Friday, June 5, 2015

{Discovering Southern}: The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

To say that last weekend was delicious would be an understatement of the grandest proportions. Indulging in the three-day fete that was the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival was delicious, yes.  But it was also so. much. more.  In its fifth year, the AFWF showcased the best in culinary and creative talent across the Southern region of the United States with a clear and simple mission: Discover Southern. 

Undertaking an exhilarating itinerary that began Friday afternoon, in the heart of Midtown, Atlanta, I feasted my way through a weekend that was as special for the people and experiences I encountered, as it was for the food and drink.   From restauranteurs, to chocolatiers, to acclaimed cookbook authors and chefs, to regional purveyors, equally eager festival goers, and beyond, I relished every moment of Southern connection and discovery--and left wanting more.

My first tastes of the festival were at the tasting tents, which featured more than 100 award-winning chefs. With a variety that mirrored the broad flavors of the South, there was something for everyone--and every taste.  Barbecue, seafood, tacos, Indian cuisine, gelato, chocolate, doughnuts, pimento cheese and deviled eggs (of course!), sips of all kinds, burgers, and on and on and on went the lineup of scrumptious eats that spanned four tents--and drew me back day after day. 

Beyond the excitement and indulgence of the tasting tents, I took in a few of the more than 90 classes (my selections included Bugs and Chocolate, Chilies in the South, and more), cooking demos, and a newly featured, Sunday Brunch.  Attendees could also opt-in to an expertly curated Connoisseur Dinner Series, hosted nightly at premier Atlanta restaurants and venues.

My dalliances left me prouder than ever of this part of the country that I call home, and I'm already counting the days until I get to do it all over again next year.  For more festival highlights, visit my photo gallery -- then mark your calendars for next year where we'll do it all over again!

Happy Eating!

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