What is described as “Part conference and part party,” by Dominique Love, one of the founders, The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival is back for the sixth year vowing to be a place where more people will be able to enjoy everything good about food and wine.
With over 600 classes taught over the last six years and countless glasses of wine swirled and bites nibbled from gorgeously decorated tasting tents, classes, dinners, and receptions, this festival arrives in full-force this weekend.
We at Atlantic are especially delighted for the deliciousness to arrive this year as we are the very proud sponsors of The Festival’s Connoisseur Tasting Tent. Once again, the Connoisseur’s tents have “returned better than ever, hand curated to allow Connoisseur guests to eat, drink and indulge with award-winning chefs, barkeeps, sommeliers and more.”
Jesse Blanco, the creator of Eat It and Like It and writer for Savannah Now emphasized the festival’s dedication to “the educational aspect” explaining that “One master class is called ’82 turns 35′ where a sommelier will open, pour, and discuss several wines from 1982 in an intimate setting (tickets for this event are already sold out) so that gives you an idea that this week is as much about the experience as it is the consumption.”
Deemed “PhD-level programming for the food and drink lover” by media and industry leaders, the Festival’s Learning Experiences are created by the festivals “esteemed Advisory Council to educate and entertain guests. Learning experiences range in size from 30 – 140 people and include cooking and cocktail demonstrations, technique laboratories, pairing sessions, tasting seminars and panel discussions.”
Love agrees with the dedication to learning along with enjoying, “In the big picture, we believe the weekend separates itself because it is about tasting and drinking but also educational, and we’re providing opportunities for Southern food and drink entrepreneurs to develop new knowledge and broaden their consumer base.”
According to its own website, the festival continues to strive to:
- Celebrate, preserve and promote Southern food and drink traditions and culture:
- Showcase Southern chefs, beverage innovators, sommeliers, and artisans;
- Inspire new impressions of Southern food and drink:
- Highlight the rich agricultural products of the region; and
- Entice visitors to eat, drink and explore the South!
For the entire schedule of events including tickets and real-time updates of classes that are either sold out or “filling up quickly,” check here.
A Few of the Many Interesting Options
On Friday from 1:00-3:00, the Masterclass: Rare Breeds: An Exploration of Fine Country Ham and Bourbon Part II happens.
As the second part of the 2016 bourbon and country ham class, this class is “perfect for the seekers of the hard to find rare and limited-quantity bourbons, while pairing them with equally special country hams.”
The class will include award-winning chef Sean Brock as the host and bourbon distillers Drew Kulsveen, Willett Family Estate single barrel bourbon, and Preston Van Winkle,
On Friday, from 3:00-4:00, Soul Food Vegetables will get the spotlight they deserve with chefs Duane Nutter and Ryan Rogers as they dissect the often under-rated complimenting dishes. Within the Southern food landscape, “soul food” is representative of a meal that warms the heart. With deep historic roots in the South, soul food vegetables are often the components of the plate that truly make or break a traditional Southern meal.
Then Friday from 4:45PM-5:45PM, get on the wagon for a culinary road trip, sampling barbecue and sauce pairings from the Eastern Carolinas to Texas and everything in between.
You will be joined by acclaimed pitmaster Chris Lilly, king of Alabama White Sauce, as he discusses the intricacies of cooking whole hog directly over live coals. Take a pairing journey through the South, starting by tasting the chopped pig paired with both Eastern and Western North Carolina vinegar sauces, followed by Alabama White Sauce paired with smoked chicken breast, ending with traditional salt and pepper seasoned brisket paired with a combination of Texas and Kansas City style sauces. Beware, it’s about to get saucy!
And while Saturday’s Tasting Tents are already sold out, on Friday, from 7:30PM-10:30PM, you absolutely must experience the Friday Evening Tasting Tent decadence. These “tastings” are like none other! Located in the Greensward area of Piedmont Park for the second year, the park includes flat green space and a gorgeous fountain with a breathtaking view of the city.
Designed to take guests on an epicurean journey through the South, the all-you-can-indulge layout allows guests the opportunity to eat, drink and explore the region’s top food and drink products and chef creations while also celebrating international influences that have shaped our region. Tasting Tent tickets are inclusive of all samples once inside the tents.
And if you are feeling particularly helpful, check the volunteer opportunities to see if there still may be a place for you to help this delectable Atlanta epicurean celebration! And remember, if you decide to own at Atlantic, you can stroll right over to next year’s festival!