Dec. 1−2: SERENBE SOUTHERN CHEF SERIES WITH MARIE NYGREN
Palmetto, GA | serenbeinn.com
The renowned Southern Chef Series gives visitors an opportunity to work side by side with the region’s top culinary talent. This December the series will feature Marie Nygren, founder of the Serenbe community, and Michel Nischan, founder of Wholesome Wave. All proceeds will benefit the foundation’s initiative to improve access to fresh, affordable, and local produce.
Dec. 6: PALATE TO PALETTE
Charlotte, NC | mccollcenter.org
You’re familiar with food-drink pairings, why not try paintings? For those who want to delve further into the complexity of a good drink, there’s Palate to Palette, an event that matches artistic styles with specific beverages, with the aim of giving new insight into both. Still not inspired? The event is held in the McColl Center for Visual Art, a historic neo-Gothic church that’s a work of art all its own.
Dec. 6−8: ORANGE FESTIVAL
Buras, LA | orangefestival.com
Just south of New Orleans sprawls the Plaquemines Parish region of Louisiana, an ecological gem of a region where an orange culture has thrived despite decades of hardship and natural disasters. Held in historic Fort Jackson, the Orange Festival features everything from duck-calling competitions to oysters and orange queens.
Dec. 7: CHRISTMAS BONFIRE PARTY AT OAK ALLEY
Vacherie, LA | oakalleyplantation.com
Nestled aside a gleaming bonfire and looking out over the Mississippi River from Oak Alley, the melodies of a brass quintet will fill your ears. Up and down the river, dozens of bonfires will be lit in this regional holiday tradition. With a creole buffet, antebellum costumes, dancing, and an open bar, it’s yuletide spirit at its best.
Dec. 8: WINE UNDER THE OAKS
Charleston, SC | boonehallplantation.com
An evening of wine tasting, gourmet food, and live music all under the majestic oaks of Boone Hall Plantation. Over 125 fine wine labels will be present as you sway along to serenades by award-winning singer Booker T. Jones at this casual yet refined Lowcountry favorite.
Dec. 8: FOXFIRE SOUTHERN FOOD ALLIANCE PIGGY BANK DINNER
Asheville, NC | blindpigofasheville.com
Underground dinner darling Blind Pig, known in the Asheville community for themed culinary experiences, puts on Foxfire, a Piggy Bank Dinner to benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance. Chefs Brian Canipelli, Owen McGlynn, Nate Allen, Denny Trantham, and Elliott Moss will contribute in this Appalachia-inspired ode to farm-to-table dining.
Dec 8−11: COCHON ET VIN
Walland, TN | blackberryfarm.com
Pork and wine combine for an irresistible event inspired by Chef Jason Vincent’s recent win at Grand Cochon 555 in Aspen. Chef Vincent will collaborate with winemaker Glenn Alexander for a weekend of educational seminars, demonstrations, and tastings, including outstanding meals paired with rare and delicious wines.
Dec. 11: DICKENS DINNER
Charleston, SC | charminginns.com
Are you a literature lover? A history buff? Perhaps a fan of mincemeat pies and plum pudding? Then the twelfth-annual Dickens Dinner is right up your alley. This four-course dinner accompanied by a live retelling of Dickens classic A Christmas Carol will make for a memorable holiday experience. Prolong your visit to the past with a night at historic Wentworth Mansion.
Dec. 14: DALLAS WINTER WARMER
Dallas, TX | rhizomeproductions.com
Barrel-aged beers, barley wines, porters, stouts, and seasonals will abound at the Dallas Winter Warmer, a Texas tribute to great winter brews. Held at Main Street Gardens, there will be food trucks, live music, and representatives from regional and national breweries.
Dec. 13−24: TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AT CLIFTON INN
Charlottesville, VA | cliftoninn.net
The Clifton Inn celebrates the twelve days of Christmas with a culinary countdown featuring chef Tucker Yoder. Events will include the Founding Fathers Dinner, a Christmas breakfast demo, and Nutcracker Tea. Adults will relish the Twelve Wines of Christmas, while the younger set can get creative with an afternoon decorating cookies.
Dec. 21: THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS DINNER COOKING CLASS
Charlotte NC | thelibertycharlotte.com
Chef Tom Condron of Charlotte gastropub The Liberty offers up seasoned advice on how to go about preparing and executing the ultimate Christmas dinner. We can’t promise you’ll nail that stuffed roasted suckling pig you’ve been ambitiously eyeing, but after a little holiday cheer and a glass or two of eggnog, you may not care.
Dec. 31: NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA AT ANTRIM 1844
Taneytown, MD | antrim1844blog.com
Antrim 1844 throws a gala that is everything New Year’s Eve should be, complete with bagpipes! Executive Chef Spencer Wolff will prepare a decadent seven-course meal to be followed by dancing out on the veranda. Champagne, live music, luxury accommodations. What’s not to toast?