Friday, April 29, 2011

A Legacy With Layers: The Vidalia® Onion Museum Opens Today

/PRNewswire/ -- Beginning today, Vidalia onion enthusiasts around the country will be able to explore the history of Georgia's beloved state vegetable and the growing region that has made it so famous. The grand opening of the Vidalia Onion Museum is right in time for thousands of tourists attending the annual Vidalia Onion Festival. Today's Museum grand opening event and ribbon-cutting ceremony have drawn an all-star team of chefs, each of whom is creating a Vidalia onion dish for guests, including:

* James Beard Award-winning chef Jeffrey Buben of Vidalia restaurant in Washington, D.C.
* "Top Chef" Fan Favorite Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill in Atlanta, Ga.
* Award-winning chef Gerry Klaskala of Aria restaurant in Atlanta, Ga.
* "Top Chef" contestant Tracey Bloom of Ray's at Killer Creek in Atlanta, Ga.
* "Southern My Way" cookbook author Gena Knox

Also participating in the museum opening ceremonies are Gary Black, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, and Wendy Brannen, Vidalia® Onion Committee executive director and museum chairperson. "We have worked for five years to unearth each unique layer of the Vidalia onion story and then portray those layers creatively for visitors," says Brannen. "When we first hired a museum consultant, they asked, 'Really, an onion museum?' But they quickly realized we're not just any onion, and this isn't just any story!" Brannen adds.

The Vidalia Onion Museum provides guests with an interactive, historical experience. The museum is filled with educational exhibits that highlight the sweet onion's economic, cultural and culinary significance. The Vidalia Onion Museum is located at 100 Vidalia Sweet Onion Drive and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

In addition to the excitement of the museum's grand opening, the Vidalia Onion Festival takes place this weekend, drawing tens of thousands of people to Vidalia, Ga. Activities include pageants, parades, concerts, car shows, onion-eating contests and arts and crafts. For more information on the festival, visit

The Vidalia® Onion Committee was established in 1989 as Federal Marketing Order No. 955. The order authorizes production research, marketing research and development, and marketing promotion programs. The VOC administers the order locally and consists of eight producer members and their alternates and one public member and an alternate. More information about the Vidalia® Onion industry may be obtained at


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