“Don’t you want to just sit down and enjoy that?” my chewing partner asked.
My friend, a magazine food editor who had come down from New York to attend the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival this weekend, and I were making the rounds of the tasting tents on Saturday afternoon. We has perfected a system. Take the proffered food — a tamale, a barbecue slider — nibble from opposite corners, and throw the rest away.
But we had come upon the fried chicken “trail” — i.e., a collection of tables where chefs from around the South were handing out crispy pieces. And after each taking a bite of a perfect drumstick from Roswell’s Table & Main, we decided we each needed our own. And a seat. And a minute or two of silence to sit and appreciate it.
It was like a wine tasting. Once we tasted the simple pleasure of this drumstick, we were then ready for the more complex stylings of Rosebud’s smoked, cornflake-breaded chicken leg with cucumber salsa.
I had a great time at the festival on Friday and Saturday, though I skipped the roster of classes, demonstrations, tastings and events on Sunday to enjoy a low-key Mother’s Day with the family.
Of the several classes and seminars I attended, my favorite was an event called Southern Chemistry, moderated by cookbooking brothers Matt Lee and Ted Lee. The panelists described their experiences developing recipes and passed out tastes. Ford Fry (above) of JCT Kitchen & Bar used rendered lard to make Oreo cookie filling. Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C., used ginger juice to turn milk into custard. Greg Best of Holeman & Finch Public House made a cocktail with mescal and corn milk.
Who else went? What were your highlights? What were the could’ve-been-better moments? I’d love to hear your impressions.
-by John Kessler for the Food & More blog