Savannah, flush with grand architecture, great meetings accommodations and a lineup of attractions that keeps attendees entertained, adds a bit of spice for visiting groups with its wonderful culinary experiences.
Similarly, along the Georgia Coast, including St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island, the salty ocean air mingles with the flavors of a happening cuisine scene.
This is an area that insists planners incorporate, among other ideas, a meal at a local group-friendly restaurant, an informative foodie tour, a cooking class to learn how to create some popular Georgia dishes, and a visit to an area brewery for a cold one.
Groups with a free afternoon can find an eclectic mix of old architecture and new industry at Chef Darin’s Kitchen Table, located in the Starland District.
Here, groups can sign up for a hands-on cooking class, a culinary teambuilding event or a cooking demonstration. All options promote camaraderie among attendees.
“Foodies, home cooks and kitchen novices alike can get their hands dirty with the chef,” said Erica Backus, director of public relations for Visit Savannah. “Everyone knows the best social setting is the kitchen table.”
Situated on-site at Mansion on Forsyth Park, a 125-room hotel with more than 13,000 square feet of meeting space, 700 Kitchen Cooking School by Kessler offers another option for groups that would like to learn some tricks of the trade.
Private classes are available and include lessons in making tapas, classic Italian fare and Southern, Savannah-style dishes, including fried chicken, collards with bacon and smoked Gouda grit cakes.
The Kessler Collection is also behind the transformation of a former power plant into a four-star hotel and entertainment area. The plant, built in 1912 and dormant for the past 50 years, will also feature more than a dozen restaurants. Kessler broke ground on the project and began the building’s rehabilitation in December 2016.
For groups that would like to roam about the city, Savannah Taste Experience (STE) is a walking food tour that according to Backus is always evolving to showcase the city’s growing and diverse culinary scene.
STE’s most recent addition is partnering with a new restaurant, The Ordinary Pub, as part of its First Squares food tour. At the pub, attendees can sample pork belly sliders, which are seared and then braised in Dr. Pepper and Kentucky bourbon, according to Backus.
And speaking of booze-inspired delights, Savannah is also home to several craft breweries and distilleries, including Moon River Brewing Co., which has banquet space for group events;