Prepare your palette and eye for art as The Art of Alabama Food exhibit makes its way to the Alabama Gulf Coast from July 2 to Aug. 9 at The Compleat Studio at The Wharf.

Featuring 36 professional food shots from the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” brochure and as part of the Alabama Tourism Department’s (ATD) “Alabama Food” campaign, the exhibit celebrates chefs and restaurants that represent the state’s trademark twist on Southern cuisine.

Joanie Flynn, vice president of marketing for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism said,

The Year of Alabama Food exhibit highlights what Alabamians already know and what the rest of the world needs to see – our state is home to a wide diversity of culinary offerings and renowned chefs worth celebrating! Along with the Alabama Tourism Department, The Wharf and The Compleat Studio, our beach area is excited to host not only a stunning exhibit but also a variety of fun ‘foodie’ events.

Lee Sentell, ATD’s director, echoes the importance of this exhibit and coinciding events for state tourism,

With a large pool of culinary talent and innovative restaurants, it’s an exciting time for Alabama food. This one-of-a-kind exhibit features images of signature dishes from restaurants across the state. It’s a great representation of Alabama’s unique food culture.

Bob Baumhower, former University of Alabama football standout and Miami Dolphin, proudly serves as the “head fry cook” and owner of Aloha Hospitality, the umbrella company over many restaurants around the state. Through his passion for the area and exposing people to the state’s varied flavor profile, Baumhower encourages locals and beach-goers to discover the area’s culinary offerings.

Baumhower said,

Alabama is a dream destination for food lovers, and we believe the world needs to know it. We decided that this exhibit had to be shared with as many people as possible and began a campaign to help bring this exhibit to The Wharf in Orange Beach, the gateway to Alabama’s beaches.

The showcase itself will be open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays July 2 through Aug. 9 from 4-10 p.m. In addition to the exhibit, the following special events will take place:

  • Chefs’ Tastes Showcase: July 2, 6-8 p.m.
  • Chef Cook the Catch Demo from the Blue Marlin Grand Championship: July 12
  • Chef Author Book Signings: July 16, 5-7 p.m.
  • Tastes From Local Chefs’ Dishes Featured in “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die”: July 17, 5-7 p.m.
  • Coastal Alabama Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Market Demo: July 24, 5-7 p.m.
  • Local Culinary Festival Promo with Tastes: July 25, 5-7 p.m.
  • Coastal Alabama Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Market Demo and Local Purveyors Showcase: July 31, 5-7 p.m.
  • Aloha Vendors Tailgate Tastings: Aug. 1, 5-7 p.m. (ticketed event)
  • Local Restaurant Tastes Showcase: Aug. 6-9, 5-7 p.m.

Note that dates and times are subject to change for each special event. Entry to the exhibit and each event is free with the exception of a to-be-announced ticket price for the Aloha Vendors Tailgate Tastings event.

For more details on The Art of Alabama Food at