Inaugural food and music festival invites attendees to relish the fun and flavor of local dining and entertainment
While it has always been a necessity for survival, food – from its production and preparation to its consumption – has also become something more than what we simply put in our bellies. You could say food has moved from nourishment to entertainment, with more and more people taking the time to become versed in different aspects of cooking and in diverse cuisines, while also supporting the restaurants and chefs making bold and innovative culinary decisions.
Here in Lexington and the Bluegrass region, food’s fanfare has been bubbling over the lid, and some people felt that it was high time for chowtime to become a weekend-long celebration. The inaugural “Crave Lexington” festival should be an appetizing option Sept. 21 – 22 at the MoonDance at Midnight Pass amphitheater in Beaumont Circle.
Crave Lexington organizer Robbie Morgan says it’s easy to see that a food festival would be popular, if the sudden proliferation of dining options in Lexington is any indication.
“We’ve all seen it in the past five years: this explosion of restaurants downtown and outside of downtown,” she said, “and people being incredibly excited about it.”
Morgan is also the director of events and sponsorships for Smiley Pete Publishing, this magazine’s parent company, and she’s quick to point out that Crave is not just a festival for people interested in food, though “foodies” will also have plenty to enjoy during the weekend.
“It’s a festival for ‘locavores,’” she said, “and it’s also a festival for people who don’t even know what locavore means.” (A locavore is someone with a penchant for eating food sourced as locally as possible.)
Along with bringing together dozens of local and regional food vendors (from farmers and restaurant chefs to food truck operators) in one setting where people can get a taste of the area’s varied culinary landscape, part of Crave’s purpose is demystifying the notion that cooking delicious food is an unattainable skill that only trained professionals can achieve.
A number of demonstrations, from breaking down a local heritage pig into usable parts to harvesting and cooking mushrooms, are scheduled to take place throughout the weekend at the festival’s four demonstration stages, where participants can learn firsthand about various aspects of the kitchen.