCamey of Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen in Tupelo, Neon Pig in Tupelo and Oxford; Chef David Leathers of Foodsmith in Nashville; Chef Ty Thames of fBin 612 and Restaurant Tyler, both in Starkville; Chef Cole Ellis of Delta Meat Market of Cleveland; Chef Cory Bahr is owner and founder of Parish Restaurant, Standard Coffee Co. and Heritage Catering of Monroe, Louisiana; Chef Chris Motto of Juban’s in Baton Rouge; Chef Nonato of Tsunami in Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans; as well as Natchez Chefs, bakers and culinary experts Wayne Bryant Canon of Continental Chef at The Carriage House, Sarah Beth Willard and Liza Sharp of Natchez Olive Market; Regina Charboneau; Coconut’s Ashley Allen; Jarita Frazier-King of the Natchez Heritage School of Cooking and Soul Fusion; Alexis Lehrman of Butter Cakery; and Pastry Chef Molly Manning Robertson, a Food Network Spring Baking Championship finalist.

“We are only three weeks out. We have 25 chefs coming from all over the country, wine vendors, four cookbook authors. It should be a great festival,” Jenkins said.

A popular Natchez event for several years, the last Food and Wine Festival was held here in 2018. Jenkins and the Chamber of Commerce took on the job of recreating it this year.

Most sponsorships have been claimed, but a few chef sponsorships remain, Jenkins said.

“If anyone is interested in sponsoring a chef, we need to know by Wednesday of this coming week because we have to get banners made,” she said. “We are reimbursing chefs, which we have never done before. They are taking time away from their restaurants and many of them are short handed already. We want this to be a very pleasant experience for them.

Title sponsors are Visit Natchez and Visit Mississippi. Half of the proceeds from the Friday night Tastings Along the River will go to benefit the Natchez Stewpot.

Ticketed events include:

• Friday Tastings Along the River, 6:30 p.m. at the Natchez Convention Center, $75

• Saturday Cathead Mixology Class, 11 a.m. at Smoot’s, $40

• Saturday Wine and Cheese Tasting, 1:30 p.m. at The Castle, $65, is SOLD OUT.

• Saturday Juleps and History Demonstration, 3 p.m. at Monmouth, $35

• Saturday Brats, Beer & Bocce, 5 p.m. at Natchez Brewing Co., $35

• Saturday, Mansion Dinner, 7 p.m. at Stanton Hall, $125 is SOLD OUT.

• Saturday, Mansion Dinner, 7 p.m. at Dunleith, $125

• Saturday, Mansion Dinner, 7 p.m. at Monmouth, $125

• Saturday, Foodsmith Private Dining Experience with Chef David Leathers, 7 p.m., is SOLD OUT.

To purchase tickets, go to and follow the links.