The Culinary Trail of Southwest Alabama
Food is creativity for rural southerners. The raw ingredients are there at hand. There is instant gratification for both the cook and the recipients of her bounty. Food is the language everybody speaks and understands.
Discovering the hidden culinary gems of Rural Southwest Alabama is an adventure in itself. This is a sampler of the delicacies we offer on the culinary tour. Other sites and dishes can be developed to meet your personal requirements.
Viking Cooking School with chef at the Windcreek Casino and Spa. Participants will stay in the Casino Hotel resort for this leg of the journey. Coffee tasting with local importer and blender. There is a small coffee blending café and art gallery in the downtown area of Atmore. The Barista will prepare a variety of coffees for your sampling pleasure and discuss the attributes and merits of each with you. Small package of the blend of your choice to take with you.
Luncheon on the Veranda at the Woodlands. Owner of this 1830s antebellum home will serve a luncheon to you either on the Veranda or in the formal dining room of the house. Menu options will be offered for you to choose prior to arrival what you like from among the options available.
Tequila Mockingbird Reception – experience a reception with hors d’ourves of local specialties including the famous Tequila Mockingbird cocktail. Served up with live music in a historic bank building and a walking tour of the downtown Monroeville area.
To Kill a Mockingbird Dinner in an authentic 1930s setting using local recipes for foods mentioned in the book. In the hometown of Harper Lee’s immortal “TO Kill a Mockingbird” you will experience an immersion in the local culture of 1930s Maycomb there the story takes place. There will be a dinner in the unique 1930s Hybart House, a property of the Monroe County Heritage Museum.
Spend the night in 3 period Bed and Breakfast houses. These houses are authentic to the period of the 1930s. Some are older, but all seem as though you are stepping back in time. These are comfortable, but not luxurious. This is a culture immersion experience.
Breakfast with locally made Monroe sausage made form a local family recipe. Other breakfast dishes will be complimentary of the sausage as a centerpiece. Sausage can be ordered and sent to you from the plant.
Black Belt Treasures – Visit a local art and handmade product gallery with a midmorning coffee break featuring locally made cookies served with your choice of tea or coffee. Local artisans will exhibit their craft with demonstrations, Q and A sessions or with a painting lesson for you. Dinner in the Middle of the Day at Gaines Ridge, one of the Alabama 100 Places to Eat Before You Die. You will be served a menu designed for you when you plan the trip. Be sure to ask for the Black Bottom Pie and the homemade rolls.
Gees Bend Ferry and Quilt Collective – ride the Gees Bend Ferry across the Alabama River to visit the world famous Gees Bend Quilters. See their quilts that have been exhibited in museums all over the world. Hear them tell their poignant stories of hardships and their art. Ask them to do a mini concert of their songs.
St James Hotel – stay at the historic St James hotel. It is on the Alabama Ghost Trail because room 301 is haunted by Jesse James who was held prisoner there.
Breakfast at the Pancake House This is watering hole of the local take tellers. Serving Breakfast for over 50 years.
Tour of Selma’s Museum – Tour Customized from among the 5 local museums according to your interests
Luncheon at White Force Cottage of Dinner with a candlelight tour of Sturdivant Hall. White Force Cottage was the home of the sister of Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of the President. The owner was a spy for the Confederacy, smuggling medicines through enemy lines in her petticoats. Her house is on the grounds of Sturdivant Hall. It is on the Alabama Ghost Trail. Hear its ghost story and tour the mansion with its period furniture. Your meal will be tailored to you wishes from menu choices planned by you before the trip.
Overnight in one of four B&BS with breakfast included. There are different priced options to meet your personalized needs. Marion is a historic sleepy little Black Belt town with 2 universities – Marion Military Institute for men and Judson College for Women.
Holmestead Farms – the oldest working farm in Alabama since 1832. There is a grist mill and mini museum in the old country store. There is a large collection of antique farm equipment to see. There is a guided walking tour of the farm available. There will be a meal with their organic beef as the centerpiece.
Pie Lab – a tasting dinner of savory and sweet pies made from scratch in the kitchen here. The project was designed to put locals to working doing something they love – cooking. Located in a repurposed historic building. Overnight in antebellum B&B owned by the Cobb Family. Relax with cocktails on the porch.
Gaineswood and Bluff Hall tours – there are two famous antebellum homes in Demopolis of two entirely different types. Gaineswood is a small palace with many unique architectural features and includes a harmonium instrument designed by the original owner. Bluff Hall is a typical planter’s home of the antebellum area. It houses many interesting collections of the Marengo County Historical Society including a collection of antique textiles.
Three Lunch Options
Lunch at Foscue House – This is a Carolina Farmhouse antebellum property. It is rustic and unpainted. It serves local delicacies. You may preplan your meal of order form the menu.
Kora’s Place – Soul food at its most authentic. Featured in Alabama’s 100 Places to Eat before You Die
Taste of Home – Mennonite Bakery in Livingston – a further drive, but worth it. Homemade bread, rolls, cakes and pies (crust is homemade). You can choose from soups, salads, sandwiches and a daily plate lunch special.
Pepper Jelly Delights- visit the Alabama Rural Heritage Center and be treated to a unique culinary experience with dishes made with their signature Mama Nems Pepper Jelly. When you sit down you will be immediately offered a hors d’ourve of pepper jelly over doctored cream cheese and a glass of wine. You will then go into the kitchen and see the chef prepare unusual dishes featuring pepper jelly. Some you may sample are Pepper Jelly Omelet, Black Belt Eggs Benedict with barbeque and pepper jelly. You may even have a salad with Pepper Jelly Dressing. The Center is housed in a building renovated by the Auburn University Rural Studio under the direction of Sambo Mockbee, who received a MacArthur Genius Award for his work.
Storytellers Tour – Walking tour of Downtown Thomasville with stories previously told by Kathryn Tucker Windham known as Alabama’s Storyteller. She is the centerpiece of the National Tale Tellin’ Festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee and a National Public Radio Commentator. You will be given an autographed copy of her Treasured Alabama Recipes. You will have dinner as guests in a private home with wine on the porch. You will tour the owner’s art collection including many Black Belt pieces. After dinner you will visit the Kathryn Tucker Museum to view the movie “The Story of a Teller”.
You will overnight at the newly opened Hampton Inn here. You will breakfast at the Kimball House owned by City of Jackson with local delicacies prepared by a famous local caterer.
Dinner on the Ground at St Stephens. St Stephens was the first Territorial Capitol of Alabama. Visit the Old Town Archeological Dig and see the artifacts retrieved. Do a walking tour of the town area. See the Indian Bathtubs in the creek. Stroll around the rim of the lake. Note the prehistoric fossils in the lime rock. Enjoy lunch at the Old Courthouse Museum prepared by the museum staff and volunteers. You will experience a traditional meal such as one served at the famous Dinner on the Ground Homecomings with a few modern twists
This is a sampler of the delicacies we offer on the culinary tour. Other sites and dishes can be developed to meet your personal requirements.
VISIT INTERESTING PLACES AND BE WELL FED AT THE SAME TIME!
Please contact either Melissa Hamilton at (334) 636-2996 or Linda Vice (334) 636-5506