Sweet, savory, spicy; culinary festival in the park; STGnews Videocast, Photo Gallery

ST. GEORGE — Dark skies greeted crowds Friday evening at the third annual Southern Utah Culinary Festival but occasional winds and a spotty drizzle did little to deter guests from enjoying the melange of edibles offered by the locally owned and operated restaurants presenting their fares at the event.

Pot stickers from Benja Thai are just one of the many culinary delights available to try at the Southern Utah Culinary Festival, St. George, Utah, April 24, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Pot stickers from Benja Thai are just one of the many culinary delights available to try at the Southern Utah Culinary Festival, St. George, Utah, April 24, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Held at Vernon Worthen Park on the corner of 300 South and 300 East in St. George, the family friendly festival, now in its third year, had several vendors offering enough variety to please the palate with something spicy, something savory and something sweet and all for a reasonable price.

Tickets were sold for $1 a piece and each restaurant participating sold their food for either one or two tickets, depending on sample size.

The festival was designed to showcase local restaurants, festival creator Adam Stuart said in a previous interview, as well as to provide a fun atmosphere for families to enjoy an evening together.

Friday’s attendance was high, Stuart said, adding that vendors were doing really well.

“I think that more than anything we’ve had a lot of fun so far today,” Stuart said.

Adyson Christensen rides the mechanical bull at the Southern Utah Culinary Festival held at Vernon Worthen Park, St. George, Utah, April 24, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Adyson Christensen rides the mechanical bull at the Southern Utah Culinary Festival held at Vernon Worthen Park, St. George, Utah, April 24, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Peppers Cantina owner Richard Rivera, who has attended the festival all three years, said that it is a great way to find potential customers as well as to keep current customers happy.

Peppers was selling pork and chicken soft tacos with a choice of hot or mild salsa as well as chips and salsa.

Vendors such as Rigatti’s Wood Fired Pizza sold warm slices of pizza while Sonny Boy’s BBQ offered pulled pork sandwiches and Benja’s Thai served up pot stickers drizzled in a sweet and savory sauce. Sweet creations from the Iceberg and Twentyfive Main provided delightful desserts for festival attendees.

Homemade pasta is prepared in front of guests by the Dixie Applied Technology College's Culinary Academy at the Southern Utah Culinary Festival held at the Southern Utah Culinary Festival, St. George, Utah, April 24, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Homemade pasta is prepared in front of guests by the Dixie Applied Technology College’s Culinary Academy at the Southern Utah Culinary Festival held at the Southern Utah Culinary Festival, St. George, Utah, April 24, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Chef Jessi Cox and Chef Greg Reith from the Dixie Applied Technology College’s Culinary Academy gave live demonstrations teaching guests how to make homemade pasta. Live music provided by the band “Soul What,” prize giveaways, a mechanical bull, bounce houses and a retail row completed the festival atmosphere that offered something for every appetite.

The Southern Utah Culinary Festival continues Saturday at Vernon Worthen Park from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature more live music and entertainment, eating challenges and some of the finest food in the area.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

culinary-sliderEvent recap

  • What: Third Annual Southern Utah Culinary Festival
  • When: Friday-Saturday, April 24-25, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Vernon Worthen Park, corner of 300 S. and 300 E., St. George
  • Cost: Free to enter, food vendors vary, $1-$2
  • Resources: Website | Facebook

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