FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, March 15, 2012

Media Contacts: Jennifer Zawadzinski, 212-522-9046, Megan Levinson, 212-522-3773,

Southern Living HONORS RALEIGH AS ONE OF THE ‘TASTIEST TOWNS IN THE SOUTH’ IN ITS APRIL ISSUE --- City Cited for Its Local Food Scene, According to the Magazine

New York, NY –To celebrate the many distinct hometown flavors that define today’s Southern cuisine, Southern Living named the “10 Tastiest Towns in the South” and let consumers decide the winner. Over a half-million votes were cast and each town is profiled in the upcoming April 2012 issue, on newsstands March 23. For the full story, go to:

While Lafayette, Lousiana took home the top award took home the top award, Raleigh is honored for its “fertile local food scene,” writes Senior Editor Paula Disbrowe.

The magazine looks at the tastemakers, chefs, artisans and restaurants that give each food destination its distinct local flavor. It also outlines “the perfect eating day” and features recipes created by the Southern Living Test Kitchen that highlight the iconic ingredients of each city.

“Southern Living veered way off the hot sauce and barbecue trail to get at the deeper story of who and what is shaping the South’s incredibly rich, diverse and delicious culinary landscape,” said editor Lindsay Bierman. “We’re pleased to highlight the South’s vibrant food scene in each and every town we profile.”

“We’re surrounded by a rich farm community and vibrant restaurants,” Ashley Christensen, chef at Poole’s Downtown Diner, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar, and Beasley’s Chicken + Honey tells Southern Living. “We’re proud of each other. It makes us want to be better at what we do on a daily basis.”

“The perfect eating day” includes visits to The Mecca Restaurant, Mitch’s Tavern, Fox Liquor Bar and Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, reports Southern Living.

The Southern Living Test Kitchen created a recipe for Fried Chicken Thighs & Biscuits inspired by Christensen.

The Southern Living Top 10 “Tastiest Towns in the South” are:

Lafayette, LA: Cayenne-spiked Acadiana
Baltimore, MD: Harboring Chesapeake flavor
Birmingham, AL:
Refined Southern comfort
Charleston, SC: A homegrown heirloom revival
Charlottesville, VA: Toasting Jefferson’s Legacy
Decatur, GA: A suburb made from scratch
Houston, TX:
A distinct ethnic twang
Louisville, KY: A bourbon-soaked renaissance
New Orleans, LA: A gumbo of beloved excess Raleigh, NC: Where farm fresh never expires

Southern Living editors chose the Top 10 “Tastiest Towns in the South” based on the following criteria:

  • Food as a cultural identity: The unique food or ethnicity that defines a particular Southern region
  • Growth of a culinary-minded community: The influence that the culinary industry has on the local community and tourism
  • Diverse cuisine at a variety of price points: Accessibility to hearty, flavorful meals at any budget
  • Local, sustainable food practices: The focus on sourcing products from local purveyors to geographically define where each meal comes from
  • Hot chefs on the rise: The influence of the area’s culinary talent in the media and pop culture.
  • Abundance of buzz-worthy food events: The number of festivals in the area that celebrate all things food and drink

The public can still enter for a chance to win a $2,500 trip to the Tastiest Town of their choice until Monday, April 30, 2012, 11:59 EST on

Southern Living editors are available for interview.

Southern Living celebrates the best food, travel, style, and design across the South. Reaching over 16 million consumers each month, this iconic brand reflects and defines the region's distinct culture through a variety of print, digital and tablet platforms, licensed products and events. Headquartered in Birmingham, AL, the rapidly expanding Southern Living brand is part of Time Inc., one of the largest content companies in the world and the largest publisher in the United States. Time Inc. is a Time Warner company.

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