Our Mission

FOOD+Culture Festival’s mission is to celebrate the Magic City’s dynamic culinary industry with events that highlight epicurean Birmingham. Through our annual food event, we provide a platform – a table – where people come together to learn about our region’s rich culture, experience all our city has to offer, and discuss issues of deeper cultural significance.

Whether we’re celebrating with dinners, festivities, chef demos, discussions, or parties, the FOOD+Culture Festival remains dedicated 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.

The Team Behind FOOD+Culture

FOOD+Culture has been established by local community leaders dedicated to building a better Birmingham and propelling us forward via a platform focused on food and the dynamic, diverse cultures found here. FOOD+Culture is a §501(c)(3) non-profit organization established by Sloss Real Estate, The Market at Pepper Place, FRED Communication by Design, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and other champions of Birmingham who collectively seek innovative and exciting ways to grow our community and opportunity for our citizens.

Board of Directors
Cathy Sloss Jones


CEO, Sloss Real Estate

Leigh Sloss-Corra


Executive Director, The Market at Pepper Place
Chapter President, Les Dames d’Escoffier

John Pickering

Legal Advisor

Attorney, Balch & Bingham LLP

Cheryl Slocum

Community & Food Advisor

Food writer, Editor
Senior Food Editor, Dotdash Meredith Publishing

Chanda Temple

Community & Food Advisor

Sr. Project Manager, City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office

Valerie Thomas

Community Advisor/Liaison

CEO, The VAL Group


Derick Belden

Gena Berry

Vicki Bolton

Jennie Fisher

Rebecca Gann

Maddie Hall

Lori Horne

Keri Lane

Michele Shields

Meredith David Strider

Branding and Sponsorships

Culinary Production

Financial Manager

Media and Public Relations

Programming Director

Event Manager

Culinary Production

Production and Marketing Director

Admin Manager

Social Media

What are we?

A major annual food festival for Birmingham, FOOD+ Culture launched with a “reveal party” in October 2022. This inaugural event, scheduled for October 12-15, 2023 at Pepper Place, Sloss Furnaces, and other venues around town, will feature 5 signature events and an amplified Saturday Market, over 4 days, plus 10+ dinners at restaurants all over the city, and more than 50 invited featured chefs, mixologists, brewers and more.

Major partners of the weekend include the State of Alabama Tourism, Southern Living Magazine, Alabama Humanities Alliance, Greater Birmingham CVB, International Association of Culinary Professionals, the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center at Auburn University with others joining us daily.

We are currently seeking sponsors for the different event and activations. If you would like to get more information about becoming a 2023 sponsor, please contact Derick Belden (derick@bhamfoodplus.com).

How to get involved.

Highlights for the 2023 festival include kicking the weekend off on Thursday with a seated luncheon presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier, celebrating an all-female chef lineup, then an early evening reception celebrating the inaugural Frank Stitt Award for Industry Excellence.

Friday’s main event will include a seated dinner in the streets of Pepper Place, celebrating Black culture, cuisine and the influence the community has had on Alabama’s foodways, with guest chefs and presenters from around the southeast. In future years, this same event will evolve by highlighting a different culture each year that has helped shaped Birmingham’s food identity.

Saturday will offer two events, starting with an amplified Market at Pepper Place, followed by a walk-around tasting event at Sloss Furnaces celebrating the barbecue community, live-fire cooking, and Southern tailgate culture.

Sunday will conclude back at Sloss Furnaces with a biscuit, brass and Bloody Mary brunch.

Throughout the week, invited restaurants around the city will play host to an out-of-town guest chef, offering one-night-only menu items, in addition to the restaurant’s full menu. These dinners will be non-ticketed, first-come-first-serve based on reservations through the restaurants website. More information about where and when these dinners will take place will be announced in August.

To learn more about getting involved as featured talent or having your restaurant host one of our dinners, please contact Rebecca Gann ( rebecca@bhamfoodplus.com).

Please note there are limited chef spots, and specific event thematics each year. While we would love to include all of our city and region’s amazing talent, we simply cannot, however the roster and programming will change and evolve year to year. For anyone who cannot participate in 2023, be on the lookout for new opportunities and exciting events coming in 2024!

50+ chefs, 5 signature events, 4 days, 1 city…