This is the 4th annual Food and Wine Festival that’s been held here in Atlanta and this year, I got invited to come to the event as a media person. Yes, please! A chance to sample the cuisine of some fabulous chefs from all over the Southeast, you don’t have to talk me into that. I’m a foodie at heart! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since I had never been before, but it’s quite the well attended event with plenty of folks showing up from all over the country.
Since 2011, the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival has led the way in showcasing the Southern Region’s food and beverage traditions. Looking back on the past, reveling in the present, and getting a glimpse into the future of Southern cuisine, it was a treat to take in a couple of classes and partake in the tasting tents.
The favorite part of the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival for me was without a doubt….the tasting tent! Chock full of delicious morsels from so many restaurants and vendors, it was a treat for the taste buds. Fortunately for me, I met up with one of my longtime blog friends, Rachel and her hubby, Chris, who were there from Birmingham for the weekend. They knew the scoop on the tasting tents and steered me in the right direction.
I arrived late morning and got in on a few breakfast bites that were mighty tasty.
The grilling terrace was all decked out with Ballard Designs furniture and felt like an oasis in the middle of Midtown Atlanta. Fun to see all the high rise buildings and feel like you’re floating on a terrace.
I sat in for a few minutes on Hillbilly Cuisine, sampling a delish piece of cake.
Then, I hit the grilling terrace for a class by Rathbun brothers, Kent and Kevin. Kent is in Dallas, TX and Kevin is here in ATL and they were fun and informative, sharing their grilling methods with us on pork and salmon, using the Big Green Eggs that were ready to go.
Kent and Kevin Rathbun. These guys know food!
Kent rubbed up a piece of pork and had it grilling for a bit while they talked, then he took it off and had it rest before cutting it up for all of us to try.
I was sitting at this vantage point listening to them talk.
Then, it was time for the tasting! Grilled pork loin and potato salad was Kent’s offering and it was really delish. I’m pretty sure Jasper’s Baked Potato salad was the one he made, he said it was on his website and I found it. I’m sure it wasn’t low fat, but it sure was tasty!
Kevin’s fare was grilled salmon and this delicious corn mash. Truly amazing flavors! I’m not sure this one is online, but it sure was good.
I met up with Rachel and Chris and we then headed to the tasting tents, where there was plenty of food and drinks to gorge on. We grazed and ate our way around the tent, then moving outside to the other areas.
I stopped for a Bourbon Pecan Gelato and got a sample of that delicious treat from Honeysuckle Atlanta.
He then took a pic of ME eating the gelato and posted it on Instagram. I love the story of this Southern style gelato company.
There were treats inspired from all over the world and we sampled plenty of them.
I don’t remember what this was called, but it was an explosion of flavor.
It was very fun to roam around, trying out all the different food and drink offerings, right in the middle of Midtown.
It wasn’t too hot that day, which also helped. The humidity in GA is starting to really heat up now.
One whole row of nothing but BBQ, which was fun to try out.
So, that’s a little bit of a glimpse into the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival for 2014. It was a treat for me to go and I really enjoyed it. It’s not cheap to attend the Food and Wine Festival, but it is definitely something to consider. I would probably recommend just doing the tasting tents for one day at $100, if the budget allows and you want to take in this Southern food event. That truly is the best part of the festival, I do think.