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Fondren Renaissance Announces Mississippi Food and Wine Festival

JACKSON, Miss. —Fondren Renaissance Foundation (FRF) recently announced the inaugural Mississippi Food and Wine Festival will be held June 14-16, 2019, with four preview events scheduled for this fall. The 2018 preview events are comprised of two private chef dinners and two large-scale culinary events centered around barbecue and a gospel brunch.

“We want the public to get a taste of the type of culinary events that will be featured at the annual festival,” said Jim Wilkirson, FRF Executive Director.

This fall’s large-scale events are each limited to 200 people and will be held at The Cedars. The two private chef dinners are each limited to 75 people. The September dinner features Austin Sumrall of White Pillars in Biloxi, and the October dinner features Alex Harrell of Franklin Marigny in New Orleans.

Founded to promote and emphasize Fondren's eclectic and award-winning culinary community, the Mississippi Food and Wine Festival will incorporate chefs and establishments, not only from Fondren and the Jackson community, but all areas across Mississippi and the South.

The 2019 Mississippi Craft Beer Festival, entering its fifth year, will become the Friday anchor event for the inaugural Food and Wine Festival.

“We will also introduce a Saturday competition day involving categories such as seafood, barbecue, baking and mixology (bartender and barista) in the first year,” said Wilkirson.

Rounding out the weekend will be a series of private dinners held throughout the city, plus a "Grand Tasting" held on Duling Avenue on Saturday evening. The festival weekend concludes with a gospel brunch on Sunday.

The three-day event, presented by FRF, will be a major fundraiser for the organization benefiting its programming and efforts in and around the Fondren area.

“A portion of the funds raised throughout the event will be given to food-focused charities nominated by those participating in the event,” Wilkirson explained.

The 2018 preview event charities are Extra Table, Mississippi Food Network’s Backpack for Kids Program, Farm Families of Mississippi and Refill Café. For tickets or additional information, visit

Fall 2018 Preview Events

Chef Dinner: Monday, September 10th, 7 p.m. - Albert's at Parlor Market featuring Austin Sumrall, Derek Emerson, Robert Rushton, Chaz Lindsay, Jesse Houston and Val Spelman. Benefitting MS Food Network's Backpacks for Kids Program (Jackson)

Mississippi Whole Hog BBQ: Sunday, September 23,rd 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - The Cedars with Andy Cook, David Crews, Mitchell McCamey, Nathan Glenn, Scott Koestler and Derek Emerson. Music by The Hustlers; Cash bar by Cathead Distillery & Southern Beverage. Benefitting Farm Families of MS (Statewide)

Chef Dinner: Wednesday, October 24th , 7 p.m. - CAET featuring Alex Harrell, Derek Emerson, Louis LaRose, Alex Eaton, Laura Strickland, Babylonstoren Wines with Grady Griffin. Benefitting Refill Café (Jackson)

Mississippi Gospel Brunch: Sunday, October 28th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. - The Cedars with Robert St. John, Ty Thames, Elizabeth Heiskell, Derek Emerson and Mitchell Moore. Live Gospel • Cash bar featuring Debutante Farmer Bloody Marys & Cathead Mimosas. Benefitting Extra Table (Jackson)

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