Cheese Week at Star Provisions

Atlanta’s top spot for cheese will be welcoming some of the nation’s best cheese makers in October for the Fifth Annual Cheese Week at Star Provisions.

Cheesemonger Tim GaddisFrom October 9th though 12th, cheesemonger Tim Gaddis will host a series of interactive demonstrations and tastings. The demonstrations will be held from 11am to 4pm each day, and are free to attend.

Here are the visiting cheese makers:

Wednesday, October 9
• Rebecca Williams, Many Fold Farm

Thursday, October 10
• Jess Perrie, Beehive Cheese Company
• Zoe Brickley, Cellars at Jasper Hill

Star ProvisionsFriday, October 11
• Tim Young, Nature’s Harmony Farm
• Debbie Peterson, Cypress Grove Chevre
Atlanta Cheese Festival at Piedmont Park – 5 to 11pm

Saturday, October 12
• Gabe Goodlet, Sweet Grass Dairy
• Ryan Burger, Blackberry Farm
• Jennifer Perkins, Looking Glass Creamery
• Alexander Kast, Goat Lady Dairy
• Karen Mickler & Bruce Degrott, Yellow Branch Farmstead Cheese

Star Provisions is located in the Westside Provisions District, and open Monday through Saturday from 10am to midnight. The Local Farmstand now offers coffee each morning and is open Monday through Saturday from 8am to close. Gaddis was recently honored as an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional™.

Fifth Annual Cheese Week at Star Provisions, October 9 through 12, 11am to 4pm daily. 1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, 30318. (404) 365-0410, ext. 132.

>> Connect: @timthecheeseman on Twitter
Facebook: www.facebook.com/StarProvisions

photo credit: The Reynolds Group

Countdown to Taste of Atlanta 2013

It’s that time of year again — time to get excited about Taste of Atlanta!

Now in its 12th year, Taste of Atlanta is the one fall festival you don’t want to miss. It’s the chance to experience more than 90 of the city’s restaurants and get up close with the city’s finest chefs.

Taste of ATL 2013Taste of Atlanta will be held on October 25th, 26th and 27th at Tech Square in Midtown. The fun kicks off on Friday night with Atlanta’s Taste Revival, a unique block party that brings together food and music. Chef Host Ron Eyester and other local celebrity chefs will serve up dishes inspired by their favorite bands and songs. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Georgia Organics.

The main action is on Saturday and Sunday, with restaurants and chefs serving up signature bites. Tasting coupons are your ticket to a variety of cuisines, from southern to sushi, Indian to Italian, burgers to barbecue, and everything in between. Enjoy your favorite Atlanta restaurants and discover new ones.

Click here to see the participating restaurants

There will also be live cooking demos and conversations at the Inside the Food Studio stage, hands on classes in The Kitchen Workshop and interactive activities for all ages at the Family Food Zone.

Taste of Atlanta 2012Guests 21 and older can upgrade to the VIP ticket, with access to the VIP Food+Wine+Beer+Cocktail Experience. Cocktails, craft beers and wine will be offered, in addition to samples from exclusive restaurants not found in the main festival.

Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased online on Taste of Atlanta’s website. General admission costs $30 each day, or $40 on the day of the event. VIP tickets cost $75 each day, or $85 on the day of the event. Ten taste coupons are included with admission (additional taste coupons may be purchased on site). Kids 13 and under receive free admission when accompanied by a paid adult. Click here for more information on tickets to Atlanta’s Taste Revival, which start at $70.

Taste of Atlanta 2013, October 25th through 27th at Tech Square in Midtown.

>> Connect: @tasteofatlanta on Twitter
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tasteofatlanta

See Highlights from Previous Years:
Taste of Atlanta 2012
Taste of Atlanta 2011
Taste of Atlanta 2010

ARCS Atlanta Fall Cocktail Party

ARCS

Winzer Krems Grüner Veltliner Sandgrube 2012

Kremstal, Austria

Grüner Veltliner is a white wine grape from Austria. Don’t let the name throw you off — the wine made from Grüner Veltliner is easy to drink and very food friendly. Crisp and dry, this light to medium-bodied wine has bright citrus fruit flavors and subtle white pepper, with gentle wet stone minerality and refreshing acidity. A touch of spice lingers on the finish. Extremely versatile, Grüner Veltliner can pair with food ranging from shellfish and salads, to spicy dishes and Asian cuisine.

El Supremo Torrontes 2012

Mendoza, Argentina

As Malbec is considered the red wine grape of Argentina, Torrontes may be considered the white wine grape of the South American country. This is an extremely aromatic wine, with floral and citrus notes. El Supremo Torrontes has aromas of jasmine, gardenia and Meyer lemon, with crisp flavors of white grapefruit, white peach and subtle honeydew. Give the wine some time to warm in the glass and the floral notes will grow more vibrant.

Colombier Ventoux Rouge 2012

Côtes du Ventoux, Rhone, France

In the area surrounding Mont Ventoux, the Ventoux AOC in France’s Rhone region is one of Provence’s most picturesque areas. Perched villages, local markets, sunflowers, lavender and acres of vineyards have inspired artists, authors and vacationers. The Colombier Ventoux Rouge is a blend of Rhone grapes Grenache and Syrah. Medium-bodied and richly textured, this wine has aromas of ripe black fruit and flavors of blackberries, plum, pepper, black olives, rosemary and a hint of mint.

Sierra Batuco Reserva Carmenere 2011

Maule Valley, Chile

Carmenere is a red wine grape that is originally from Bordeaux. Today you’ll find it primarily in Chile, where it has become the country’s signature grape. Pepper and spice characteristics are what make Carmenere a treat to sip, and make the wine an ideal pairing for steak and grilled meats. The Sierra Batuco Reserva Carmenere is full-bodied with concentrated flavors of blackberry, black cherry, black and green pepper, smoke and a touch of mocha on the long, velvety finish.

Winzer Krems Gruner VeltlinerEl Supremo TorrontesColombier Ventoux RougeSierra Batuco Carmenere

 

For more information on wine consulting by the Amateur Gastronomer email info@amateurgastronomer.com

New Menus at Article 14

Article 14 is the kind of restaurant that makes you wish you worked or lived in Midtown so you could walk there for a drink or a bite to eat.

Wherever you are, now is a great time to check out Article 14. The restaurant recently revamped its menus, adding unique cocktails and dishes inspired by executive chef Chris Blobaum’s style of coast-to-coast American cuisine.

Article 14The new cocktail menu was created by Head Mixologist Arianne Fielder, a familiar face to Atlantans who enjoy high quality, handcrafted drinks (Fielder worked previously at Seven Lamps and Southern Art and Bourbon Bar). The menu offers classic and signature cocktails, house barrel-aged drinks and ‘beertails,’ cocktails with beer as one of the ingredients.

Smoke and Mirrors, Field of Dreams cocktailsTry the Field of Dreams, a mix of Kentucky vintage small batch bourbon, Wild Heaven Ode to Mercy, rosemary-infused sorghum and ginger. The frothy top is garnished with a sprig of rosemary that makes each sip an aromatic experience.

Manhattan fans will want to try the Smoke and Mirrors, a barrel-aged cocktail with Four Roses Bourbon, Dolin Rouge, Cherry Heering and smoky Memphis BBQ bitters.

Article 14The menu offers starters, salads, sides, small plates and entrees. Try one of the seafood dishes and you won’t be disappointed. The Steamed Clams come in a savory broth made with SweetWater ale and chorizo (you may want to ask for extra bread for dipping). The Pan Roasted Sea Scallops are cooked perfectly and maintain their delicate taste and texture.

The Grilled Pork Chop has a wonderfully smoky flavor, and is nicely complimented by the bed of Anson Mills polenta and figs. A popular item on the new menu is the Grilled Cowboy Ribeye, which comes with potato puree and grilled Vidalia onion rings.

If you’re having a drink and want something to snack on, try the Duck Confit Sliders, Salumi or Tacos. Or try the Okra Chips, which will satisfy your craving for salty and crunchy.

In addition to lunch and dinner, Article 14 is open for weekend brunch. Click here to see the menus. Complimentary 2-hour valet parking is available in an adjacent garage.

Article 14 is part of Legacy Restaurant Partners, which includes Olmstead, Stats, Glenn’s Kitchen, Der Biergarten, Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria and Game-X.

Article 14, 1180 Peachtree Street Suite B (on 14th Street), Atlanta 30309. (404) 443-8432, article14.com

SMASH Kitchen & Bar Now Open

Satisfy your appetite no matter what you’re craving at SMASH Kitchen & Bar, now open in Town Brookhaven. The modern casual American restaurant is the newest concept from the Here to Serve Restaurants group, and features smash hits from owner Tom Catherall’s other Atlanta eateries.

Smash Kitchen & BarFlatbreads, steaks and burgers are the main attractions on SMASH’s menu. The flatbreads are cooked in a wood burning oven, and range from the Classic Margherita to the Diablo, a spicy mix of chorizo, coppa salume and hot chili peppers.

It may be hard to decide between the Steak Burger and the SKB Burger. Your decision will be even tougher when you scroll down the menu and see the “Smash it Down,” shaved prime rib served with BBQ sauce and horseradish slaw. For non meat eaters there’s the Veggie Burger, made in house with brown deviled eggs, bacon, pimento cheeserice, black beans, beets and quinoa.

In addition to a selection of steaks there are baby back ribs and pork chops. There’s also skillet fried chicken, jumbo lump crab cake, grilled salmon and a variety of salads and sides (we told you there was something to match any craving).

Click here to see SMASH Kitchen & Bar’s lunch, dinner and brunch menus

Brunch offers a menu that’s as fun to order as it is tasty. Try the Baked Frenchman (bread pudding french toast), the Mad Italian Skillet Scramble (coppa, mozzarella and chili flakes topped with basil, baby arugula and tomato), or the Gravedigger (chicken fried pork chop with fried egg, mushroom, sausage, gravy and a cheddar cheese biscuit). Of course you can’t go wrong with the SKB Chicken & Waffles, which comes with a decadent pecan bacon syrup.

flatbreadIf you’re in the mood for drinks or light bites, take a right past the host stand and you’ll find a great list of wines, beer and cocktails at SMASH’s bar.

The décor for the bar and restaurant is a mix of cozy and eclectic. Brick walls, red booths and SMASH burgera window into the kitchen give Smash a casual feel, while a unique mix of art, chandeliers and a larger than life ‘eat’ sign make it feel like an escape from the shopping center outside.

The Here to Serve Restaurants group includes Prime, Noche, Goldfish, Twist, Shout, Strip, Aja, Coast Seafood and Raw Bar and Cantina. Later this fall H2SR will open Shucks, an upscale oyster and wine bar, also in Town Brookhaven.

Looking for a unique holiday gift? Here to Serve Restaurants is partnering with Atlanta shops and destinations for the 5 Star Package. A $100 gift certificate to any Here to Serve restaurant will come with an additional $100 in coupons to Spa Sydell, Fab’rik clothing boutique, the Alliance Theater and the Cook’s Warehouse. 5 Star Package cards will be available for purchase at each partner location and online at www.h2sr.com and the 5 Star partners’ websites.

Smash Kitchen & Bar, 804 Town Boulevard, Suite 1010 in Town Brookhaven, Atlanta, 30319. (404) 841-4221

>> Connect: @SmashATL and @H2SRestaurants on Twitter
Facebook: www.facebook.com/smashATL

images below and of food above from Here to Serve Restaurants

Snapshots from Kobrand Tour D’Italia

Earlier this month Kobrand Wine & Spirits brought its Tour d’Italia to the St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead. Winery owners and winemakers shared their latest releases with members of the wine trade and media.

Among the many delicious wines there were a number of standouts. Take a look at the AG’s picks in the snapshots below (click to enlarge), and look for them at wine shops and restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Geography Guide:

Piedmont (Northwest Italy) — Michele Chiarlo
Veneto (Northeast Italy) — Masi Agricola
Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Northeast Italy, east of Veneto) — Fernando Pighin & Figli
Tuscany (Central Italy, on western side) — Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute, Tenute Silvio Nardi

photo credit: Cara Isdell Lee

More Red Wines | More White Wines | Under $20

Speakeasy Cocktail Festival Brings the 1920s Back to Atlanta

Click here for video on the 2013 Speakeasy Cocktail Festival

Get your pinstripe suits and feather boas ready, the Speakeasy Cocktail Festival is returning for its second year.

Taking place the weekend before the 31st, the Prohibition-era cocktail celebration is the perfect Halloween party — and yes, you’ll want to come in costume. The festival will be held on Saturday, October 26th at the Atlanta Event Center at Opera, with two identical sessions: 1:30 to 4:30pm and 5 to 8pm.

Speakeasy Cocktail FestivalGuests will enjoy libations in several Prohibition-styled lounges:

Speakeasy Liquid Lounges — Located throughout the festival, these will offer tastes of cocktails, beer and wine in a souvenir glass.

Cigar Lounge — Guests will have the Speakeasy Cocktail Festivalopportunity to sample premium cigars and exclusive spirit selections from Camus & McCormick Distilling Co.

Casino Lounge — Attendees can play poker, blackjack, roulette and craps and enjoy exclusive spirits from Hedonist Cognac. Chip leaders and poker table winners will have the opportunity to win a premium prize package from Dave & Buster’s and a three night stay for two with transportation at the MGM Grand Resort’s Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.

VIP Lounge — Guests who purchase a VIP ticket will have access to special Patron Spirits tastings, entry to win a Beau Rivage Resort trip package and drink specials at Article 14 Restaurant.

Speakeasy Cocktail FestivalCome for the cocktails, stay for the entertainment. There will be burlesque-inspired performances by Dangerous Curves, live music from local bands Cicada Rhythm and Lives of the Monster Dogs, entertainment from the Sadie Hawkins and Marilyn Chen duo and more.

Speakeasy Cocktail FestivalClick here to see highlights from last year’s event

There will also be the Makers & Shakers Mixology Championship, where some of Atlanta’s best mixologists will compete head to head in a secret ingredient bartending contest. The final challenge will be held at the end of session two.

Be sure to come dressed to the nines in Prohibition-era inspired garb — it could win you a trip to Beau Rivage! Each session will have a costume contest for guests, with the winner receiving a resort and casino package.

Tickets are now available online at the Speakeasy Cocktail Festival’s website and cost $75 for general admission and $110 for VIP. Each ticket is for one session and comes with 10 tasting tabs.

Proceeds will benefit the Health Education and Communication Center of Atlanta, which works to build awareness to improve health literacy and positively impact health outcomes throughout Georgia.

For more information visit www.speakeasycocktailfestival.com.

The Speakeasy Cocktail Festival, Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Atlanta Event Center at Opera, 1150 Crescent Ave. NE, Midtown.

photo credit: Speakeasy Cocktail Festival

Inman Park Restaurant Week Fall 2013

Make your dining reservations now, Inman Park Restaurant Week returns this month!

Inman Park RWFrom Monday, September 23rd through Sunday, September 29th, 13 restaurants in Inman Park will offer a three course prix fixe menu for $15, $25 or $35 per person (tax, gratuity and alcohol are not included). Participating restaurants include: Fritti; Il Localino; Kevin Rathbun Steak; North Highland Pub; Parish Foods & Goods; Park’s Edge; Pure Taqueria; Rathbun’s; Sotto Sotto; The Albert; Wrecking Bar; Barcelona Wine Bar; and Wisteria.

Click here to see the participating restaurants and their menus

In support of September’s Hunger Action Month, Inman Park Restaurant Week will benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Restaurants will be selling raffle tickets for $1.00 each with proceeds benefiting the Food Bank. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.ACFB.org. Ticket sales end on September 29. One lucky winner will receive a $50 gift card from each of the participating restaurants. The drawing will be held on October 4th at the Food Bank, and the winner does not have to be present to claim the prize.

For more information on Inman Park Restaurant Week visit www.inmanparkrestaurantweek.com.

>> Connect: @inmanparkrw on Twitter

Finding the Perfect Pairing: Allegrini Cook-Off for a Cause

Vino Venue was the location of a friendly food fight last Thursday for the Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Cook-Off for a Cause. Three top local chefs competed to see whose dish paired best with the Italian red wine for the chance to win a donation to their selected local charity.

Allegrini Cook-OffAllegrini is an estate and winery located in Fumane di Valpolicella, just north of Verona in northeastern Italy. Now in its third year, their Cook-Off for a Cause has traveled through eight U.S. cities and donated more than $35,000 to charity.

The competing chefs for the Atlanta cook-off were Ford Fry, Kevin Gillespie and John Metz. They were chosen because they all source locally and add importance to the community.

Chef Fry of JCT. Kitchen & Bar, No. 246, The Optimist and King + Duke was competing for City of Refuge, a non-profit organization that offers life saving resources and life building tools to Atlanta individuals and families who are living on the margin.

Chefs John Metz, Kevin Gillespie, Ford FryChef Gillespie of Gunshow was competing for the FitWit Foundation, which improves the lives of Atlanta children and teens through fitness, tutoring and personal development programs. Since 2008 more than 500 kids have participated in the program.

Chef Metz of Marlow’s Tavern, Aqua blue Restaurant & Bar and Sterling Spoon Culinary Management was competing for the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Founded in 1979 with the mission of fighting hunger, the ACFB procures more than 45 million pounds of food and groceries each year and distributes it to more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies in metro Atlanta and north Georgia.

Allegrini Cook-OffAs the chefs prepared their dishes, Marilisa Allegrini gave an overview of the estate and wine. Marilisa is the sixth generation of her family to work in the wine business and manages the winery with her two brothers.

The Palazzo della Torre is a blend of 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese made in the ripasso style. After the harvest, 70% of the grapes were vinified immediately and 30% were left to dry until the end of December. The wine made at harvest was blended with the fermenting juice of the dried grapes, initiating a second fermentation. This winemaking style helps to create a more complex and concentrated wine. The wine spent 15 months in one year-old French oak barriques.

The Allegrini Palazzo della Torre is dark ruby red in color, with an intense dark berry aroma and flavors of blackberries, ripe and dried cherries, mocha and dates.

Allegrini chefsThe chefs had a couple of weeks to get to know the wine and come up with their dishes. Guests were asked to judge each dish based on three criteria: the dish on its own, the uniqueness of the dish and how well it paired with the wine.

Up first was Chef Fry, who paired the Palazzo della Torre with Pekin duck risotto. Duck stock added a rich flavor to the Arborio rice, which had duck cracklings, foraged mushrooms and herbs folded in. Rich without being heavy, the risotto matched the elegance of the wine.

For the second round Chef Gillespie served a smoked cabbage dumpling with country sausage, caramelized turnips and potato puree. The smoky and savory flavors in the dumpling paired nicely with the cherry notes and tannins in the wine.

The final round was a rustic country rigatoni from Chef Metz. The pasta was served with oregano roasted chicken, sausage meatball, oven roasted tomato, baby escarole, oyster mushroom, canellini beans and parmesan cheese. Hearty and with layers of flavor, the pasta complemented the layered and complex wine.

After dining, discussing and casting votes it was time to announce the results. The winner: Chef John Metz, who thanked the audience and spoke passionately about his cause. The Atlanta Community Food Bank will receive $3,000 from Allegrini.

Chef Kevin Gillespie came in second, and Chef Ford Fry came in third. Their causes will receive $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.

Allegrini wines are imported by Winebow. For more information on Allegrini visit www.allegrini.it.

photo credit: Sarah Dodge, dodgeandburned.com (first three photos in article)

Allegrini chefs

What’s New for the Annual Miller Lite Chili Cook-Off

The Great Miller Lite Chili Cook-Off returns this October for its 34th year and with it, some changes.

The biggest change: the location. Previously held at Stone Mountain, the new venue for the cook-off is the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. Located 28 miles east of Atlanta, this location will include onsite permanent restroom facilities, convenient parking and easier access to the event.

chili cook-offDon’t worry, you’ll be sure to eat your weight and then some in chili. In addition to more than 300 teams competing for the top spots, there will be cold beer, a mullet flop, a jalapeño eating contest, live music, games for all ages and more.

But that’s not all. Also new this year is chilithe addition of a barbecue cook-off, where amateur pit masters will have the opportunity to compete for the best barbecue chicken and ribs.

As in years past, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Camp Twin Lakes, a network of children’s camps that provide life-changing experiences to thousands of Georgia children with serious illnesses, disabilities and challenges. Over the past seven years the cook-off has raised approximately $500,000 for Camp Twin Lakes.

Tickets to the event are $10 for adults and can only be purchased at the event (tickets will not sell out). Children 12 and under are free. The gates open at 10am and there is no re-entry. Parking costs $5. Approximately 15,000 people attend each year.

The 34th Annual Great Miller Lite Chili and BBQ Cook-Off, Saturday, October 5, 2013 at The Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway in Conyers, Georgia.

>> Connect: @chilicookoffatl on Twitter
www.Facebook.com/GreatMillerLiteChiliCookOff