By Tina Coleman

Southern Delaware Tourism and a consortium of Southern Delaware restaurateurs have partnered to promote Sussex County Delaware’s Culinary Coast™. 

This initiative began in January of 2020, just prior to the pandemic. While the circumstances obviously created some shifts and gaps in the planned timeline, Southern Delaware Tourism, our restaurant partners and the public relations firm we engaged forged ahead throughout 2020 and 2021 to create and disseminate messaging about the Culinary Coast™ to food and travel writers throughout the U.S. in order to keep Southern Delaware’s food scene on their radar. These efforts are continuing throughout 2022.

The public relations firm, Baltz & Co, was engaged by SDT and the consortium to focus solely on promoting our Culinary Coast™. They provide strategy development, messaging, media and influencer relations, content and event and experiential marketing support, and in collaboration with Southern Delaware Tourism and our partners, amplify and share the unique story of our Culinary Coast™ as the premier Mid-Atlantic culinary travel destination. 

This has so far resulted in excellent national and regional media coverage for our Culinary Coast™ as well as for consortium partners; continuing writer engagement, inquiries, and visits; media interviews with local chefs and producers and more – and now additional promotional opportunities are being fleshed out for 2022. 

This is an extremely important initiative because Southern Delaware has been and continues to evolve into the coastal culinary capital of the Mid-Atlantic. Sussex County is a foodie mecca thanks to the vision and years of hard work of local restaurateurs, chefs, producers and many others who have contributed to an incredible concentration of fantastic (and award-winning) restaurants and nationally recognized chefs in Sussex County. 

It doesn’t hurt that our area also boasts more than a dozen wineries, distilleries, breweries and a meadery, many notable local specialties producers and a thriving, nationally recognized farmers market culture that enjoys active participation from our restaurants and myriad local producers. 

The goals of this initiative are: 

• To define the Mid-Atlantic region and promote the Culinary Coast™ as the best eating in that Mid-Atlantic region.

• To promote the wide range of cuisines available in Sussex County 

• To promote our strong chefs and the unique restaurant culture in Sussex County via storytelling

• To spread the word through a variety of media, events and storytelling that a vibrant culinary culture is firmly established here and alive in the Culinary Coast™ brand

• To highlight our small-town hospitality by promoting self-guided town-by-town food tours/itineraries in our seaside and riverside villages and rural small towns

• To create top of mind awareness about the year-round nature of our Culinary Coast™ as well as the area’s year-round farm and aquaculture production and the part they play in setting apart our culinary scene

In conjunction with overall storytelling about the Culinary Coast™, the program aims to create messaging and strategies for seasonal campaigns as area chefs base their menus on seasonal regional components.

Southern Delaware Tourism encourages and invites interested local restaurants and restaurant groups to participate in this Culinary Coast™ initiative and consortium. 

For information, call our office at 302-856-1818 or email us at