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"To say that Durham has done well in this is an understatement," said Sam Poley who works at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Durham rocked in this contest. We took the lead at launch, held it, took it back from Asheville and then ran neck and neck with Memphis, a city three times larger."
Southern Living had a leader board on their voting page, but they took it down last week when Durham and Memphis were trading the first place position sometimes several times a day. Poley, and others pushing this contest, hope that the lack of knowledge about where Durham is on the list will spur fans on to vote daily, encourage their friends, and push this agenda. "When you come down to the wire like this, it's the vigilant, the dogmatic, and the tireless who win," Poley said. Durham's food scene is full of chefs and fans who exemplify those characteristics.
The winner will be announced by Southern Living in the May issue which hits the stands on April 19th. Promotional efforts will continue until voting closes. The strong use of social media where the hashtag #VoteDurhamTastiest! has gotten significant traction will remain the backbone of the efforts. Addtionally, use of printed material, retweets, shared Facebook posts, and media coverage have helped Durham really make a mark. "Durham's restaurateurs and food truck operators, as well as its food intelligentsia, have really shown up for us in this effort. We hope our thanks is sufficient for their help...that, and hopefully a title," Poley added.
Food in Durham is getting a boost from a national trend. “Southern cooking has become one of the country's hottest culinary obsessions,” says Southern Living Editor-in-Chief Lindsay Bierman. “But there's a lot more to it than pork belly and grits. Every day, we're discovering hyperlocal microcosms of food culture across our region."
Durham is certainly has food culture galore. Learn more about all of Durham's dining offerings online.