Friday morning brought the Opening champagne toast of the ATLANTA FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL in the lobby of Loews Atlanta and the beginning of classes. Fortunately I was able to check in early so I could get settled before classes started at noon.
I was up early that morning so once I got to my room I was really tempted to take a quick nap, the bed looked SO comfortable. I had to resist because I knew if I let my head hit the pillow I’d be late for my class.
There was room for two classes on Friday, my first class was “Tag You’re It” with Mixologist Greg Best and chef Brian Caswell. The mixologist gave the chef cocktail ingredients (bitters and chartreuse) to use in cooking and the chef gave the mixologist food ingredients (field peas and shrimp) to make a drink with. Yes folks, field peas and shrimp in a drink, but he made it work. Greg Best made a syrup with the shrimp and used that to flavor his cocktail.
My second Friday class was “Chef Walks Into A Bar” with Gary Crunkleton and Chef Bill Smith. These guys were just fantastic! Maybe the nicest people I met during the festival.
Chef Smith made a corned ham ( take a fresh ham, cut slits down through to the bone and load it with salt. Let it sit for 11 days. Rinse and soak for a day. Roast) with Hot Buttered Rum Sauce. Oh my GOODNESS when I tell you that ham was so good but the sauce. THE SAUCE! The chef used ham drippings, rum and butter to make the sauce right there in the room. It was rich, salty (not too salty) and fantastic. They also served the most impossibly silky baked chicken liver terrine. I ran into Gary during the Tasting Tents on Saturday and we spent a little time chatting. He’s a real sweetheart.
After the classes it was time to walk over to the Tasting Tents which on Friday were open from 3pm to 6pm (I arrived at the tents at about 3:30 pm). Friday was by far the least crowded day to visit the Tasting Tents making a pleasant experience. There was enough elbow room to walk around without squeezing through the crowds.
I was exhausted, full and a wee bit tipsy by 4:15. I walked back to the hotel and chilled for a while, did a little Periscope-ing and hit the sack.
There were a LOT of great things to eat and drink. I ran out of room before I got to Revolution Donuts. I saw so many gorgeous pictures of their peach sliders on Instagram, I was kicking myself for not getting one on Friday. ..but Saturday is another day so I….READ MORE >>