Residing in the lush foothills at the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains, Pine Mountain’s natural landscape and abundant activities are ideal for any Georgia excursion. Fans of golfing shouldn’t miss an opportunity to play 18 holes at Callaway Gardens. The facility is home to two courses which are both visually striking and offer something for golfers of all skill levels. In the downtown area, visitors will find a spectrum of shops, restaurants, and more. From hand-dipped ice cream to rare antiques, the area has it all.
Sip & Savor Spring is entering its first year of showcasing some of the best foods, chefs, and wines that the Southeast has to offer, and it will take place March 15-18 at the Callaway Resort & Gardens. Attendees will encounter a casual culinary extravaganza complete with specialty dinners, master classes, tastings, and more. At the James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner, attendees can enjoy meals prepared by award-winning chefs and some delicious wine pairings. The Bloom Master Class Series will feature a variety of interactive classes and demonstrations about cooking, craft beer, and unique pairings. Sip & Savor is an interactive culinary and beverage event where patrons can enjoy wine and food sampling on the beach, under the stars. Attendees looking for a little excitement will love the Waffle House Challenge which is a competition among chefs for the title of “Waffle House Master Chef.” The main event is the Tastings Under the Big Top, and it will have hundreds of beverage and culinary bite tastings in a vibrant and hands-on environment. We interviewed Event Representative, Jan Gourley, to learn more about this can’t miss culinary spectacular.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
JG: It’s an inaugural event – Callaway Resort & Gardens has launched some major resort renovations, and they wanted to create a signature culinary destination event to showcase the property during the spring beauty of Callaway.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
JG: Most of the events are 21+ events. However, many families are attending one or two events and then enjoying time with the family (Sip & Savor Spring falls during spring break for many of the region’s schools and universities).
RAL: What makes this event unique?
JG: Most of the events are al fresco, taking place all over the expansive grounds of the resort – from the Day Butterfly Center to the Ski Pavilion on Robin Lake Beach.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
JG: Saturday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day will host two main events, the Waffle House Showdown and the Tastings Under the Big Top. The Waffle House Showdown (10:30 am – 12:30 pm) will be a fun, lively competition with celebrity guest chefs, and celebrity judges – and a breakfast buffet, Mimosas and Bloody Mary Bar for attendees. The Tastings Under the Big Top will be a culinary showcase of 15+ restaurants, 30+ wine, beer and spirits tastings, People’s Choice “Sip Cocktail Challenge”, Georgia Grown Market with 30+ artisans/farmers, Chef’s Demo Stage, Live Music and BBQ + Brews Alley – guests receive a souvenir crystal wine glass.
RAL: What activities will attendees encounter?
JG: The activities vary from a James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner to cooking class demos and tasting events. There’s a very popular Waffle House Showdown event where the chefs are competing for the Waffle House Master Chef title.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
JG: We are so fortunate to have several celebrity guests and TV personalities attending: Chef Hugo Ortega, Chefs/Authors Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, Chef Kenny Gilbert and more.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
JG: Callaway Resort & Gardens has over 600 available rooms, from its premier Lodge & Spa to its Mountain Creek Inn, cottages, and villas. Also, the town of Pine Mountain has some great boutique bed & breakfast inns, chalets and more.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up for the event?
JG: Yes, Callaway Resort & Gardens has some tremendous all-inclusive lodging/ticketing packages available here.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
JG: This part of Georgia is known as the Presidential Pathways region. It’s one hour south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – but it’s such a unique destination on its own. It’s located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains – the available outdoor activities are limitless and the charming downtown of Pine Mountain, Georgia features quaint antique shops, dining and more.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
JG: Yes, it has already made a significant impact on what’s known as the pre-spring season for Callaway and Pine Mountain – and Harris County, Georgia.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
JG: Yes, it supports the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, which funds all resort operations and activities.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
JG: It’s an all-inclusive resort experience, where you can shuttle from event to event and downtown Pine Mountain. You never have to get back in your car except to return home. It’s a boutique event where guests will experience incredible food and drink, for a very reasonable price.
For more information about Sip & Savor Spring, please visit the event website.