Visit El Dorado
Live Here
Do Business Here
Chamber of Commerce
« View All News

MAD to host Southern Food & Wine Festival Event to feature chefs, sommeliers, music and food

Posted on March 19, 2018


The Murphy Arts District has announced plans to host the fourth Southern Food & Wine Festival, with the addition this year of nationally known guest chefs and sommeliers.

Set for May 4-5, the festival will take place throughout the arts district, with the last day of the festival coinciding with both the Jason Isbell concert at the Griffin Music Hall and El Dorado’s annual Mayhaw Festival, according to a news release.

“We’re proud to present an improved and more ambitious (Southern Food & Wine Festival) to the public,” said MAD President Austin Barrow in a news release, “and hope people will support pairing great food and fine wines from some of the top chefs and wine experts in the country with some great music to boot.”

The festival will kick off at 7 p.m. May 4, with three chefs and four sommeliers working together to plan and prepare a fivecourse dinner, with each course paired with a different wine, for 152 people in the Griffin Music Hall.

Featured chefs and sommeliers include Chef Chris D’Andrea, a former sous chef of three Michelin star restaurant Saison in San Francisco and currently the executive sous chef of Eight Tables Restaurant in San Francisco; Chef Austin Johnson, chef de cuisine at Frenchie Restaurant in Paris, France; Chef John Peters III, executive chef of the Murphy Arts District and the Griffin Restaurant who previously worked as a sauté cook at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans when it won the James Beard award for “Best Restaurant in the United States;” sommelier Dustin Wilson, a master sommelier based in New York City and co-founder of Verve Wine, an online marketplace for sommelier-curated wines, who serves as wine director of the three Michelin star restaurant Eleven Madison Park and was featured in the wine documentary “SOMM” as well as its sequel; sommelier Robert Bohr, partner and sommelier of The Delicious Hospitality Group of New York City; sommelier Thomas Pastuszak, wine director of The NoMad restaurant in New York City who is also completing his master sommelier certification; and sommelier Eric Railsback, a former wine director for the Mina Group in San Francisco who has been involved in various wine projects and assists Presqu’ile Winery with wholesale distribution.

The May 4 dinner also will feature The Tepusquet Tornados, sometimes known as The South African Death Chickens, from Santa Maria Valley, California, performing in the Griffin Music Hall. The band is made up of wine industry professionals, including winemakers, vineyard managers and sommeliers, as well as El Dorado’s own Madison Murphy on guitar. According to the news release, “special guests are likely.”

Tickets for the May 4 dinner are $175 per person, which includes entry to the May 5 Wine Pour event. To see the band perform without attending the dinner costs $10 per person and tickets will be available at the door.

On May 5, after the Mayhaw Festival in the morning, the Southern Food & Wine Festival will return for a multi-winery Wine Pour at the MAD Amphitheater with several musical performances during the day on the Amphitheater stage. The wine pour will include “renowned wines from around the world,” according to the release, and tickets are $20. Food also will be available for purchase during the event from several food trucks parked around the Amphitheater.

Performances on May 5 will include:

• 3 p.m. – Emily Cole with Matt Benson

• 3:45 p.m. – Trey Johnson

• 4:30 p.m. – recording artist Maggie Koerner

The wine pour will begin shortly after the Mayhaw Festival and run until 8 p.m., when Jason Isbell will perform in the Griffin Music Hall.

First access to tickets for the Southern Food & Wine Festival will be given to Presqu’ile Wine Club members and MAD members on Tuesday and Wednesday. The general public will be able to purchase tickets starting Thursday. To purchase tickets for the festival or the Jason Isbell concert, or to find out more, visit