Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and Raftermen Photography
Back for its seventh year, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival showcases regional food and drink (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic) from Dallas to Washington D.C. Held June 1-4 in Midtown, its led by founders Dominique Love and Elizabeth Feichter, along with an Advisory Council of award-winning chefs, sommeliers, and mixologists from across the Southeast.
Chai Pani chef Meherwan Irani joins the local players on this year’s Advisory Council, which includes Ticonderoga Club co-owner Greg Best, the Fox brothers, Linton and Gina Hopkins, Anne Quatrano, Kevin Rathbun, Todd Richards, and several others.
“Our Advisory Council spends months developing class ideas,” Love says. “We often get 8-12 ideas per council member. We look for entertainment value, educational value, and ideas that haven’t been done before.”
In previous years, there was only 30 minutes between classes, but this year they’ve extended the breaks to 45 minutes. “[Atlanta Food & Wine Festival was meant] to create intimate moments with the talent so you could sit on a patio and talk to them about what they love,” Feichter says, noting that the extra time between classes will help foster this. And as always, there will be a DJ playing music and light bites and beverages provided on the terrace during breaks in the programming.
This year’s festival “hot topics” include “Breakfast–Start Your Day the Southern Way,” “Street Foods–Gas Station Cuisine and Side-of-the-Road Delights,” and an “Ingredient Spotlight Series” that focuses on Southern ingredients. “It’s all part of the fabric of the Southern culinary experience,” Love says.
Here’s what we’re most looking forward to this year:
Connoisseur Dinner Series: Dining by Personality
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Everyone who purchases a ticket to this dinner, curated by Virginia sommelier Jason Tesauro, will be asked to take a personality quiz. Their multi-course dinner menu will then be based on their personality type: hot, spicy, salty, or sweet. All personality types will eat together, so guests will be able to look around the room and see what others’ are eating.
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler
Last year, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival created a vineyard on 14th Street near Peachtree Street. In its place this year will be a giant tent where 300-400 guests will enjoy Cajun food, drinks (Pimm’s Cups and Sazeracs), and music, with VIP ticketholders dining inside the sales center building. Stick around for a Second Line parade after the meal.
Friday, 7:30-10:30 p.m; Saturday, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
The tasting tents, located at Piedmont Park, will begin a little later this year to help festival-goers avoid both Atlanta traffic and the summertime heat. Throughout the weekend, the tent themes will include breakfast, brewhouse and bakery, street food, and a road trip through 13 states. “We spent a good bit of time paying attention to the diversity of food in the tents and making sure there’s a good balance of food and drink,” Feichter says.
Masterclass: 82 Turns 35
Saturday, 11 a.m.
The 1982 Bordeaux vintage—beloved by wine experts and said to have sparked the “modern age of wine”—turns 35 this year. In this two-hour class, attendees can taste a rare selection of wines from Chateau La te Rothschild, Chateau Latour, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild.
Connoisseur Dinner Series: Backwoods Bacchanal
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Open only to those who purchase the Connoisseur 3-Day Pass, the Backwoods Bacchannal dinner returns this year, this time in a private home off the Atlanta BeltLine. This multi-course, open-fire feast will be “very intimate,” Love says. Expect storytelling, live music, and regaling with grill masters and beverage pros (including former One Flew South bartender Tiffanie Barriere).
Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
The ever-popular Sunday brunch is moving out of its usual location at the Loews Hotel and into ADAC. From comfort food favorites to fine dining delicacies, this festival-concluding meal will pair designers and chefs together for a meal as aesthetically pleasing as it is tasty.
Want to go? Tickets are on sale now.