Birmingham FOOD+Culture Festival

Food is transformative. It empowers individuals, strengthens connections, and builds community.

Food is the common denominator. Food has the power to unite. It opens our eyes to new cultures—and our minds to new ways of thinking … which is why we’re launching the Birmingham FOOD+Culture Festival.

As Birmingham’s first annual culinary-meets-cultural festival, FOOD+ brings together chefs, farmers, food writers, artisan food makers, distillers, and winemakers to highlight food as the universal thread that is woven throughout our city’s rich cultural fabric. 

Through FOOD+, we celebrate not only Birmingham’s chefs and their unique flavors, but also the artists and the cultural vibrancy of the Magic City with the world.

We are launching with a three year plan:

  • Year 1: Announcement of program and launch event.

  • Year 2: Continue supporting existing events and expand food and cultural programming.
  • Year 3: Expand to become Birmingham’s ultimate annual food festival.


We believe that food has the transformative power to bring people together, to share their stories and ideas over the table.

Food is a common denominator. It empowers individuals, strengthens personal connections, and builds community. Food opens our eyes to new cultures—it opens our minds to new ways of thinking. We believe food has the power to unite.

FOOD+Culture is a festival that brings together local chefs, farmers and foragers, epicures, storytellers, artisan makers, distillers and winemakers—from all walks of life—to share the unique flavors and cultural vibrance of our community.

It’s time Birmingham secures its important place in American culinary circles by bringing together and showcasing the unique flavors and diverse faces that make our city’s food scene so special.

The Birmingham Food + Culture Festival celebrates the Magic City’s dynamic culinary industry through dinners, festivities, chef demos, discussions, and events that highlight epicurean Birmingham while maintaining a dedication to equity, the arts, sustainability, and community growth. We are committed to all forms of the culinary arts, with passion in equal parts reverence for tradition and excitement for innovation. We have a particular interest in providing an annual platform–a table–where people come together over food to not only celebrate the flavors of our rich cultural fabric, but also to discuss issues of deeper cultural significance.

FOOD+Culture has been established by locals for locals to showcase the best of Birmingham. We are a partnership between people dedicated to the building a better Birmingham and propelling us forward via a platform focused on food and the dynamic, diverse cultures found here.

Our current partners include:

  • State of Alabama Tourism
  • Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • International Association of Culinary Professionals
  • The Market at Pepper Place
  • Jones Valley Teaching Farm
  • Birmingham Originals
  • Alabama Humanities Alliance

As we plan beyond 2022 for a more robust weekend-long festival and 2024’s Year of Alabama Food festival, there will be a growing number of ways you can get involved FOOD+. We invite you to not only mark your calendars for this fall, but think about ways you’d like to share your talents and present your culture, brand, and expertise.

  • Host a Chef’s Tasting Dinner
  • Present a Cooking Demo
  • Participate in the Makers Mercantile
  • Share Your Food Story
  • Give a Table Talk
  • Host a Discussion Panel 
  • Participate in our Street Party
  • Partner with Chefs or Farmers or other Food Makers to do any of the above
  • Partner with the arts and/or culture groups in creative ways
  • Highlight your own unique culture
  • Come to us with an idea

FOOD+Culture is actively seeking sponsorships and support for our 2022, 2023, and 2024 programming. We are a 501(c)(3) organization focused on promoting and supporting Birmingham’s culinary scene.

More details coming soon on how you can get involved.

Super Wellness Day and Bham Food+Culture Fest @ The Market at Pepper Place

sponsored by:

Join us on Saturday, October 15, 2022 for extra special programming at The Market at Pepper Place.

Designed to celebrate our health and wellbeing programming and offer a very small sample of what FOOD+Culture will bring to Birmingham in 2023.

Super Wellness Day

Resources Attending:

  • BCBSAL volunteers
  • Samford Univ. McWhorter School of Pharmacy—health checks
  • Live HealthSmart Alabama & UAB—working to improve health outcomes for all Alabamians by 2030
  • UAB Center for Exercise Medicine—recruiting for a study about the results of exercise
  • Levite Jewish Community Center of Birmingham—promoting classes and community to improve fitness and wellness
  • Alabama Ballet—promoting dance for fitness, culture and community
  • All of Us—NIH program at UAB collecting DNA for int’l research

Special Programs:

  • 8am: Outdoor HIIT Class—Martin Biscuit parking lot, hosted by the JCC—free for walk-ups

Pepper Place Chef Demo Stage:

  • 9am: Demo with Chef Sedesh Boodram of The Anvil Pub and Grill: Warm Fall Salad
  • 10am: Magical World of Mushrooms—panel and tasting
    Mushroom farmers:
    – Tim Pfitzer of Magic City Mushrooms
    – Charles Crowther of Grandview Farm
    – Joanna Mann of Walden Farmacy
    Moderator: Nutrition Professor Clara Darling, MS, RDN, LD, Director of Samford University Food Labs & Wellness Kitchen, with culinary assistance by undergraduate nutrition students.
  • 10:30am: Why Eating Seasonally is Better—all-women panel
    – Kimberly McNair Brock, Bitty’s Living Kitchen
    – Olivia Fuller, AL Extension Service–Auburn University
    – Helene Jones, Pizza Grace
    – Barbara Roberts, MS, RDN/LD, CDES, Professor of Nutrition Science at UAB, Live HealthSmart Alabama Program Manager
    Moderator: Lisa Beasley, Manager, The Market at Pepper Place

FOOD+Culture Special Events

Food+Storytellers @ Hot and Hot Fish Club Patio:

  • 9:00 am—Martie Duncan, Chef, Author, Party Planner
  • 9:06 am—Van Sykes of Bob Sykes BBQ
  • 9:14 am—Don Lupo, Director of Mayor’s Office of Citizen’s Assistance
  • 9:21 am—Helene Jones, Restaurateur, Pizza Grace
  • 9:28 am—Graham Boettcher, R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art
  • 9:35 am—Kimberly McNair Brock, Chef/owner, Bitty’s Living Kitchen
  • 9:43 am—Verna Gates, Award-winning journalist, food author,founder of Fresh Air Family
  • 9:50 am—Jonathan Tucker, Chef/owner & pitmaster at Rusty’s Bar-B-Q
  • 9:57 am—Jen Ryan, Owner, BLUEROOT; developer of CROUX app
  • 10:05 am—Feizal Valli, Owner of The House of Found Objects, 3-time James Beard Award nominee
  • 10:12 am—Chanda Temple, Award-winning cookbook author, City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office
  • 10:19 am—Elizabeth Vander Kamp, Storyteller, Creative Director, Summer RED productions
  • 10:25 am—Valerie Thomas, The VAL Group, Market at Pepper Place Board Member
  • 10:32 am—Nick & Jenny Nicholson, Eating Alabama
  • 10:39 am—Audrey Atkins, Author & former Director of Community Engagement for WBHM
  • 10:46 am—Chef Sedesh Boodram, The Anvil Pub and Grill
  • 11:03 am—Rahul Thadani, Executive Director, HR Sys Ops Human Resources, UAB

Book Signings@Stone Hollow/Yellowhammer Porch

9:30 – 10:30am

  • Van Sykes — From the Pit to the Plate: The Story of Bob Sykes BBQ
  • Audrey Atkins — They Call Me Orange Juice
  • Carolyn Williams, PHD, RD — Meals That Heal

PLUS… Alabama Ballet Dancers–Spot them in Costume–and so much more!