The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis
Wine & Dine: Memphis food and drink events in May
There's more than just barbecue to be enjoyed in Memphis during the month of May.
In addition to the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, events in town will celebrate everything from fried chicken to Greek fare to crawfish. There are also wine dinners and galas to attend.
Here is a list of Memphis-area food and drink events you won't want to miss in May.
Soul Soiree benefiting the West Cancer Center Foundation
The Soul Soiree on May 5 is a benefit for the West Cancer Center Foundation with the theme of “Celebrating the Soul of Memphis.”
The foundation's premier fundraising event will include an evening of celebrating the soul of Memphis through food and music, West Cancer Center's mission and the patients it serves.
Soil Soiree chair Jenny Vergos has arranged for dishes from Memphis restaurants across the city, including 117 Prime, Jim's Place Grille, Mosa Asian Grill, Southern Hands Homestyle Cooking and Elise Dessert Co., to name a few.
Musical entertainment will directed by Grammy Award-winning Boo Mitchell of Royal Studios and the Grammy-nominated Hi Rhythm Section Band featuring Marcus Scott.
When: 6:30-10:30 p.m. May 5 Where: The Kent, 61 Keel Ave. Cost: $300 per person
Cafe du Memphis
Beignets, shrimp and grits, and café au lait. Throw a little New Orleans jazz music into the mix and you have the perfect recipe for a Saturday brunch. You don't have to head to Louisiana to enjoy this New Orleans brunch with all the fixings. Just pop over to Malco Summer Drive-in, 5310 Summer Ave., for the eighth annual Café du Memphis. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Memphis, this family-friendly event is a fundraiser full of good food.
When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. May 6
Where: Malco Summer Drive-in, 5310 Summer Ave.
Cost: Tickets are $15 for a half plate of beignets and $25 for a full plate of shrimp and grits and beignets.
Tickets: Food tickets can be purchased in advance online at dorothydaymemphis.org, or at the event
Wine Dinner and Cooking Class at Restaurant Iris
Restaurant Iris will host a threecourse wine dinner on May 10. The dinner will include a cooking demonstration by owner and chef Kelly English. The dinner will be hosted in the restaurant's back dining room that features a kitchen
for cooking classes.
When: 6 p.m. May 10
Where: Restaurant Iris, 4550 Poplar Ave.
Cost: $75 per person
Reservations: Call the restaurant at (901) 590-2828
Memphis Greek Festival
Opa! Memphis Greek Festival will celebrate its 64th festival May 12-13 at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.
Attendees can enjoy authentic Greek foods, dance, music and culture. The popular "drive-thru" will feature Greek dishes like souvlakia, pastichio and moussaka.
“This will be a true getaway for people, as we will make you feel that you have flown thousands of miles and are enjoying the beautiful Greek Isle, except it’ll be at our ‘Greek Island on Highland,’” said Kathy Zambelis, festival spokesperson. “Besides our delicious authentic Greek food, marketplace items, festivalgoers will enjoy learning about the Greek Orthodox faith during the sanctuary tours with Father Simon Thomas, listening to live Greek music from Kosta Kostanis band and dance performances from our Athenian Dance Troupe.”
New this year is a discounted presale ticket for a chicken or pork souvlaki meal. The $20 cost includes the meal, a bottle of water and free admission to the festival.
When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. May 12-13 Where: The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 573 N. Highland St.
Cost: $3 per person; children 5 and under free
GPAC Fried Chicken Fest
Back by popular demand: It’s time for the GPAC Fried Chicken Fest in The Grove. It will be the second year for this popular night of fried chicken and music.
This year, GPAC is combining worldfamous fried chicken with music from James “Super Chikan” Johnson and the River Bluff Clan, plus special activities for the whole family.
Food will be able to purchase from Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Mike’s Hot Wings, Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken (winner of the 2023 South Beach Food Festival: People’s Choice Award), Riko’s Kickin Chickin and MemPops.
When: 5:30-8 p.m. May 13; gates open at 5 p.m.
Where: The Grove at GPAC, 1801 Exeter Road, Germantown
Cost: $10 for general admission; $20 for table seating
Crawfish Boil at Crosstown Brewing Co.
Head out to Crosstown Brewing Co. on May 13 for an afternoon of crawfish, craft beers and live music. The event is free to attend. Crawfish will be $7 per pound.
When: 1-6 p.m. May 13
Where: Crosstown Brewing Company, 1264 Concourse Ave.
Cost: Free; crawfish and beer will be available for purchase
For more information: crosstownbeer.com
Cameo Fancy Dinner Party Time Vol. V
The Fancy Dinner Party Time dinners are at the core of what Cameo is all about
— teaming up with local and regional chefs, bartenders and creatives to show their talents. The fifth Fancy Dinner will feature chef Cameron Smith. Smith will be preparing a five-course meal with a cocktail pairing from the team at Cameo and a wine pairing from the team at Rootstock Wine Merchants.
When: 6 p.m. May 13
Where: Cameo, 1835 Union Ave. Cost: $125 per person
Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
Calling all barbecue lovers!
The 45th edition of the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest will be May 17-20 at Tom Lee Park in Downtown Memphis.
The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, the largest pork barbecue contest in the world, features the championship categories of Whole Hog, Rib and Shoulder.
150 teams will battle for the coveted title of Grand Champion.
Be sure not to miss annual festival events like the Ms. Piggy Idol Contest, sauce wrestling and the Kingsford Tournament of Champions Tour (advance ticket purchase required for the tour). The full schedule and ticket information is available at memphisinmay.org.
When: 5-10 p.m. May 17, 11 a.m.-midnight May 18-19, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. May 20
Where: Tom Lee Park
Cost: Single-day general admission tickets are $15 and four-day passes are $54
Etowah Hunt Club Dinner No. 3
The Etowah Hunt Club Dinner Series is a pop-up event launched by Memphis chef Cole Jeanes and Josh Conley. This quarterly dinner series brings chefs from around the country to interesting dinner settings in and around Memphis to produce one-off menus focusing on and telling stories through hyper-seasonal ingredients.
Dinner Series No. 3 on May 27 will feature Chef Jordan Rainbolt from Winston-salem, North Carolina. The dinner will be a five-course exploration of latespring flavors. Tickets include pre-dinner cocktail service and wine pairings are available.
When: 6:30 p.m. May 27
Where: The Ravine, 607 Monroe Ave. Cost: $150 per person without wine; $175 per person with wine pairings Tickets: etowahhuntclub.com Jennifer Chandler is the Food & Dining reporter at The Commercial Appeal. She can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cookwjennifer.