I was lucky enough to meet Tracy up in Chicago about 6 months ago as we both began to build our food tours. She was wonderful to collaborate with and we sought out each other’s help often as we worked hard to write our scripts and build our tours.
I am so thrilled that Downtown Decatur Food Tours is so close to Asheville (just 3 hours away!) My family and I go to Atlanta often which is a stone’s throw from Decatur. (My dad and I obsessively read Christiane Lauterbach’s wonderful little food guide, Knife and Fork, and go to many of her restaurant recommendations along the eclectic Buford Highway). And now I am psyched that in addition to those food jaunts, I will get to take Tracy’s tour!
I caught up with Tracy this week to learn about how her tours are going and what to expect when I visit.
Tell us about yourself and your food tour.
My name is Tracy Reddick, I am the founder and owner of Downtown Decatur Food Tours. Two of my favorite passions are cooking and entertaining. Operating a food tour gives me the opportunity to entertain guests while someone else does the cooking! I love how food brings people together and creates a connection like none other. I long for the days before cell phones, when we sat down together to eat as a family. Communication was real and honest, and we were present in the moment. I encourage my food tour patrons to put down their cell phones and engage with one another. My hope is that you get to know someone new; or get to know someone you know even more.
I moved to Decatur many years ago from New York City. I love the slower pace and the laid back feel the city has. Downtown Decatur is only 4 square miles, but it is over flowing with unique eateries, specialty shops, and a transformative art scene. Decatur has everything a big city offers, but with distinct style and flair. The townspeople are very intentional about maintaining a small city. They are committed to purposeful growth and shun the idea of high rises and strip malls.
Downtown Decatur Food Tours will take you on a food adventure inside the culinary cupboards of some of the city’s unique and award winning restaurants. You will enjoy delicious food tastings from authentic international eateries. Most of the restaurants purchase their meat, produce, and poultry from local purveyors. With one exception, for authenticity, one of our food partners imports directly from Naples, Italy.
Tell us about Downtown Decatur and what made you want to start a food tour there.
The city’s official motto is a city of homes, schools and places of worship. I prefer the unofficial motto, “It’s Greater In Decatur!” With that being said, Downtown Decatur was my first and only choice to create a guided food tasting and cultural walking tour. Decatur is a destination location for foodies, artists and people in search of fun. The summer evenings are sought out by music enthusiasts for the exciting concerts on the square.
The city recently launched a campaign to encourage the community to shop and dine locally. “Keep It Indie-Catur”, with the tagline “spend your money where your heart lives.” It’s this type of creativity that makes Decatur so special.
What makes your food tour different and unique?
Downtown Decatur Food Tours focuses on creating a fun and a one of kind experience. The food tour is part contest, part scavenger hunt, part history lesson and delicious cuisine. The contest brings out the competitive edge in people, which is always exciting to experience. The scavenger hunt makes the tour interactive, so everyone gets involved.
What type of food do we get to try?
Our food tastings are not your typical tastings. The authentic international cuisine is a virtual trip around the world, all in the course of one afternoon. You will enjoy scrumptious bites from an Asian, Latin and Neapolitan restaurant. The pork buns, empanadas, and Mama’s homemade Limencello will delight your taste buds. The tour ends with an educational and surprisingly delightful visit to a premium olive oil and vinegar tasting room. You will discover that oil and vinegar is not just for salads!
Dine. Discover. Decatur.
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