Tenth Annual Pesto Festo

Slow Foodies: can you believe Pesto Festo is turning 10 this year? My, how time flies when you’re promoting good, clean and fair food.

To mark this momentous occasion, this year’s Pesto Festo will be a multi-day celebration! More on that later; let’s start by talking about the main event.

Our Pesto Festo dinner will be held at the Dogwood Center of the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum on Saturday, Sept. 9th, from 6pm-9pm. We’re honoring Pesto Festos past by having some of our favorite chefs from previous years each prepare a course of the meal, as well as bringing in a fresh face. Update: this year’s chefs will be Drew McDonald of The Plaid Apron (new this year), Meg and Shaun Parrish of Wild Love Bakehouse & Old City Java (providers of coffee for many Pesto Festos past), Kiki and Byron Sambat of Savory and Sweet Truck (from our eighth annual Pesto Festo), and Ben Willis-Becker, Executive Chef, Scripps Networks Interactive (from our sixth annual Pesto Festo). And don’t forget, your very own SFTV board will be creating an amuse bouche and cocktail to greet you as you arrive (yes, in the early years the board did the cooking for Pesto Festo!).

Of course, it wouldn’t be Pesto Festo without our annual pesto contest. All guests are encouraged to bring at least one pint of their best pesto to be tasted by our judges and their fellow attendees. Prizes will be awarded for the “best traditional” and “most creative” pestos (judged categories) and “people’s choice” (audience vote). For rules and judging criteria, please visit http://slowfoodtnvalley.com/upcoming-events/pesto-contest/

And as always, we will have a silent auction featuring food-focused items from amazing local businesses. Speaking of amazing businesses, long-time SFTV supporters Hexagon Brewing and Old City Java will once again be providing beer tastings and coffee, respectively. Guests are also welcome to bring their own wine/cocktail to enjoy with dinner.

We’d also like to thank you, our awesome and loyal Slow Foodies, for supporting SFTV and Pesto Festo all these years, so we’re offering all tickets to this year’s dinner at the member price of $45! Tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets or watch for our booth at a farmers’ market near you.

Remember, we strive for zero waste events, so please remember to bring your own place settings, including plate(s), silverware, wine/beer & water glasses, and napkin.

Last but not least, as mentioned above we can’t contain our excitement about the 10th year of Pesto Festo to just one day! On Friday evening, Sept. 8th, we’ll be showing a food-themed movie at Hexagon Brewing Co., with dinner provided by a food truck that sources locally. And we’re working on putting together some other events during Pesto Festo week, so get ready to celebrate all things pesto!

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