When it comes to perfect execution and event planning PLUS making sure that everyone had a good time while sharing their love for southern cuisine, The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival has it on lock! I was so thrilled to be invited to cover this major Atlanta wine event and even more excited to add it to my Virtual Wine Tour for June 2017! Each month I attend at least one wine event and bring it LIVE to my audience via Periscope, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 2017
I quite honestly have never seen so much food AND wine all together in the same place before! And who knew that I could probably eat an entire alligator? Why is alligator meat actually good for you? I found the answers to these questions and more at this years Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.
In it’s 7th year this annual event celebrates culinary art. This year’s theme was #KnowTheSouth. The Festival coordinators brought together some of the best chef’s and restauranteurs in the Southeast!
The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival was created in 2010 to shine an international spotlight on the rich food and beverage traditions of the southern US from Texas to the District of Columbia – Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Program
This was my 1st time in attendance and I was really excited about the experience as a whole. I started my journey on Friday evening on the rooftop of Loews Atlanta for Last Hour | First Hour. This was a private event with bubbles and bites Louisiana Style. There we also kicked off the evening with a greeting and toast from Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Founders; Elizabeth Feichter and Dominique Love.
After enjoying delicious wine & bites we were able to sit in on several classes that were going on. I chose the following classes:
South Carolina Hash Heads
With Chef Eliott Moss from North Carolina. We learned basically everything that we wanted to know about Hash, what it is and how it’s made. First let me say, I had no idea what “Hash” actually was. Second, it was interesting to me the cultural differences that are involved in preparing food. We definitely don’t make ours that way but it was tasty. Chef Eliott gave us the full demonstration and served it to us on a bed of white rice.
Ingredient Spotlight: Louisiana Seafood
With Chefs Cody Carroll and Samantha Carroll from Louisiana. This is where i discovered my love for ‘gator. This lovely couple gave us great information about Louisiana Seafood and how its used for various dishes. We got to sample their Navy Beans and Gators dish and it was so good that I went up for seconds which they gladly obliged. I didnt actually know what I was eating at first. After my 2nd helping it occurred to me that maybe I should ask. Cody said it was Navy Beans and Gator which blew me away because I HATE Navy Beans and have never eaten gator. Well there you go. In case we wanted to try this dish at home Cody and Samantha told us where to get Alligator meat and which cuts to ask for.
Award Winning Georgia Wines
Of course I had to stop by and check out the Georgia Wines. I was happy to see that my favorite winery, Cavender Creek had one of their wines represented. It was delicious.
I met these two beautiful sisters Trina & Tonia from @TheDishOnReality at some point. I had so much fun with them and after a few glasses of wine I asked them to adopt me as their 3rd sister.
The Tasting Tents
Next up was The Tasting Tents. Atlanta Food & Wine Festival spared no expense and took extra precautions to make sure their guests got to and from The Tasting Tents safely. They provided a variety of shuttles, buses and other vehicles to transport us from Loews Hotel Atlanta to Greensword/Promenade in Piedmont Park where the tents were.
The Tasting Tents was basically a small village of tents that housed the tastiest bites of food and the strongest drinks known to man. With a full access badge all I had to do was go through each one and enjoy my life! There were dessert tents. There were tents dedicated from several soda and liquor brands. I ate gumbo, turkey tacos, mac and cheese, brisket, watermelon and thats just what I remember eating. I tried Tito’s Vodka in beet juice, carrot juice and tomato juice. There are several cupcakes that made it to my lips. There were so many people there that it was hard to keep track of who gave me what so I will just say that it was ALL good.
I spent the evening eating, drinking, dancing and getting lost in all the tents with my new friends. I think I couldn’t have asked for a better night.
Saturday – Connoisseur Cocktails: Saturday Afternoon Bake Sale
On Saturday I came back for Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Connoisseur Cocktails: Saturday Afternoon Bake Sale. Everything was so delicious. The focus was on savory and sweet baked goods. There were empenadas filled with meats like briskets, BBQ and Pulled Pork for the savory. Then there were pastries filled with apples for the sweet.
It was all topped off with delicious drinks.
The Atlanta Wine & Food Festival was four full days of the best that Southern cuisine has to offer I am happy to have had this experience this year and look forward to next year.
For more pics check out my Facebook page here.
For more coverage and recaps check these two hashtags #KnowTheSouth #AFWF17