Southern Living's Tastiest Town is ... not Memphis




Southern Living issued a press release announcing the winner of its Tastiest Town in the South contest. The winner is Durham, North Carolina. Memphis came in second place.

The winner was determined by an online vote held from January 10th to February 28th. Cities included were Asheville; Atlanta; Austin; Charleston; Durham; Greenville, South Caroline; Louisville; Memphis; Miami; and New Orleans.

According to rep Jennifer Zawadzinski, the contest drew in some 300,000 votes. While she would not provide specific numbers, she did say the votes were close between Durham and Memphis.

According to Southern Living executive editor Hunter Lewis, Memphis was included because of a "new energy" in the culinary scene brought about by chefs like Kelly English.

Lewis says throughout South, chefs are mixing old and new and breaking old perceptions.

Regarding the makeup of the list, Lewis says they do get feedback from readers. Some argue that Miami is not part of the South, while others argue that Texas is not part of the South.

"That's one thing we love -- the passionate response, the beating of the chest," Lewis says.

Local food enthusiasts campaigned hard (harassed) on Twitter and other social media to get folks to vote for Memphis daily. "Get Out the Vote" parties were held at local restaurants including Hog & Hominy, Sweet Grass, and Boscos Squared.

The results will be covered in Southern Living's May issue, which hits the stands on Friday, April 19th. Featured in the issue are Restaurant Iris, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Hog & Hominy, and Muddy's Bake Shop.

This is the second year Southern Living has held the contest. Last year's winner was Lafayette, Louisiana. Once a city is named the Tastiest Town, it is retired, says a Southern Living editor, like Miss America.

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