A four-day celebration of Birmingham’s rich history of cuisine and culture returns this fall with some of the city’s top chefs and cooks, from food icon Frank Stitt to the Greek restaurateurs who had fed the city throughout its history.

Early-bird tickets go on sale July 10 for the second annual FOOD+Culture Festival, highlighting the “rich tapestry of flavors and traditions that define Birmingham’s culinary scene,” according to a release. Most festival events are set for September 19-22 at the Pepper Place district, Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, and other locations around the city.

The initial gathering in 2023 was named the third-best new festival nationwide by an expert panel gathered by USA Today and its readers.

“Birmingham brought the heat with their inaugural food and culture festival, spanning four full days of culinary happenings with local talent,” the national newspaper wrote when it released its best new festivals list in January. “With luncheons and seated dinners, an extended farmers’ market, and tasting events, the event delivered on its promise of showcasing Birmingham’s cultural vibrancy in the culinary landscape.”

Tickets can be purchased here. Prices had not been announced at the time of publication.

(Birmingham FOOD+Culture Festival/Contributed)

Planned events will feature more than 100 chefs, cooks, and mixologists and 10 collaborative dinners. Highlights include:


Named for the father of Birmingham’s modern culinary scene, the Frank Stitt Award for Industry Excellence will honor Glenn Roberts, who revived the use of heritage corn, rice, and other Southern grains at his Anson Mills in South Carolina. Stitt, the award-winning founder of Highlands Bar and Grill, Chez Fonfon, and Bottega’s dining room and cafe, will present the award during a cocktail reception at the Birmingham Museum of Art on Thursday, September 19, from 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.



The multi-course seated dinner under the stars at Pepper Place on 29th Street South will focus on the many culinary contributions of Greek immigrants and their families, who dominated barbecue, meats-and-three, fine dining, and hot dogs throughout the 20th Century and now. The dinner will be Friday, September 20, from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.

(Birmingham FOOD+Culture Festival/Contributed)

FOOD+Market Mix

Farmers, female chefs, storytellers, and authors will be center-of-the-plate at the Saturday morning Market at Pepper Place, one of the nation’s oldest pop-up farmers markets. The mix will be served throughout regular market hours, 7 a.m.-noon, on September 21.


Southern Living’s FOOD+Fire

Taste barbecue and other live-fire cooking and celebrate Southern fall tailgate culture at this walk-around tasting set for Saturday, September 21, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark on 32nd Street North.

(Birmingham FOOD+Culture Festival/Contributed)


You don’t have to give up food for funk at the festival’s Grits and Grooves brunch, set for September 22 from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Sloss Furnaces. Famed New Orleans musicians the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will perform during the brunch celebrating Alabama’s passion for grits.


FOOD+Friends Dinner Series

Visiting guest chefs will produce surprise menus at restaurants around the city as a celebration of industry comradery. It will be a gastronomic treasure hunt.

(Birmingham FOOD+Culture Festival/Contributed)

Last year’s festival featured visitors from 18 states coast to coast, as well as travelers from Canada, the festival release said.

Food + Culture is a non-profit focused on Birmingham’s foodways, organized by Sloss Real Estate, the Market at Pepper Place, FRED Communication by Design, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and others.

“The Birmingham FOOD+Culture Festival is proud to continue showcasing the diverse culinary traditions and talent that make Birmingham such a unique and vibrant destination,” says Cathy Sloss Jones, Sloss Real Estate CEO/President, founder of the Market at Pepper Place, and FOOD+ Board President. “We are thrilled to once again welcome food enthusiasts from near and far to join us for another unforgettable celebration of Birmingham’s culinary community.”