From the publisher: Returning the favor

By Phil Heppding
Feb. 25, 2021
From the Spring 2021 Food & Wine Guide for South Walton

What a difference a year makes! This time last year, we had just published our spring issue and were hopeful that news of a global pandemic wouldn’t come to our shores here in South Walton. A busy spring break season was cut short and locals found school canceled for the remainder of the school year, shortages of toilet paper and hand sanitizer on shelves, and our favorite restaurants shuttered with an unknown future before us.

Fast forward a year and we have added new terms to our vocabulary like “flatten the curve,” “community spread,” and “social distancing,” to name a few. While 2020 claimed millions of businesses across the country, South Walton has shown tremendous resilience. Although the struggle still exists for many of our neighbors and their businesses, we are blessed that for the most part, we are open for business here in South Walton.

This issue also marks the fifth anniversary of the Food & Wine Guide for South Walton. We are humbled at the support we have received over the years from our readers and advertising partners alike. What started out as a blog focused on the food, wine and chefs of South Walton has turned into the only food and wine print magazine specifically devoted to our area.

So this issue, please check out the pandemic response story on page 8. And also this year I’d like to ask a favor. Please review the restaurant guide in the back of the magazine (pages 74-81) and use it when planning your date nights, girls nights out and when you just want to try something new. 

And finally, the owners and staff of our restaurants have done a remarkable job in adapting to ever-changing guidelines from state and local governments on a moment’s notice. They have shown tremendous patience and grace as they welcomed us back to some sense of normalcy. Let’s do our part to return the favor in 2021.

Bon appétit!

Phil Heppding
Publisher |