Too Much Excellence at Atlanta Food & Wine Festival’s About South Dinner
Only an event like Atlanta Food & Wine Festival could have pulled off Friday night’s About South dinner at the Atlanta History Center. Skies were clear, the air was warm with mild humidity, and (thank heavens) the bugs were at bay.
We rotated throughout the property’s front, side, and back gardens for four different menus: cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, seafood, dinner, and dessert. Frankly, I thought I was out cold somewhere between the afternoon’s pork ribs and fried chicken, but I miraculously discovered my second and third stomachs about around the time that I was presented with chef Frank Lee’s, of Maverick Southern Kitchen in Charleston, S.C., stone crab cocktail with Kurious Farms black cherry tomato, city root basil sprouts, and citrus olive oil.
I did eventually hit a wall (perhaps reached nirvana?) mid-dinner. To be brief, and in the most spectacular of ways, there was simply too much excellence to digest in such quantity and such a short amount of time. I did, however.
Let me be clear: nearly every dish stood out in its own right. I had favorites, though:
- Chef Anne Quatrano’s (of Atlanta’s Bacchanalia) Brunswick red shrimp with phytoplankton emulsion, mangalitsa lardo, and Summerland Farm fennel
- Chef Mike Lata’s (of Charleston, S.C.’s FIG) capers, clam, and sea water soup with sweet butter and new crop potatoes
- Chef Andrea Reusing’s (of Chapel Hill, N.C.’s Lantern) veal breast with Japanese mustard and pickled mustard seed, spring vegetable gratin, just dug new potatoes, bulb onions and mushrooms
- Chef Adolfo Garcia’s (of NOLA’s Rio Mar) Two Run Farms cheek and tail croqueta, Zatarians Creole Mustard, and beef essence shot
- Roswell, Ga.’s Pie Hole’s French silk pie