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ATL Food Chatter: May 17, 2011 (To receive the Chatter and other culinary tidbits directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly dining newsletter)The past weekend’s gastronomical gala, the first Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, was a unique and important happening in the city’s culinary history—and unlike one-off events, this one will return and get better and better. Beyond a roster of local star chefs, the festival corralled stellar chefs from other regions of the South (and slightly beyond), including John Currence of the City Grocery Restaurant Group in Oxford, Mississippi; Dallas’s Kent Rathbun (who missed his son’s birthday to help out his brother, Kevin); Southwestern cuisine pioneer Stephan Pyles; Bryan Caswell of Houston’s genre-defying seafood restaurant, Reef; Karen and Ben Barker of Durham’s soulful Magnolia Grill; and Birmingham’s Frank Stitt, one of the original Southern farm-to-table advocates. Pyles framed it best when he said that he participates in only a limited number of food and wine festivals, but that he wanted to be at AF&WF because of the talent and timing, which further elevated the status of Southern cuisine. [Disclosure, I was one of the curators of the event and participated in several panel discussions.]
There's a lot to love about Florida chef Nathan Lippy. The tatted up, mohawked young chef was home schooled by his mom where Julia Child and Food Network stars, including Jamie Oliver and Emeril Lagasse served as teachers. On his popular interactive Ustream cooking show "Food, Drinks and Rock n' Roll Live!," he quotes from "The Matrix" and "Swingers," takes tweets from viewers and mocks his processed food addicted, brussels sprouts-fearing producer nicknamed DiGiorno. During his regular visits to "Today," the Culinary Institute of America graduate teaches the chardonnay-swilling Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb how to reinvent ramen noodles and create a traditional panna cotta dessert made with milk soaked in Kellogg's Frosted Flakes.
The inaugural Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is this weekend, kicking off in earnest on Friday morning and concluding on Sunday afternoon. If you’ve heard about this event and perused the lineup (which you can find in the “Schedule At A Glance” link on this page), you’re probably excited or at least curious. But, to echo other local writers like Kessler and Rodell, you might also have heard about this thing without it really registering. It is, granted, a fairly innocuous name. And the metro area power-loads its weekends with festivals and “Taste Of” events. What makes this one different from all the other foodie schmooze and booze gatherings?
ATL Food Chatter: October 19, 2010 (To receive the Chatter and other culinary tidbits directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly dining newsletter)Last week, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival celebrated its ticket sales kick-off with a lavish affair at private Buckhead home that set an upbeat tone for its inaugural event, scheduled for May 19 to 22, 2011. “If there is one thing we want people to know about this festival, it’s that we are offering an experience like no other for food and beverage lovers. All of the learning and tasting experiences have been designed by our Founders Council and curators and represent what these culinary leaders would like festival guests to know or to enjoy. The programming represents authentic, interesting and passionate points-of-view.”
ATL Food Chatter: June 21, 2010 (To receive the Chatter and other culinary tidbits directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly dining newsletter) Atlanta food fans learned last week that a new showcase of the culinary South will be held here in May 2011. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival will be built around the themes of Old Traditions, New Traditions, and Imports and Inspirations. The event, slated for Midtown, is the brainchild of two dynamic young civic entrepreneurs, Dominique Love and Elizabeth Feichter, who shared their inspiration and aspirations for the event with me via e-mail:
The juicy dish (not to mention the tasty nibbles from some of the city's finest chefs) being served up on the fourth floor of White Provision in West Midtown Wednesday night was worth the oppressive heat.