Wine And Culinary Festival Good For Palate And Tourism Industry - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Wine And Culinary Festival Good For Palate And Tourism Industry

BILOXI (WLOX) -- Visitors from all around the county got a taste of the Fifth Annual Southern Breeze and Wine Culinary Festival. This is the first time the annual event has been held at the Biloxi Town Green, and the first time the event has held a Challenge for Chefs.

"We'll have the Gulf Coast Chef Challenge at three other locations this year, and we'll have one overall winner for the Gulf Coast area in the fall. We have a number of people out here to taste and sample lots of wine and culinary treats," said event organizer Karen Ochoa.

Todd Wolfe is Executive Chef at two New Orleans restaurants. He was judging the culinary competition. Wolfe believes food and spirits are essential to boosting the tourism industry in Katrina-battered areas.

"Really, New Orleans is resilient, similar to Biloxi. You know, you're out here, you can look around and see the activity and what's going on," Wolfe said.

Organizers say the festival is designed to help people sample new wines, new food and new places.

"Our goal with the Wine and Culinary Festival is basically to have a lot of people come in from out of town to promote tourism in the area, so we have people here today (Saturday) from Nevada, Colorado, from a number of states," Ochoa said.

The event will continue to expose people to great food and drinks and to South Mississippi.

The festival will continue Sunday at the Biloxi Town Green with a Walk About Brunch where 12 local restaurants will compete for the Best Brunch award.

By Toni Miles

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