This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Food Lion. All opinions are 100% mine.
When I found out that Food Lion was going to be a major sponsor of the Southern Women’s Show in Raleigh, I couldn’t wait to check it out. The SWS is a 3-day lifestyle consumer event that includes exhibits, interactive workshops and features on healthcare, travel, shopping, beauty, business, fashion and food. I’ve heard about the show from lots of my friends but had never been until this year.
As soon as I walked into the expo center, I could see the Food Lion stage and saw an event already in full swing. They had cooking demonstrations of various recipes, contests and giveaways, question-and-answer sessions with top chefs, and so much more. I headed straight over to check out the fun.
Lucky for me, I was able to attend the SWS on a very cool day – the day that Taylor Hicks was performing. THE Taylor Hicks – winner of American Idol – was spending the afternoon at the Food Lion stage and I was thrilled to get the chance to meet him. I watched his season of American Idol and remember it clearly so it was a neat experience to meet him in person. I have to say, he is every bit the Southern gentleman that he seemed to be on American Idol.
In addition to touring and performing as a singer, Taylor also owns a restaurant in Birmingham, AL, and has become quite the chef. My friend Liz from Eat, Move, Make and I were able to chat with Taylor for a little while and learn about his life. He told us a little bit about his music, about being on the road, and about his restaurant Saw’s BBQ. It was so cool to hear about life on the road and some of the things he and the band do while they’re on tour.
Taylor told us that he was proud to be cooking and singing at the event because Food Lion is the store he and the band head to when they’re on the East Coast. He said the bus will pull into a Food Lion and they’ll stock the bus with everything they need. Food Lion has so many delicious fresh foods that Taylor said everyone from the vegans in the band to the meat-lovers like himself were always happy with the selection.
After we chatted a little while, Taylor headed to the Food Lion stage to show off his cooking talents. He shared his favorite recipe for BBQ-Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers with the crowd and made the recipe as we watched. The recipe is one of the specialties in his restaurant and it was easy to understand why when we got to sample the poppers. They were such an amazing combination of flavors and heat that I’ll definitely be making them at home in the future. The recipe seemed easy to prepare and cook, and was freshly made with ingredients from Food Lion so I know I’ll be able to make them (hopefully) as well.
There are loads of great recipes on Food Lion’s website as well, so I’m planning to try a few of those as well. Some of the recipes featured at the SWS are: Grilled Ham, Cheese and Pineapple Panini, Eastern Style BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders, Warm Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad, and Grilled Pound Cake with Fresh Berries and Whipped Cream. Don’t those sound amazing? I can’t wait to try them. Check them out here: Food Lion Southern Women’s Show Recipes
Once everyone in the crowd had enjoyed the BBQ-Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers, we got another treat. Taylor Hicks came back out with a guitarist from his band and performed for us!
He sat on a stool right in front of the crowd and talked to the audience, played some impressive harmonica, and sang two absolutely gorgeous songs. His voice was every bit as awesome as it was when we first heard him on American Idol, and I really enjoyed his songs. Taylor has his own music style that’s clearly performed by someone with true talent. It was such a pleasure to hear him perform live and I hope I get the chance to do it again soon.
My first experience of the Southern Women’s Show was a success and I will absolutely be back in the future. I was happy to see so many people enjoying the fun and fresh foods at the Food Lion stage. I have a special place in my heart for Food Lion because it started here in North Carolina in a small town not far from where I grew up. It was clear to see that many others at the SWS felt the same way – Food Lion is a trusted neighbor in our community and it’s wonderful to see them participating in our local events.
If you get the chance to check out a Southern Women’s Show, I would definitely recommend going. Be sure to check out all of the awesome events at the Food Lion stage and see why Food Lion is the place to go for easy, fresh and affordable foods to nourish your family.