Bluffton isn't normally a major foodie destination, but it certainly will be next week.
Some of the country's top chefs and culinarians, including a handful of favorite "Top Chef" personalities (and a judge!), will celebrate Southern cuisine and wine during Palmetto Bluff's fourth annual Music to Your Mouth Festival, to be held Nov. 15-21 at the residential community and conservation preserve. And you can party right alongside them.
The festival offers a week's worth of activities, including celebrity cooking demonstrations, tastings, dinner parties and cruises on the May River.
But if you're looking to attend just one event at the festival, look no further than the Culinary Festival, held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 20 on Palmetto Bluff's Village Green. If Music to Your Mouth was a meal, the Culinary Festival would be the main course. And Gail Simmons, then, would be the dessert. The judge of Bravo's "Top Chef" and host of "Top Chef: Just Desserts" is playing host to this year's festival. (Release foodie squeals of delight now.)
In addition to rubbing shoulders with Simmons and other industry leaders, attendees will sample chefs' Southern fare and an array of fine wines and spirits.
"It's a personal and educational experience," Palmetto Bluff marketing manager Courtney Hampson said of the festival. "You're standing right there in front of the chef, and you can walk away from the event and walk into any of their restaurants the next week."
There also will be cooking demonstrations and live entertainment throughout the day.
Tickets for the Culinary Festival are $200. A portion of ticket sales goes to Second Helpings, a nonprofit charitable food distribution project that feeds needy families in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties.
For more information or to buy tickets, go to www.musictoyourmouth.com or call 866-0706-6565.
For a full list of chefs, personalities, vintners, brewers, farmers and artisans attending the Music to Your Mouth Festival, go to blogs.islandpacket.com/blogalacarte.