Friday, September 14, 2018

6:00PM – 10:00PM

Friday evening we kick off the festival with top-tier chefs serving up classic dishes, amazing cocktails and spirits, food and lifestyle exhibitors, live music, dancing, and good times.

New this year, we’ll be hosting a Friday Night Throwdown and Official Drink of Nashville competition! Come hang out for the ultimate happy hour party that your taste buds won’t forget.

Friday Night access is included with your All-In Ticket (sold out) or can be purchased as an individual ticket on our Tickets page.



Join chefs Anne Burrell and Tim Love for a culinary throwdown as they go head-to-head in a spirited cooking demo and captain teams featuring celebrity sous chefs from the Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans and emceed by Jessie James Decker.

Burrell and the Preds’ Roman Josi and P.K. Subban will battle Love and the Titans’ Logan Ryan and Kevin Byard as each team is challenged to create the ultimate meal from a surprise ingredient box. Come out and cheer on the hometown teams as they battle for bragging rights in the kitchen.


Our annual Chef Showcase features nationally-acclaimed talent and all the food you could want! Top chefs will be serving up samples of classic dishes that put them on the map. Say hi and get a taste! Each day offers a different lineup. Check out this year’s participating restaurants here and chefs below.

  • Hrant Arakelian | Lyra
  • Kahlil Arnold | Arnold’s Country Kitchen
  • Carey Bringle | Peg Leg Porker
  • Chris Carter & James Peisker | Porter Road Butcher
  • Trey Cioccia | The Farm House, Black Rabbit
  • Gerard Craft | Pastaria
  • Bill & Tony Darsinos | GReKo Greek Street Food
  • Nathan Duensing | Marsh House
  • Matt Farley | Woolworth on Fifth
  • Tony Galzin | Nicky’s Coal Fired
  • Vui Hunt | Vui’s Kitchen, I love Juice Bar
  • Daniel Lindley | 5th & Taylor
  • Crystal De Luna-Bogan | The Grilled Cheeserie Melt Shop + Food Trucks
  • Sean McTiernan | Adele’s
  • Kyle Patterson | Sinema
  • Jess Rice | My Poor Tired Liver
  • David Tieman | Five Points Pizza
  • Murphy Vaughn & Chris Bowater | Silo
  • Andrew Whitney | Moto, Virago
  • Tandy Wilson | Mop / Broom Mess Hall


On Friday and Saturday, join Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint pitmaster Pat Martin as he hosts an unbeatable barbecue feast with a collection of chef buddies in Bicentennial Park. Guests are invited to meet Pat and the chefs, talk about their approach to low & slow cooking, and enjoy tastes of delicious food rotating throughout the day. Everything will be cooked over live fire.

Access is included in your All-In Ticket, Friday Ticket (for Friday admittance only), and Saturday Ticket (for Saturday admittance only).

Check out this year’s lineup below.

  • Tyler Brown | Southall
  • Trey Cioccia | The Farm House, Black Rabbit
  • Tamie Cook | Tamie Cook Culinary Productions
  • Bill Darsinos | GReKo Greet Street Food
  • Billy Durney | Hometown Bar-B-Que
  • Sarah Gavigan | Little Octopus, POP
  • Patrick Hallahan | Musician (My Morning Jacket), Restaurateur
  • Roy Milner | Blackberry Farm Brewery
  • Elliot Moss | Buxton BBQ Hall
  • Zach Parker | Scott’s-Parker’s BBQ
  • Edgar Pendley | Haute Iron Co., Live-Fire Events, Urban Grub
  • Chris Shepard | UB Preserv
  • Vivek Surti | VEA Supper Club
  • Tandy Wilson | Mop / Broom Mess Hall



Join us on Friday night for a competition that celebrates the spirit of Nashville and shines a spotlight on the city’s talented bartending community. Nashville’s best bar teams will mix, shake and measure to create this year’s essential Nashville cocktail. Enjoy bites from the city’s top chefs & restaurants, wine and cocktail tastings and a festive dance party.

  • Joshua Doolan | Rosemary & Beauty Queen
  • Gabriel Fuenmayor | Bar Sovereign
  • Sally Gatza | L.A. Jackson
  • J.A. Harrison | Noelle
  • Akinde Olagundoye | Skull’s Rainbow Room
  • Jacob Strawn | Gertie’s Bar
  • Christopher Weber | Hemingway’s Bar & Hideaway
  • Jenny Wood | Gray & Dudley


In addition to the 40+ exhibitors presenting top shelf beverages at the Grand Taste, Tasting Sessions are the perfect place to learn to drink like a pro. You’ll be led through tastings by expert sommeliers. Check out the Schedule page for more information on each session.


We are pleased to feature a diverse selection of beers from some of the country’s most beloved breweries, including: Blackberry Farm Brewery; Devils Backbone Brewing Company; Gypsy Circus Cider; Jackalope Brewing Company; Music City Brewing Co; Napa Smith Brewery; Wicked Weed Brewing; Yee-Haw Brewing Company; and more.



The Grand Taste give guests an exclusive chance to taste a diverse range of signature bites prepared by the best of the city’s culinary community alongside more than 80 international and national wineries, spirits purveyors, breweries, restaurants and other artisanal exhibitors.




Zane Lowe, the tastemaker, influencer, Creative Director and host of Apple Music’s Beats 1, is also the global release point for some of the biggest names in music, including Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper, Shawn Mendes, Adele, and more. Don’t miss the chance to sing & dance along as Lowe takes over the turntables after the Friday Night Throwdown, spinning beats from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.