Welcome to Trep Talk! Trep Talk features some of our city’s compelling entrepreneurs who are boldly building what is uniquely Memphis. The spotlight series is curated by Elizabeth Lemmonds, Director of Talent Programs for the EPIcenter.
Welcome back to Trep Talk! This week we shift gears a bit, and get to know Cristina McCarter of City Tasting Tours, which “takes you to neighborhood joints in the heart of the city to experience authentic cooking from various local restaurants.” This isn’t about a product or service as much as it is an experience. And a uniquely Memphis one.
For $55 you can be part of a tasting tour that serves up a generous sample dish at five carefully curated locally owned restaurants. It’s a walking tour, with plenty of background and Memphis history from Cristina along the way and behind-the-scenes interactions with the chefs. Prior destinations include Scoops Parlor, Central BBQ, Rizzo’s Diner, Dyer’s and Cafe Pontotoc. Can I tell you how much I adore this?! And may I add how ridiculously excited I am that she has vegetarian tours available this fall (worry not, omnivores: her regular downtown tours are still going strong)?!
What a fabulous way to check out new-to-you eateries. And seriously (hint, hint): what an intriguing option for visitors who want to experience the Bluff City like a local, or for those eagerly introducing new Memphians to the neighborhood.
But although the concept is what led me to connect with Cristina, I quickly became a fan of hers. It can’t be a surprise at this point that I love to feature passionate local entrepreneurs, who are de facto ambassadors of our community. Cristina’s entire inspiration for her business is her love of Memphis, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone more friendly nor enthusiastic! I can’t imagine a better tour guide, and hope you’ll agree. With no further ado…
Give us your elevator pitch!
City Tasting Tours is a cultural food tasting tour where I guide you around the city to eat some of best dishes local restaurants have to offer! We eat, we drink, we meet new people, learn some Memphis history, and have a blast!
What sets you apart?
What sets me apart from other tours in the city would be that I’m a young native Memphian and the fact that it’s not just a food tour. We are truly exploring the city while walking from place to place.
What – or who – was your inspiration?
Kim Hill is the founder of City Tasting Tours and her ability just to do it no matter what it is has been my inspiration. She allowed me to take her idea from 2008 and just run with it! I’m forever grateful to her and all the people in my circle who have told me just to do it.