Hundreds turn out for Forks and Corks 

Restaurant Tyler sommelier Barbara Burgess pours a glass of wine for a patron at Forks and Corks on Saturday (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)

Ryan Phillips

The biggest fundraising event of the year for the Starkville Area Arts Council saw a large turnout Saturday night at The Mill as supporters of the arts sampled local cuisine and libations. 

According to SAAC Executive Director John Bateman, the 2018 installment of Forks and Corks saw roughly 300 people purchase tickets, which met organizer’s hopes and expectations. 

“Last year it raised almost $9,000 for arts and education programs in Oktibbeha County, and this year we’re hoping to exceed $11,000,” Bateman said. 

While the food and drink at Forks and Corks is typically on the radar of many in the community, some new aspects were provided this year to expand an already popular event. 

“This year, we brought back the dessert competition and we have a curated ceramics display, stuff that is not your grandmother’s crock ware,” Bateman said “We’re Also highlighting our Cotton District Arts Festival songwriter competition winners to expose people to different kinds of music, so that’s something we’re toying with a little bit different this year.” 

Duston Price, SAAC board member and Forks and Corks co-chair, also praised the turnout and participation from local eateries. 

“We’ve had a really great turnout from all of the restaurants this year and we really elevated it and the food is really delicious,” Price said. "We’re also excited to have the dessert competition, seven restaurants participated in that, and also expanded the wine offerings, all the way around it’s been really exciting.”

The following winners were named in different competitive categories at the conclusion of the event: 

Judges' Picks

Taste: Two Brothers Smoked Meats

Originality: Restaurant Tyler

Presentation: Two Brothers Smoked Meats

Dessert: Restaurant Tyler

People's Choice

Dessert: The Veranda

1st Place: Central Station Grill

2nd Place: Harveys

3rd Place: Brian Michael's Catering CO.