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Bourbon celebrations, new fall restaurants, and one laid-back bear.
Bourbon celebrations, new fall restaurants, and one laid-back bear.
Bourbon celebrations, new fall restaurants, and one laid-back bear. Welcome to this week’s Talk of the South.
“This is a huge feature. It’s incredible that it stayed hidden off the U.S. East Coast for so long.”
Erik Cordes, chief scientist of an expedition that recently discovered a massive coral reef 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina. Researchers estimate the cold-water coral, which exists a half mile below the ocean surface, is hundreds of thousands of years old.
Vintage whiskeys at the Bottle & Bond bar in Bardstown, Kentucky. (Courtesy Bardstown Bourbon Company)
Kentucky’s Bourbon Blowouts
There’s a collective clink in the air come September as whiskey enthusiasts everywhere raise a glass in honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month. But of course nowhere celebrates America’s native spirit quite like its home state of Kentucky. For starters, the 27th annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival kicks off September 12 in Bardstown, the “bourbon capital of the world,” offering a five-day lineup of tastings, seminars, music, and more. While in Bardstown, you might want to swing by the newest stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Bardstown Bourbon Company. The distillery’s recently opened restaurant, Bottle & Bond, features a whiskey library that includes more than two hundred vintage American whiskeys, some going back more than a century.
The party moves to Louisville the following weekend (September 22–23) for the Bourbon & Beyond Festival, a music, food, and bourbon mash-up with performances by the likes of Robert Plant, Sting, Lenny Kravitz, and Gov’t Mule. And if you still need a nightcap, test your bourbon expertise at one of the watering holes along Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail.
Where to Eat This Fall
Something about cooler days and nights gets our appetites revving. Thankfully, a slew of the South’s best chefs are opening new restaurants this fall, from Tandy Wilson’s Southern mess hall in Nashville to Mashama Bailey’s Savannah lunch counter to David Bancroft’s barbecue outpost in Auburn. Get details on the ten openings we’re most excited about here.
Beary Relaxing
A bear that showed up recently in Michelle Baber’s backyard in Asheville, North Carolina, was just looking for a little R&R. See the amusing video here.
One of my favorite sources of inspiration is the Instagram account of Florida native-turned-Anglophile Amanda Brooks. Anytime I’m having a harried day, I click over to see if Brooks is making jam or arranging flowers, and my blood pressure lowers. Brooks debuted a cookbook this summer that brings her Instagram life to print. It’s also a memoir of sorts, detailing her experience of going from the fashion world in New York City to a simpler existence on her husband’s family farm in England. That slower pace and connection to the land is something many Southerners will relate to. My favorite recipe? Her raspberry muffins. Easy, beautiful, and sort of like Southern cornbread studded with fresh fruit. 
—Haskell Harris
—Art: I always marvel at any exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass art. (I also can’t help but wonder: How’d all that fragile stuff get where it was going without any damage?) Now through October 7, sixteen of his large-scale pieces are scattered (carefully) across the Biltmore estate’s gardens, and a Chihuly Nights ticket lets you in after dark, when they’re illuminated to really pop. When I was there last weekend, I was lucky enough to time my visit for another show: sunset views from the South Terrace.

Books: With just two people to cook for at my house, leftovers are often a problem. For author Julia Turshen, they’re an opportunity. In her new cookbook, Now & Again, Tuesday-night supper’s side of sauteed zucchini with Green Goddess dressing, for example, becomes Wednesday’s desk lunch of zucchini hummus. Roasted brisket turns into pho, cheddar cornbread into dressing…  It’s a smart and practical approach for real-world cooks. 

Events: It doesn’t take much convincing to plan a fall trip to Highlands, North Carolina. But if you need an extra nudge, on October 8 at the Farm at Old Edwards Inn, the Southern Foodways Alliance will premiere The Many Lives of Louis Osteen, a documentary about a godfather of Lowcountry cooking. Paying culinary tribute at the dinner event is a lineup that’s less all-star than supernova: chefs Dickie Brennan, Sean Brock, Shelley Cooper, John Fleer, Mike Lata, Bill Smith, and Frank Stitt. I already bought my tickets (more are still available). Hope to see you there.

Phillip Rhodes, executive managing editor
Our question last week—What’s your plan for an end-of-summer hurrah?—elicited a collective yawn from readers. Maybe nobody wants summer to end. But folks did leave terrific comments on a G&G Facebook post that asked, Can you marry someone who pulls for your college football team’s rival?

I went to Georgia and my husband of 22 years went to Florida. It can be tough at times, especially at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. We’ve learned not to sit together at that game. —Traci Ertley Jenks

No respectable Tiger would ever marry a Gamecock. —Sarah Slyker Perkins

Thirty-one years and counting. We came home from our honeymoon to go to the Alabama-Auburn game. We did, however, sit on opposite sides. —Laing Hensley Higgins

Mom and Dad were married 60 years. Watched their respective teams on opposite ends of the house. Worked for them. —Kellie McGriff

Know a few, but so thankful my wife is a Tar Heel like me. Couldn’t live with a Dookie or Packer! —Rob Patton

It works for 364 days out of the year! Wouldn’t trade it for the world! —Vince Schilleci

Dating or marrying an Auburn fan: I would have to take a lot into consideration. Dating any other SEC fan: Doable. But I don’t know if I could ever marry outside of the SEC 😂 —Ashley Bjorkman

No way in the world. Of course it would never come to that—that’s a first-date sort of question right there! —Lori Britt Shin

This week’s question: If you didn’t live in the South, where would you live?
Send your answers to
September 6–8
The American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City hosts Banjo Fest, including the induction of sixteen-time Grammy winning artist Béla Fleck into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame and a concert with Fleck and other banjo legends.

September 8
Thanks to its popularity, an exhibition of works by the late Cajun artist George Rodrigue at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi, has been extended into October, including an encore Gallery Talk on September 8 with the artist’s widow, Wendy Rodrigue.
September 8
The annual Hard Cider Bash at Shaker Village in Kentucky is a chance to try delicious fall food as well as house-fermented apple ciders made from such historic varieties as Black Twig, Grimes Golden, and Virginia Winesap.
September 9
Happy Grandparents’ Day! Need some grandparent wisdom in your life? Heed this advice from Delta grandmothers.
September 11-23
Giddy up for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.
September 11-23
High Hampton Resort’s annual Dinner in the Dahlias event in Cashiers celebrates North Carolina heritage foods in a flower-studded setting.

The Southern History of Cabbage Patch Kids


How Chef Tandy Wilson Does BBQ Chicken


 New on TV: Where Southern Food and Football Meet


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