Early Bird Tickets for the 2014 Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, May 29 — June 1, are on sale now, with a single day tasting tent pass priced at $80 ($20 off) and the top of the heap three day Connoisseur Experience priced at $1600. ($400 off).
In between, there are multiple ways to sip, savor and learn at what has become a one-of-a-kind Atlanta event and an exciting showcase for the South’s amazing culinary talent. More than 100 cooking and cocktail demonstrations, technique labs, food and beverage tasting seminars and panel discussions are on the schedule.
Among some of the the highlights this year:
· World of Influence with chefs Timon Balloo and Mike Gulotta on the international influences that have shaped Southern cooking.
· Men In Pink with chef Duane Nutter and sommelier Eric Crane (who are both comedians) teaming up for a playful take on food and wine pairing.
· Fill Your Belly with chef Jose Mendin and food and beverage manager offering a connoisseur cooking demo with
On Tuesday, February 11th, Terry Hall, owner of Happy Belly Food Truck, passed away. I received this email from Dawn Hall, Terry’s wife:
With a very broken heart and a hollow feeling throughout my body, we would like to let you know that Terry peacefully passed away at approximately 6:23 am yesterday morning. He has been at home this week with family by his side. Terry passed this morning with myself and his mother, Cathy, at his side.
Terry fought this battle to the very end. He was holding on and fighting so hard- he did not want to leave us, but his body just was not letting him win.
I thank you all SO very much for being by our side during this time- cheering us on, fighting the fight with us, sending prayers and positive thoughts our way. We needed your support every step of the way and you were there. Mayer, Henry and myself will still need support as we have lost our husband, father and our ROCK.
For those that aren’t familiar with Happy Belly Food Truck, it is the
Since moving to the South, I’ve drawn up a whole new list of favorite foods. Like last-meal favorite. Delicious and soul-satisfying items such as collard greens, skillet cornbread and caramel cake.
But I managed to stir up a tempest the other day when I admitted on Facebook that biscuits have never really done it for me. The thought occurred when I was eating breakfast at Pastries A Go Go – the Decatur restaurant famous for its biscuits, which I have tried once or twice, but always eschew in favor of toast. I find them too rich and too crumbly, neither what I want for the casing of a breakfast sandwich nor as a vehicle for jam.
I had a reverse “Green Eggs and Ham” moment. I realized that I didn’t like the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits my kids crave, and I never cared for the vaunted lard biscuits served with Watershed’s fried chicken. As far as biscuits with sausage cream gravy go, I … can’t. That is something I’ll never be able to face in the
In Thursday’s AJC Living section, I wrote about husband-and wife-chocolatiers Michael and Elizabeth Ashworth, who own and operate the Chocolaterie in Cumming.
Like so many small business owners, they work a lot of long hours. But to me they seemed like a couple who were really in love with chocolate and in love with each other.
Sill, I wondered if working so hard this time of year takes the romance out of their personal Valentine’s Day celebrations.
You can read what Elizabeth Ashworth had to say about that free today on MyAJC.com, along with a guide to more metro chocolatiers.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
— By Bob Townsend, Ajc Food and Drink blog.
Well, we finally made it to Friday and by this time we are ready to celebrate anything that doesn’t have to do with the cold. We beg you to reconsider and think about chilled, slurp-worthy oysters. With it being Valentine’s Day, we figured oysters are the perfect aphrodisiac. But is it true? There are differing studies, but in 2005 a group of American and Italian scientists determined that specific amino acids present in oysters increase levels of testosterone in males and progesterone in females. Whatever your excuse, here’s our picks for some great oysters in town.
Watershed on Peachtree
1820 Peachtree Road, Atlanta
Chef Joe Truex instills his Louisiana roots on oysters by adding them to his jambalaya. It’s a spicy mix of fried oysters with sea scallops, butter poached shrimp, grilled Andouille, crab and rice croquette and a crawfish etouffee.
In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Stem Wine Bar, the new spot from Seed owner Doug Turbush. I gave it a grade of 3 stars.
Stem nails many of the essential features of a great wine and tapas bar. While the decor may feel a touch sterile, it excels at making the world of wine accessible with guidance from servers that don’t take themselves too seriously and affordable with extensive sampling options. Its European-inspired charcuterie, cheeses and true small plates play a supporting role, pairing well with a smart wine list designed to satisfy, educate and surprise both wine novices and oenophiles alike.
Stem suggests you try the 2010 Gran Familia tempranillo ($7 glass) with the patatas bravas ($7), small potatoes carved into miniature shot glasses containing a rich pimento sauce and a zippy garlic aioli. You could also pair that red with the chorizo-stuffed dates ($12) in a smoked tomato sauce, a lovely mingling of sweet, spicy, salty
It probably says something about me and my friends, but as another round of freezing weather hits metro Atlanta and locks us in our homes, many have been posting about what they have on hand to eat, and especially what they have on hand to drink today.
I’m not bragging or complaining but as always I have a lot of beer, particularly odds and ends of things I’ve written about or plan to sample soon. There’s the usual stock of decent but not expensive wine, too. And enough liquor to make a martini or a Manhattan or a few other basic cocktails.
At times like these, though, I think about friends with serious wine cellars. It must be really nice to be able to open a vintage bottle to celebrate having heat, and light and good food, while the weather outside is so frightful.
Gil Kulers, my buddy on the AJC Drink blog and a sommelier at a fancy Atlanta club, wrote about Russian River Pinot Noir in his latest Kulers Uncorked column. He gave two thumbs way up to a $68 bottle from Inman
Updates for Thursday February 13.
Please fill us in if you find out any others.
We’re sticking with the theme of romantic dining this week. You may have read that Canoe was one of our “Romantic Dining Spots” picks, and its no surprise why. Beyond the atmosphere, the service is a reflection of the establishment’s expertise. We wanted to see what it is like from the other side. Five-year veteran server Hope Walden shares her experience serving at Canoe.
You’ve been working here for five years. Why have you stayed at this restaurant for so long?
When I greet tables I jokingly say, “Welcome to my home.” I work five days a week, both lunch and dinner shifts.
You really must have a grasp on how the restaurant runs by this point.
They don’t have anything tangible to take away from here so we hope that the memories from their dining experience goes with them.
The servers know their stuff. How rigorous is your training?
It takes two weeks to go through training and then a month before servers are on their own. One of the hidden facts about our service staff is
You might say that Neapolitan-style pizza is a four-year-old trend. The transformative pizzerias opened, the copycats came and went, and we should be on the next big thing.
Please. It wasn’t a trend so much as a realignment of expectations. We no longer judge pizza exclusively by New York criteria, i.e., that if it doesn’t give good slice, then it’s not worth getting the extra-large to bring home.
Now we’ve grown accustomed to thinking of pizza much more like Europeans (not just Italians, but all Europeans.) It’s a dish you order and eat in a certain kind of inexpensive restaurant because you want the crust crisp and puffy, the mozzarella puddly, and the smell of oven char still wafting off the pie. It doesn’t go with beer and pretzels, but rather wine and salad. So Neapolitan pizza restaurants — here, there, and everywhere — keep opening apace.
If you haven’t gotten sick of Neapolitan pizza (is it even possible?), then you will want to check out the new