Frank Stitt and others react to Food & Wine’s move to Birmingham

Birmingham Alabama
Bottega – Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

On Friday, the Birmingham food movement made national news when TIME Inc. announced they were moving Food & Wine, one of the most respected food magazines in the nation from New York to the Magic City.

In response to the move, Forbes Magazine made the following declaration:

“Food & Wine is moving to Birmingham, Alabama, and the move reflects how the South now rules American dining, both eating out and home cooking.”

Birmingham Alabama
Food and Wine Magazine

Bham Now reached out to leaders in Birmingham’s local food movement for a reaction to the TIME Inc. announcement and what it means to our community.  Below are comments from Frank Stitt, Jason Burnett and Leigh Sloss-Corra.

Frank Stitt, Highlands Bar & Grill, Bottega and Chez Fonfon

Food and Wine is one of America’s most influential magazines and their move here cements Birmingham as a food and wine destination. With Hunter Lewis at the helm, this gives us an opportunity to shine on a much larger stage. It will be great to have the media leaders of both coasts coming through and thinking of Birmingham.”

Jason Burnett founding editor of MyRecipes and
“The move makes perfect sense. Birmingham is home to some of the best food, food content, and services for home cooks in the world. Cooking Light (one of the most successful food magazines ever launched), best selling cookbooks, and award-winning videos are produced by Time Inc. Hoffman Media publishes regional and specialty cooking titles. eMeals is the country’s largest provider of online meal plans. And Shipt, headquartered downtown, is at the center of the emerging grocery shopping services industry.”
Leigh Sloss-Corra, Executive Director of The Market at Pepper Place (formerly Executive Producer of Time Inc. Video)
“Birmingham has become a true food city, with not just award-winning chefs and great restaurants, but a growing community of outstanding food writers, photographers and stylists. It’s a vibrant city and culture that loves food – and wine,” said Leigh Sloss-Corra, Executive Director of The Market at Pepper Place (formerly Executive Producer of Time Inc. Video)
Birmingham Alabama
Photo from Highlands Bar and Grill website

A movement that was launched a generation ago, Forbes Magazine described it best: 

“Twenty years ago, the idea of moving to Birmingham might have struck horror among food industry figures. But so much has changed during that time, both in Birmingham itself and the dining world.

Birmingham has risen to rival Nashville, New Orleans and Atlanta as one of the South’s strongest food cities. It’s home to the restaurants owned by Chris Hastings, who helms Hot & Hot Fish Club and Ovenbird, and Frank Stitt, a beloved leader of the Southern food world best known for Highlands Bar and Grill….

But having one of the nation’s foremost food magazines centered in the South is certain to raise even more awareness that the region is ruling the American scene. So forget fighting for reservations in the big coastal cities. Go South, food lovers.”


Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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