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The Atlanta Nosh: ‘Playground for Atlanta foodies’

Will you continue to frequent traditional farmers markets or try The Atlanta Nosh? credit: John Spink,AJC

Will you continue to frequent traditional farmers markets or try The Atlanta Nosh? credit: John Spink,AJC

There’s a new kind of market headed to Atlanta — one that founder Michaela Graham refers to as a “playground for foodies.”

Beginning in AprilThe Atlanta Nosh will feature 150 food-related vendors each Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. In addition to a farmers market, it will offer a selection of ready-to-eat items in sample sizes and “take-homeables” (prepared foods). According to Graham, they are working to make beer and wine available for purchase.

For now, the venue is secret, but we know it will be outdoors. Graham says that it will be in the “best, most central location in Atlanta you can imagine.”

To partake in this food fest, you’ll have to register on the event’s website. The Atlanta Nosh will function as a private club and attendees will be responsible for an entry fee. Season passes will also be available.

The Atlanta Nosh is designed not only to provide a weekly foodie haven, but also to “support new, small and local businesses who believe in good food and are willing to make things happen.” If you’ve ever wanted to start a food-related business, here’s your chance to get started. Whether you’re a cook or baker, have a cookbook or have designed a new kitchen gadget, The Atlanta Nosh can be your proving ground.

If you’re interested in getting your foot in the door, food auditions for ready-to-eat items and packaged take-homeables will be held on Feb. 18 from 2-5 p.m. at Atlantic Station in the former Pier 1 store. You’ll need to bring ten bite-sized portions for the ten judges who will select the best and most interesting dishes and vendors to join the roster. Graham’s advice to hopefuls, “Just have a dream and be willing to follow it.”

For more information on the food auditions, visit The Atlanta Nosh website.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

41 comments Add your comment

FoodFan

January 25th, 2012
2:14 pm

Was turned off by this Michaela woman’s scathing email blast after joining the email list for her “underground market”, and will continue to boycott her events.

nina

January 25th, 2012
3:06 pm

an entry fee for a farmer’s market? yeah no.

Big JIm

January 25th, 2012
3:22 pm

Something about this seems fishy, and I’m not talking seafood….

atlfoodsnob

January 25th, 2012
3:23 pm

Agreed with the others, all of the “Underground” events have been nightmares as far as logisitcs are concerned and they were hardly “foodie” events. There were usually a few good items but most were common and bland. Save your dough and support a local restaurant instead.

ABC

January 25th, 2012
3:38 pm

I have SERIOUS issue with people that try to build false exclusivity in their events. I will not pay for a Farmer’s Market and I resent the implication that this is in any way “underground”, “exclusive”, or “secret”.

As if the location is really a secret. Who doesn’t know it will be at Piedmont Park. *eye roll”

Deb

January 25th, 2012
3:41 pm

John Kessler is usually pretty solid in what he recommends. Just signed up so will see.

donkey200

January 25th, 2012
3:56 pm

Sounds like a real big boor! Totally not interested.

Daryl-Atlanta

January 25th, 2012
4:03 pm

Entry Fee for a Farmer’s Market?
Yes…. Recent Atlanta City laws/regulations require a police presence, liability insurance and so forth. Plus, whomever owns the property that these events take place would be remiss if such protections/coverages were not in place…. All makes sense…plus even a small fee/contribution keeps the event focused to those who are truly interested and (as awful as this may sound) will keep folks out looking for a free snack. Once spring arrives, for us in Buckhead/Midtown, besides the Saturday Morning Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market (at St. Phillips) , this will be a very welcome addition.

Lorenzo

January 25th, 2012
5:29 pm

At least she isn’t calling it “Underground” Market anymore. That there was anything “underground” about it was mostly wishful thinking.

Edward

January 25th, 2012
6:12 pm

I like the idea very much, but I remain skeptical until more is known. It sounds like what we might already have at the Peachtree Road FM on Saturdays.

sansho1

January 25th, 2012
6:17 pm

Depends on the amount of the fee, I guess. Also, if the fee goes primarily towards defraying costs that would otherwise be borne by the vendors, I’m fine with it. But if, as suggested above, the fee is designed solely to create the appearance of exclusivity, I’ll probably pass.

Brealle

January 25th, 2012
6:32 pm

I dont agree with any of you… ive been to the aum events and yeah its crowded but well worth the wait, the food is great and everyhing is usually under 5 bucks. I cant wait to see what the brunch has to offer!

Truth

January 25th, 2012
7:15 pm

First of all, paying an entry fee is no different than if you attend a festival or other major food event anywhere and plus, you don’t even know what the fee is . . . it’s probably going to be pretty nominal. Sounds like a lot of people just taking an opportunity to be negative . . . as most people who post these blogs are. I’ve attended these events, the vendors work very hard and the food is unique . . . it’s something different, so I can’t wait and @atlfoodsnob, you’re name suggest you have a problem with food period . . . I will support food events and restaurants as well, but mostly I will support those people trying to make a living doing what they love!

Truth

January 25th, 2012
7:19 pm

. . .@ABC, yeah, you go on to Piedmont Park . . . please!!

Andrew

January 25th, 2012
7:23 pm

sounds like a grear concept not “cookie cutter” I have been to food events around the Atlanta area and it seems everyone is serving the same things at the AUM you get great food that you may not find on your own i’m in

Marie

January 25th, 2012
7:48 pm

@ABC – bitter much? It obviously sounds like more than just a “farmer’s market” negative nellies. I’ve gone to a number of events around the city where I paid a fee to get in (including the AUMs) – the latest being one of the Indie Craft Experience events. $5 to get in and support talented local artists. Well worth it. These types of events are not cheap or free. I can’t imagine what it would take to logistically pull 150 vendors together on a weekly basis. Surely the venue has a fee. Advertising, supplies, setup, etc. More to do in the city? Bring it on. Employing people? Absolutely! There are always naysayers ready to rain on everyone’s parade. Stay home. More enjoyment for those of us ready to support our city and the people in it. For those reading and curious, keep and open mind and heart.

JS

January 25th, 2012
8:04 pm

I found a lot of good items at the AUM i’ve attended, so I’m not sure why there’s so much negativity. I’m looking forward to this!

foodi36

January 25th, 2012
8:57 pm

first of all some of the negative comments feel like they were written by a bitter ex vendor or by someone who wished they came up with the idea themselves. I enjoy going to the underground market. and wouldn’t mind to pay a small fee.

sensmom

January 25th, 2012
9:04 pm

I love the farmers markets – fresh veg and fruit, baked goods – hit Peachtree on a Saturday morning but then I still have 2-3 additional stops just to find everything I need (TJ’s, Wholefoods, sometimes even traveling up Peachtree to Buford Hwy) SO, if I can find more excellent food and products at one place, and still keep it affordable, how great will that be? I imagine much depends on how affordable the vendors are going to be but it will certainly worth checking it out, and well worth it if the vendors keep things affordable as they were at the Underground Market a few weeks ago…..

Nikki

January 25th, 2012
11:37 pm

I’m shocked at some of the comments on this post. If you’ve ever been to the Atlanta Underground Market then you would know that the fee is a very small fee which has ranged from $3-$5 and that’s not a lot to pay to be apart of something tasty and different.

I’m very excited that Micheala has decided to step out and provide something new and adventurous to Atlanta. Please be supportive or keep your mouth shut!

ysol

January 26th, 2012
12:40 am

such negative comments about an event that you have not attended says that you are scared to try new things or are pissed you didn’t came up with the idea yourself. so I say chill and enjoy while the Nosh gets big and you get in line to buy your ticket. ciao.

jack trent

January 26th, 2012
2:14 am

foodie haven?? what a joke. go support your local farmers market.

sansho1

January 26th, 2012
8:58 am

The foodies have shown up to ban “negativity” from their just-so universe!

Seriously, this might be cool, but it will need to offer a significant array of prepared foods in order to elevate it above the offerings of your garden variety farmer’s market. After all, it costs nothing to walk into the Buford Hwy international market, or YDFM, or Whole Foods.

ysol

January 26th, 2012
9:39 am

@ Jack, this can be the local farmer market for people that live in the area:)
@sanshol, we don’t know what the organizer has in plan as far as offering of prepared foods. ..etc. so let us not ban it before we see what this is about.

Negative Nellie

January 26th, 2012
10:01 am

I won’t be attending any event that use the words “Nosh” or “foodie” in their promos. That’s a little too cute.

James Chien

January 26th, 2012
10:27 am

I’ve been an Atlanta Based Chef of almost 25 years. I attended my first AUM at the beginning of January. I’ve owned and operated 2 restaurants during my career. I have to say, from a “behind the scenes” perspective. It is rather difficult to organize such an event and even more of a challenge to “control” the outcome. Because, you can’t. Vendors are individuals, with individual judgement decisions. If they didn’t bring enough food, or the food that they presented was not up to par, or simply, they may be great cooks, perhaps not on a business and or commerical level. That includes Doing Business. For this, it is forgivable. Remember, not everyone there, are NOT professional restaurant vendors.
I felt, it was a tremendous turnout. I liked the idea of Michaela’s concept and her creating this Diverse Venue to showcase some of Atlanta’s best or aspiring to be the best. And charging a Entry Fee, is NOT unheard of. It was $5.00 at the History Center, the site of the last venue. It’s a nominal amount, for a night out, that is NOT your regular “Date Night”, if you will.
As for the Terminology used, Foodie and Nosh, is What Our Current Social Trends are…. The average person May call themselves “Chefs”, but for us Professional Chefs, we view that with a little snicker and maybe even a rolling of the eyes. But, nevertheless, it’s a term, a word, a samantic…not unlike Foodie, or Noshers.
Believe me folks, go,try and taste. Don’t knock it, until you’ve had a chance to sample. My Chef friend and I went together, and had a great time. Yes, there’s a wait on a line, for everything, but that’s life!
Finally, I enjoyed this so much, that I will attend more events and in fact, I WILL be food auditioning, for Michaela’s March venues, this February. Some of you folks may remember the Asian Cajun. Like a lot of things in life, it will get better with time and Practice. Bon Appetite.

Mark

January 26th, 2012
1:20 pm

Wow, lots of knee jerk reactions that seem to have missed the point. I’ll wait to see personally, but as of now, what is being proposed is far different than a farmers’ market. I’m certainly a fan of them, but this could be a whole differemt experience.

@sansho: if your idea of great prepared foods is YDFM or WF, your standards are too low. Other than great ingredients, YDFM is classic steam table cooking. WF gets the eye appeal right, but the actual cooking is medicre at best. If you can’t produce much better food at home, with minimal prep time, you need to practice more.

@nellie: the word nosh has a long and honorable history, It is neither trendy nor cutesy. Derived from Yiddish “nashn” which in turn derives from German “naschen” meaning “to nibble.” As a kid growing up in the 60’s, my Jewish friends would invite me to nosh with them at the local deli in Philly. If you reject a potentially intersting new concept based solely on your misunderstanding of the word nosh, then you sure ain’t no foodie :-)

NearbyThis

January 26th, 2012
1:21 pm

I would be interested to see how this turns out sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing!

http://www.NearbyThis.com

Foodgeek

January 26th, 2012
1:50 pm

Given the large number of farmers markets that are free to attend in the metro area – Peachtree Road, Marietta, Morningside, etc. – and that they include many free samples as well as prepared and baked goods, I simply don’t see why I’d want to spend even a nominal fee to visit this one, especially after reading the aforementioned scathing email from Michaela. It was truly insulting and an incredible turnoff to a lot of potential future customers, and I haven’t seen anything resembling an apology from her since she sent it out.

Of course, farmers markets around this area are astoundingly expensive in terms of their presumably “organic, local” produce (no guarantees there, though there are many honest vendors as well). I willingly pay some of these ridiculous prices to support these events, but to pay an entry fee, while the vendors are also paying Michaela a fee in order to secure a spot, so that I can then have the privilege of buying overpriced vegetables and small tastes of food sounds a bit much for me. I’m only willing to go so far to support the local “foodie” culture.

As far as alcohol being sold, I really don’t need to be drinking early in the day in Atlanta heat while I’m doing my grocery shopping. I think I’ll pass.

sansho1

January 26th, 2012
2:56 pm

Mark, my idea of great prepared foods is NOT what is found at YDFM. Which is why I made the point that, if prepared foods do turn out to be a significant aspect of the new market, I will give it a shot. Skepticism is not negativity.

jon

January 26th, 2012
3:07 pm

As I understand it, Nosh will be much different than a typical farmers market. It is more focused on prepared foods than on produce.

Michaela

January 26th, 2012
3:39 pm

I would like to clarify, that the farmers market aspect is only an addition. This is built around prepared ready-to-eat dishes. I have been holding events with 30-40 different vendors and this market will allow us to increase to about 60 different vendors for ready-to-eat food, that is all offered in small portions. That’s why the name ‘Nosh’, as it allows people to nibble on various dishes that they might have never had.

In the past year I’ve been approached by many people creating things that are packaged in some way and who are looking for a way to get their products out in front of the public’s eyes. While that didn’t fit with my events, I’m now using this platform to add those vendors as well.

And then I felt that this might also be the perfect way to for producers of all kitchen/food related non-edibles.

I understand that this is not for everyone and there’s no way that everybody would be happy with what we’re doing. To each their own.

Will

January 26th, 2012
3:52 pm

I have been to a total of 4 Atlanta Underground Markets and I have loved all 4. I was a big fan of the first one but I am a bigger fan now since shes added more vendors.These have surpassed my expectations since the first one.We are all titled to our opinions but I have enjoyed going to these events. I am looking forward to the next one.

Mark

January 26th, 2012
4:48 pm

@sansho: thanks for the clarification, we’re really on the same wavelength. I’d love to find a new source of prepared foods that are tasty, interesting, and affordable. I can find nice prepared stuff at places like Star Provisions and Alons, but that’s high end/high price. And we agree that the more moderately priced places like YDFM, WF, TJ, etc are mediocre at best. So, if Michaela can find folks who cook as well as some of my (sorry) foodie friends, then this could really be a game changer. So I’m anxiously awaiting the event.

Amy

January 27th, 2012
10:11 am

I have been unable to attend any of the AUM events due to work scheduling, but I have been on the list since the beginning and I just cannot remember this “scathing” email! What I do remember is that when I emailed Michaela with a question the day before an event, she responded very quickly and helpfully (and quite frankly, I was amazed to hear back at all). I am excited about this event, since I think I’ll finally be able to attend. From the descriptions I have ready, this seems nothing like a typical neighborhood farmer’s market.

Also, my understanding is that this was never meant to be “exclusive,” but has to run as a “private club” to be able to get around laws that prevent home cooks from selling their food in other venues.

Edward

January 27th, 2012
11:40 am

I just saw a Youtube video of an AUM event. It did not look inviting, to me. Too crowded, how can you possibly enjoy tasting anything in a room that packed full of people?

Jay

January 27th, 2012
4:36 pm

I went to a few AUM events. Some were great, some did have too many people and was a bit annoying. Her email after the first one was incredibly snotty, but I said I would give it another shot, and I was happy. The initial AUM was awful logistically, but they have gotten better. The food I had was awesome at each one. From what I understand, the cost is to make it “exclusive” to avoid some of the regulatory items and make this doable/affordable. Which might make you nervous, but all the food I had was great and a good variety, and everything was clean. I like the concept of $2-4 small plates from a wide variety of food every now and then. Lighten up folks. This isn’t like a farmer’s market – it is more prepared bites to eat there or take home. Nosh is cheesy, but who cares? Its a friggin word. Then again, I am sure some of the negative folks don’t support food trucks, which I also love. Get a taco here, slider there, etc. Atlanta is growing up!

janet

January 27th, 2012
4:56 pm

I attended the last AUM at the History Center. It was fun, crowded, energetic and the $5 fee included admission to the musuem. Free parking , also.
So if your idea of great food is in a restaurant with a menu, go to one. If you like to try new foods prepared by the people who are serving it, try this. I think the Nosh sounds like great fun. Plenty of choices for everyone. I wish her and the Nosh a great success. I will be there looking for new, interesting foods to discover at very reasonable prices.

Lorenzo

January 27th, 2012
5:03 pm

I’ll be glad to give it a try, just as a gave the first Atlanta [Underground] Market a try. I never went back to another, as waiting in line for an hour to get into a room so I could elbow my way through the crowd in hope of finding a scrap of something interesting that wasn’t already sold out wasn’t something I wanted to experience again. It was a madhouse. But I’m happy to give the new format a try.

Foodguy

January 27th, 2012
5:11 pm

Why would I pay? You can try new food at other events without having to pay to get in.

Brazen Unicorn

January 27th, 2012
5:38 pm

I was originally interested in the AUM when I first heard about it on Yelp. I considered being a vendor and sent a message for more info. After a very rude (and in my opinion, offensive) response, I chose not to attend or be a vendor. But I’m glad that Atlanta is experiencing something like this. Maybe more exciting events like this will follow.