Still standing

Hello again from America’s next great culinary destination. I hope you are having a
wonderful start to 2019 and enjoying the warmer weather now that spring is upon

As always, the current issue of the Food & Wine Guide for South Walton is jam-
packed with profiles on your favorite restaurants, news of chefs on the move, and
features that highlight why South Walton is truly a world-class culinary destination.

One article I want you to take a special look at is “Cooking up a plate of hope” on
page 16, which outlines South Walton culinary teams’ efforts to feed Hurricane
Michael victims. It seems like just yesterday the Category 4 hurricane roared ashore
in Mexico Beach with sustained winds of 155mph. As the storm calmed and the
rains ceased, the true extent of the destruction came to light.

There are tens of thousands of stories of everyday folks from all walks of life who –
after escaping the worst effects of the storm themselves – mobilized to help our
neighbors to the east. This story shines a light on steps a number of our restaurants
here in South Walton took to feed survivors. And please note: while the national
media has moved on from the story of the hurricane and its effects here in the
Panhandle, the need is still great for rebuilding efforts.

On a lighter note, I’d like to ask a favor as well. Please let me know your favorite dish
in South Walton: Jim Shirley’s Grits a Ya Ya, the scallops from Vue on 30a, or any
other dish you feel is the best you’ve ever had. Email me at and let me know.

Finally, thank you to all of the advertising partners who have helped make this
magazine a success. Your support is greatly appreciated and we couldn’t produce
this guide without you.

Have a fantastic spring out and about in South Walton and bon appétit!

Phil Heppding


This article appears in the Spring 2019 issue of the Food & Wine Guide for South Walton.


Photo courtesy Michelle Farnham