On the hunt for your next vacation? You may want to consider hopping aboard Edible Canada’s Bourbon, BBQ and Blues Southern Road Trip. In April 2018, guests will travel by luxury coach from Louisville to New Orleans via Nashville and Birmingham, experiencing the ultimate in Southern hospitality. Below, EC’s executive chef and president, Eric Pateman, shares more about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. —Rachel Johnston
What’s unique about this road trip?
This is the first trip of its kind focusing on the hidden gems of a region that is often discussed but rarely understood. We’ll focus on the best of the best: five-star coach; luxury hotels; James Beard award-winning chefs; bourbon experts and of course, some of the best BBQ and blues in the region. En route we will be focusing on small towns, unique experiences (including Gip’s place and dinner on the roof of the Grand Ole Opry) and more!
Blues music is a key component of Southern culture—how does it play into this experience?
Guests will have an opportunity to experience places like Gip’s Place; the main strips of Nashville and New Orleans; and our own second line as part of a dinner experience in NOLA. We’ve also built in free nights for guests in various towns along the way. They will be provided a curated list of the best music venues to check out on their own (for those who desire a more immersive experience).
Tell us a little about the history of bourbon in the South.
The history of bourbon in the South goes back to the 1700s when the first settlers of Kentucky found that getting their crops to market over mountains and narrow trails was a difficult task because the grain would rot on the way. They learned that converting corn and other grains to whiskey made them more easily transportable. Since then, the time-honoured tradition of making fine bourbon in the South has continued, much unchanged from the process used by ancestors centuries before. The name “bourbon” comes from one of Kentucky’s original counties: Bourbon County, established in 1785.
What is your favourite BBQ and bourbon pairing?
I am a total bourbon nut and have cooked so many bourbon-based meals. I would have to say my all-time favourite pairing is Blanton’s Gold with a barbequed peach, stuffed with mascarpone cream and topped with bourbon and butter caramel sauce. That being said, I generally drink my bourbon neat—slowly savouring each sip!
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