Those attending this weekend’s Atlanta Food and Wine Festival certainly aren’t lacking in options for how to spend their time. As John Kessler reported yesterday, the festival organizers have trimmed the number of programmed events by nearly 30%, down to 88 options over the three-day weekend.
Let’s be honest here…if you are so inclined or if your income allows, you can blow a lot of money this weekend. Tickets range from $100 for a single day Tasting Tent pass, up to $2,000 for the 3-day Connoisseur pass, and a range of pricing and access levels lay in between.
But, like any good music festival, it is often the after-parties where you get the biggest treats of the weekend. Every night of the festival, there are extra-special dinners planned all over town, each with their own set of tickets at an additional cost (though some ticket packages include the evening dinners or events.) If you so choose, you can skip the day-passes all together and spend your dollars on these more intimate events. Prices range from $75-$150 per event, and provide some of the more up-close and personal opportunities to enjoy the collaboration of great chefs and some of the best food of the weekend.
These often sell out quickly, but as of the morning of May 8th, here are some of the evening dinners that still have tickets available:
Friday, May 11th:
A team of six chefs, including Hugh Acheson, Ryan Smith, and Bryan Voltaggio, join forces to celebrate locally-source lamb. The feast includes craft beer pairings care of Mike Gallagher of The Brick Store Pub in Atlanta. The dinner begins at 7:30 pm and tickets are $150, which includes food, beverages, tax, and tip.
Saturday, May 12th:
Fans of creole cuisine should jump at the chance to indulge in this celebration of the French, German, Spanish, and African roots to New Orleans cuisine. James Beard winners John Besh and John Currence, along with Brian Landry and Alon Shaya, will helm the kitchen while Miller Union’s Steven Satterfield acts as sommelier. Dinner beings at 7:30 and tickets are $150, which includes food, beverages, tax, and tip.
Richard Blais fans can get their first look at his new restaurant, The Spence, as he teams up with Matt Jamie of Bourbon Barrel Foods and Parish’s sommelier, Justin Amick, for a night of innovative twists on Southern cuisine. Blais and company will re-interpret classis Southern dishes, adding sauces, seasonings, and sugars aged in reclaimed bourbon barrels. . Dinner beings at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $150, which includes food, beverages, tax, and tip.
If small plates and cocktails are more up your alley, check out the celebration of all things whiskey at Whiskey Park in the W Midtown. A mystery “collection of Southern chefs and mixologists” will whip up savory small plates and whiskey pairings, and guests get VIP status if they stay on at Whiskey Park for the after party. For a comparably inexpensive $75, guests get food, beverages, VIP status, and the chance to see bartending heavyweights celebrate the most American of spirits. This event gets my nod as the odds-on favorite for “most intoxicated chef sightings of the weekend.” Kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and goes on until the after party dies down (or 2:30 a.m. when they close).
You can see the complete list of evening activities, including those that have already sold out, at the AF&WF website, here.
- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog