April 16, 2022

Corks and Chefs celebrates its 25th anniversary

2.9 min read

(Corks & Chefs/Contributed)

Tickets are on sale now for the silver anniversary of Cork and Chefs, where attendees get to sample food and libations served by Birmingham-area restaurants in the atmosphere of an art festival.

The 25th celebration of the city’s nationally recognized dining and drink scene is set for Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24, in the main casting shed at Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark.

Several restaurants and caterers will be showcased, along with craft beer from 10 Alabama breweries, wine from three state distributors, and pop-up bars featuring cocktail specialists from Juniper, Paper Doll and Queen’s Park. Tasting seminars and demonstrations also are planned.

Corks and Chefs is part of the massive Magic City Art Connection festival, which is in its 39th year. A ticket for Corks and Chefs—$45 in advance and $55 at the gate—includes admission to the arts show. Tickets are available online.

(Corks & Chefs/Contributed)

Corks and Chefs ticket holders also will get a 15-ounce commemorative stemless wine glass, admission to one of the four tasting sessions, a sample from each pop-up cocktail bar, unlimited beer and wine samplings, and access to one of the two specialty seminars set for each session. The sessions each day are from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., and from 2 p.m.–4 p.m.

The event was moved in 2021 from Linn Park in downtown Birmingham to the Sloss historic landmark site. The original Corks and Chefs, in 1997, was the first outdoor tasting event promoting Birmingham’s restaurant and drinks scenes. 

The honorees at this year’s festival are members of the Birmingham chapter of the culinary group Les Dames d’Escoffier International, which includes several luminaries from area restaurants, caterers, and specialty cocktail bars.

Featured restaurants and caterers (and their principals) include:

Saturday, April 23 

  • EATS Highland (Wendy Cruse)
  • Sol y Luna (Jorge Castro)
  • Wasabi Juan’s (Barby and Luis Toro)
  • Watkins Branch Bourbon and Brasserie (Alexander Johnson)
  • Homewood Gourmet (Chris and Laura Zapalowski)
  • Scrumptious (Stephanie Malone)
  • The Greek Kouzina (Fanoula Gulas)
  • Sorelle (Joy Smith)

Sunday, April 24 

  • Chez Lulu / Continental Bakery (Carole Griffin)
  • El Barrio Restaurante y Bar (Neville Baay)
  • Ocean (George Reis)
  • Pizza Grace (Ryan Westover)
  • Southern Graze (Maureen Holt)

(Corks & Chefs/Contributed)


Saturday, April 23

  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Molecular Gastronomy: Tyler & Jennifer Lyne, Tasting TBL Reservation Only Supper Club
  • 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Seasonal ingredients for home cocktails: Laura Newman, Queen’s Park
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Old Fashioned cocktails: James Joseph, Old Forester
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Single-origin chocolate and ganache tasting: Susan Notter, Elizabeth Moore Chocolates. 

Sunday, April 24

  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Derby Day juleps: Steva Casey, Tiki by the Sea, Lou’s Pub 
  • 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Single-original chocolate and ganache tasting: Susan Notter, Elizabeth Moore Chocolates 
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Bourbon whiskey history and tasting: James Joseph, Old Forester 
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Vintage wines: Stephen Humphreys, Athens Imports 


Profits from Corks and Chefs helps support Imagination Festival, interactive workshops and art experiences that serve third- and fourth-grade students visiting Friday the Friday session of the arts festival, and families and children throughout the weekend.

Come for the food and stay for the art. Or go for the art and break for the food. You can’t go wrong either way.

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