Ever wanted to try a different food from each of the 50 states in America, without leaving the city limits? On October 27 to 29, you will have a chance to do just that — and it's happening only in St. Louis.
That weekend, a new event, Flavored Nation, is coming to the Dome at America's Center (901 N. Broadway) to offer a vast array of foods from the different corners of the United States. As St. Louis was the location of the 1904 World's Fair, this event aims to return the various foods and cultures of America to the Gateway City.After extensive research was done by a team of culinary experts, Flavored Nation promises to feature "the most iconic food" from each state, along with "the restauranteurs or chef who prepare them best."
The event is headed by Richard Gore, Flavored Nation's executive producer and formerly the president of live events at the Food Network. He led the development of "Food Network Live" and "Food University at Caesar's Palace."
For now, you can only experience the 50-state concept in St. Louis. Spokeswoman Beth Hoops says the goal is for Flavored Nation to come back to St Louis year after year, as well as expand to cities in other regions. "Flavored Nation is too big to tour city-to-city but could expand to as many as four to six ‘super-regional events,' with St Louis remaining the location for the Midwest," she says.
Some of the featured dishes this year will include gumbo from Louisiana native Dickie Brennan Jr., chicken fried steak from chef Grady Spears of Texas restaurant Horseshoe Hill, a lobster roll hot with butter from Connecticut and another one cold with mayonnaise from Maine.
As Gore explains in a press release, "[I]n a nation of documented culinary diversity, most people’s personal food experience is still limited to local geography and some occasional travel. It’s why a Chicagoan can argue extensively about the city’s best deep dish but has never tried chislic or huddish … the iconic foods of South Dakota and Minnesota, respectively. This is the perfect time for Flavored Nation. We want to fuel debate about local favorites and at the same time spur discovery people crave, providing access to 49 other state dishes that, for most, will be brand new.”
Now, we know what you're thinking: "What in the world will Missouri's dish be?" Hoops isn't ready to divulge that sensitive information just yet.
"Missouri is honestly a tough one because BBQ is huge across the whole state," she says. "Yet here on the eastern side of the state we also have staples like toasted ravs and gooey butter cake."
Tickets begin at $45. Find more information at flavorednation.com or check out the video below about Connecticut's specialty, featuring Lobstercraft's Mike Harden (and yes, he'll be at the event). Organizers hope as many as 12,000 attendees will check out the coast-to-coast culinary extravaganza.