James Beard Recognized Chefs, Lawn Mower Race, Spud 5K Run + More at the Hastings Cabbage, Potato and Bacon Festival

Chefs Hari Pulapaka & Art Smith

Enjoy culinary masters, delectable bites, entertainment and down-home hospitality April 27 + 28

St. Augustine, FL – The annual Hastings Cabbage, Potato and Bacon Festival is back and better than ever! Held in the heart of downtown Hastings, Florida, the Festival celebrates the town’s agricultural roots through creativity and good, old-fashioned fun.

Experience the flavors of Hastings with four distinct culinary events!

Embark on an exploration of cabbage, potato and bacon from a culinary perspective with host Chef Hari Pulapaka, a four-time James Beard Best Chef semi-finalist, co-founder of award-winning Deland restaurant, Cress, and owner of the Global Cooking School. He is an international authority on sustainable and zero-waste food waste practices, serving on numerous groups and coalitions.

On Saturday, April 27, at 10am, Chef Pulapaka will be joined by Chef Art Smith for a farm-to-table cooking demonstration and educational session. Chef Smith is a two-time James Beard Foundation award winner, a sixth-generation Floridian, and a regular on culinary food shows like the “Today” show, “BBQ Pitmasters,” and “Top Chef Masters.” He is the executive chef of six restaurants and runs two non-profits.

At 11am, Chef Pulapaka will welcome beloved St. Augustine Chef Michael Lugo of Viva Hospitality to the stage. Chef Lugo is the owner and executive chef of three lauded local restaurants: Michael’s, Pesca Vilano, and La Nouvelle. His passion for sourcing and supporting locally-grown produce and meats makes him an authority on the deft preparation of the Festival’s namesakes.

Beginning at noon, Farm to Diner, via Chef, is an intimate look at the farm-to-table journey through conversations with the area’s farmers who grow and nurture the produce guests will be sampling. The panel conversation will feature moderators Lauren Titus of Edible Northeast Florida, Chef Genie and Jeff McNally of The Floridian Restaurant, and Chef Pulapaka.

It’s finally time to eat at the Taste of Hastings! From 6:30pm to 9:30pm, festival-goers can sample an array of delectable dishes prepared by popular local chefs, including Chefs Hari Pulapaka, Genie McNally, Michael Lugo, Ned Pollack, Ellie Schultze, Dejuan Roy, Sebastian Sikora, and Rebecca Reed. Each chef will craft their own plate using cabbage, potatoes, and bacon. Tickets to the Taste of Hastings are $35 for general admission and $100 for the VIP experience and may be purchased online at www.HastingsFL.org/meet-the-chefs.

Sunday features the prestigious American Culinary Federation (ACF) Sanctioned Cooking Competition, where three accomplished chefs will showcase their skill and artistry using any or all of the three main ingredients. With all the flash and sizzle of televised cooking competitions, these chefs will race against the clock and each other to impress the judges. The ACF Sanctioned Cooking Competition begins at 1pm and tickets are $20 and may be purchased here.

Races for runners and… lawn mowers?

The Spud Run and Cabbage Crawl Fun Run on Saturday, April 27, is a hallmark of the Festival. Athletes of all ages can take on the 5K, 10K, 15K or 1-mile Fun Run. No matter the distance, runners, walkers, and joggers can enjoy the picturesque scenery of the region’s rich agricultural landscape on a course that meanders through Hasting. Prices vary depending on distance and registration period. Runners can register here.

The Great Hastings Mow Down Lawn Mower Races are a sight to be seen! With the course running straight down North Main Street, there’s plenty of action. Racers can compete in two racing classes, Open Stock Adult (ages 18 and older) and Young Rider Open Stock (ages 15-17), with heats running from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Mowers can then don their best decorations and join the Mow Down Parade.

Don’t miss the Miss Potato Queen Beauty Pageant!

A long-standing tradition in the Potato Capital, this pageant is a local favorite. Contestants from surrounding counties participate in age categories from newborns to 23 years of age. The contest spans Saturday and Sunday, with Baby to Tiny on Saturday, Little Miss to Miss interviews on Saturday, and the pageant on Sunday.

Shop and eat local at the Outdoor Artisans Market.

Artists, makers, and tantalizing bites will line North Main Street on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Vendors will offer everything from curated clothing collections and jewelry to flowers and art. The best local food trucks are serving fall-off-the-bone barbeque, fried chicken, seafood, lemonade, and more. The atmosphere is complete with live music throughout the weekend at the Bozard Stage, featuring favorites like Bad Dog Mama, Damon Slaughter, and Billy Buchanan.

Don’t miss this hometown festival that celebrates the impactful contributions of the humble cabbage, potato, and bacon. Plan your trip with this helpful trip planner. This event is made possible through the support from the St. Johns Cultural Council and the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council. To learn more about Hastings Main Street, visit www.HastingsFL.org. Check us out on social media Instagram @hastingsmainstreetincFacebook.com/Hastingsmainstreetinc


For more information regarding events in the St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra area, visit www.historiccoastculture.com or www.stjohnsculture.com.

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