The pairing of food and drink is quite possibly older than marriage itself. So when the time came to select a theme for the 2014 Taste of Atlanta’s Friday night kick off party, the team decided to “marry” chefs with cocktails, ingredients, and style to create a harmony for the palette.
Here are just a few foodie moments from Culinary Matrimony at Taste of Atlanta 2014.
Saltyard’s executive chef and partner, Nick Leahy, proffered an oyster trio which was our favorite tasting of the evening. This trifecta included a raw oyster in champagne shooter, fried oyster with slaw, and oyster chowder. Leahy shared his inspiration for the oyster shooter – right after he and his wife said “I do” on their wedding day, the first thing they ate was an oyster and a glass of champagne. Note the adorable picture of Mr. & Mrs. Leahy on their wedding day, which was on display at Saltyard’s booth. Now that’s culinary matrimony.
Speaking of matrimony – for the first time in our relationship of six years, my husband ate collards and liked them! Of course, it was thanks to chef EJ Hodgkinson of JCT Kitchen (where we said “I do” four years ago) with his grilled chicken in a “White Alabama Sauce” topped with the collard greens salsa verde. Kudos to Burge Organic Farm for the tasty ingredients.
Ford Fry’s restaurants brought their A-game to Taste of Atlanta. It was great to see our pal, Chef Craig Richards, executive chef of St. Cecilia, and sample his grilled octopus with chorizo and lemon-bay kale oil. We first met chef Craig back in his days at Ecco when he showed us his rooftop garden. For Culinary Matrimony, the fresh kale came from Tucker Farms a local purveyor of produce and hydroponic greens.
Ron Eyester of Rosebud, The Family Dog, Timone’s, and now Top Chef fame presented a crowd favorite. Our pal Arianne Fielder said it was her favorite dish of the night. Also, apparently she kept sending over shots of Four Roses Bourbon to “The Angry Chef” but he was in the zone. The man has already mastered shrimp & grits, so of course he was going to rock a lobster stuffed twice-baked potato was with chunks of fresh lobster, grain mustard and saffron aioli.
Culinary Matrimony was an awesome way to kickoff the 2014 Taste of Atlanta. The tasting tent was packed with people noshing on tasty treats and sipping bubbly and cocktails. We told y’all a few of our favorites, and we’d love to hear about your foodie moments. Please sign our “guest book” below.
Editor’s Note Thank you to our newest contributors, Jamie K. White, for covering the Taste of Atlanta Preview!
Taste of Atlanta, a three-day culinary affair featuring over 90 restaurants from all neighborhoods of Atlanta is officially here! The event will take place in Midtown area starting today, Friday, Oct. 24 through Sunday, Oct. 26.
Pretty Southern was privileged to attend a tasting preview at a few of the downtown area participants: Alma Cocina, Smoke Ring, BLT Steak, and Max Lager.
The first stop was Alma Cocina: a cozy place with a sophisticated take on Latin and Mexican cuisine, located downtown next to the Ritz Carlton.
Taste of Atlanta at Tech Square in Midtown.
More than 90 of Atlanta’s most notable and on-the-rise restaurants have signed on to participate in Taste of Atlanta 2014, which will take place Oct. 24 to 26 in Midtown at Tech Square. Festival-goers will be able to savor truly authentic flavors that represent every corner of the city. “I think people will be hard pressed to find more culinary variety in one place,” said Chef and Restaurateur Ron Eyester of Top Chef and local Atlanta establishments Rosebud, The Family Dog, Timone’s and his latest concept, Diner.
With every signature taste, the festival showcases just how diverse and progressive our city’s dining scene really is. I welcome any opportunity to support my fellow chefs and our local food landscape, and that is exactly what Taste of Atlanta brings to the table!”
Bellwoods Social House is a much needed addition to Atlanta’s Westside. At the intersection of Howell Mill and Marietta Street (literally next door to 5 Seasons Brewery) this new meeting place has such promise! The patio is perfect for people watching. Pretty Southern was privileged to be invited to friends and family night, thanks to our pal & head mixologist at Bellwoods – Arianne Fielder. Arianne’s signature cocktails can be found on the menus of many of Atlanta’s leading establishments, such as the 75 South – with Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, bubbly, fresh strawberry and lemon. The Bellwoods signature punch is the perfect sipper with Cathead Vodka, Merlet Creme de Frambroise, fresh lemon, cane sugar, bubbles & berries. Ari’s “torched” Old Fashioned is arguably one of the best in the South.
“Torched” Old Fashioned at Bellwoods Social House
Other Southern inspired cocktails include the Kentucky Sundress with Woodford Reserve and strawberries, The Primrose, Ashville Smash, plus a bevy of shot options. Local brews include Monday Night Brewing’s Fu Man Brew, and a stellar wine list with something for every palette. The food here is top notch. The culinary team includes Leif Johnson, proprietor & chef of Bite Bistro & Bar in Alpharetta, and Jason Morgan – former sous-chef at Bite. We sampled the potato skins with bacon and tahini sauce, several flavors of hot wings, “street corn on the cob”, and pizza with bacon & prosciutto.
Bellwoods full menu includes heavy appetizers, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, salads, shrimp & grits, large plate options, and a forthcoming killer brunch menu. Bellwoods Social House opens to the public on Thursday, Aug. 28. For more information, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Saucy and savory chicken wings are available in multiple flavors
Corn on the cob…and a stick!
Gimme pizza! With bacon, prosciutto, and tasty veggies.
Who else has checked out Bellwoods Social House? What did y’all love? Let us know in the comments section below!
Lauren Patrick is the editor of Pretty Southern.com. A native Southerner, UGA graduate, and Georgia Bulldogs fan, y’all can find her writing, wining, and dining in Atlanta. Keep up with her & Pretty Southern on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Mellow Mushroom 40th anniversary specials.
Get it while it’s hot! Today, Aug. 20, Mellow Mushroom is celebrating their 40th anniversary and they want you to join their pizza party. Mellow Mushroom opened in 1974, and they’ve reverted back to their old 70s pre-inflation pricing. A small cheese pizza is only $2.50 (regular prices apply for additional toppings). All fountain Cokes and sodas are $0.30, and beers including Budweiser, Michelob or Pabst Blue Ribbon, are only $0.75 cents.
Check out Yelp or Google to find the Mellow Mushroom near you!