Atlanta Food & Wine Festival 2012 Recap: Part Two


With a full day of classes, tents and dinners, it was hard to narrow it down to just a few things. Here are highlights from some of our favorites.


Southern Chemistry

A revealing peek behind the curtain at an experimental test kitchen revealing the secrets of great Southern cooking. Featuring The Lee Bros. (SC) with Sean Brock (SC), Greg Best (GA), Ashley Christensen (NC), Ford Fry (GA) and Andrea Reusing (NC).

Listening to Chef Ford Fry wax poetic about wooly pigs… and seafood. Perfection.

Chef Ford Fry taught us how he uses wooly pig fat to make “Oreo” cookies, while The Lee Brothers spoke about using juices as a base for dishes, for example Rhubarb.


Ginger juice, milk and ponzu sauce - Custard

Andrea Reusing created a custard without the egg. She substituted the egg for ginger juice, as the ginger is what actually sets the custard, and topped it with ponzu sauce. An influence of Japanese cooking, this style is happening more often in progressive kitchens. The result was brilliant – an intense flavor, not for the weak palette, and the perfect blend of sweet and savory.


Chef Sean Brock "Vinegar is oxidized booze…essentially."

“Shouldn’t you use vinegar in all cooking? For example if you’re cooking carrots, shouldn’t you flavor it with carrot vinegar? Well, the better question is how would you even make that? Make carrot wine of course! So we took carrot juice, added yeast and then hid it from the health department.” – Chef Sean Brock


Greg Best took the stage next and started mixing a gluten free margarita with corn milk (juiced raw corn), mezcal and pepper infused honey. Our gluten and dairy-free friend Lindsay was inspired by this creation. “We can keep things simple and make it taste really good.” – Greg Best on why he took off his Yankee hat and hung it in the south.


The Drink Goes On

Steven Grubb (GA) and Cynthia Wong (GA) of Empire State South paired dessert wines with cheeses and fruits, and proved why dessert sometimes is our favorite part of the meal…

(From L to R) Riesling, Meulenhof, Erdener Treppchen Spatlese, Mosel, Germany 2010; Madeira, Rare Wine Co., 'Savannah Verdelho', Portugal, NV; Bas-Armagnac, Dartigalongue, Hors d'age, France


(From L to R) Asher Blue, Sweet Grass Dairy, raw cow's milk, Thomasville, GA; Clothbound Cheddar, Cabot Creamery, cow's milk, Vermont; Garrotxa, raw goat's milk, Catalunya, Spain

Stephen and Cynthia did a great job at pairing the bold and sweet flavors. The Garrotxa is a young goat cheese, so the boldness and sweetness of the Riesling brought out the flavor in the cheese – taking it from a young cheese on its own, to a more mature flavor all together. It’s not a seamless pairing, but it came close. There was almost a salty/minerality along with sweet notes to the Madeira that actually calmed the sharpness of the cheddar (which had a nuttiness to it) in a pleasant way. Finally, you almost needed the bite of the salty blue cheese to cut through the intense spice and oak of the brandy (Bas-Armagnac), definitely the most intense of the 3 pairings. One important thing that was noted was when creating cheese plates, both Greg and Cynthia agreed its always best to stick with compotes, fruits, etc. to compliment the cheeses and stay away from bread, crackers and crudités which only takes away from the flavors.


And off to the tents we went…

Scallops from Canoe


Blue crab beignet from La Petite Grocery

OK, we got all the hype.. It was definitely one of the highlights for #AFWF2012


Pig ears from Farm Burger

…and then we entered “The Whole Pig” section of the tents. Poor little piggy. But it was oh so good.


The Spotted Trotter

Three little piggies went to #AFWF2012 and became this masterpiece of food…


Assorted Charcuterie and condiments from Blackberry Farm


Fried Chicken from Cardamom Hill

Asha Gomez and her team are just brilliant. One of the best bites from the inaugural year at #AFWF which confirmed that Cardamom Hill was going to be a hit, was back and better then ever.


French Broad Chocolates

If French Broad Chocolates opened an outpost in Atlanta, we’d be there every day. For now, you can find their chocolate perfections in Asheville, NC – including a Gluten Free and Vegan strawberry balsamic truffle!


Southern Cocktail Hour

They turned the entire Loews conference floor into a moveable Southern cocktail party open house, which also featured a mixologist showdown. The hour featured Greg Best (GA), Feizel Valli (AL), Gina Chersevani (DC), Bobby Heugel (TX), Neal Bodenheimer and Nick Detrich (LA) and Jared Schubert (KY), Tony Conway (GA) and Stephen Satterfield (CA/GA).

Greg Best and team won it all for ATL!


Whiskey @ Whiskey Park

A collection of Southern Chefs & Mixologists came together to create unique savory small plates and winning whiskey pairings featuring masterful mixology. Familiar faces included Empire State South, Holeman + Finch, Southern Art, Rosebud, The Family Dog and more.

Tarantella Two-Step by Kellie Thorn, Empire State South

A fantastic way to end the day..


*Full disclosure: We received media passes to attend the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival




Written by

Sarah-Ann is Editor-In-Chiefness and Publicist for Eat. Drink. Repeat. A former New Yorker, Sarah-Ann has an advanced palate when it comes to food, and a weakness for fashion, travel...and west coast oysters. From the latest trends in food and travel around the globe, to the talk of the Atlanta scene, this chic jet-setter definitely has you covered.
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