Category Archives: AG On the Scene

Martell Blue Swift

Martell Blue Swift Arrives in Atlanta

Cognac meets Kentucky in the latest release from Martell, the oldest and one of the best known Cognac houses. Introducing Martell Blue Swift, a VSOP Cognac finished in Kentucky bourbon casks.

Martell Blue Swift

Martell Blue Swift was unveiled at an exclusive launch party in downtown Atlanta earlier this month. After guests sipped on Martell VSOP cocktails, brand ambassador Karim Lateef pushed back a wall revealing a room dedicated to Martell Blue Swift. The celebration then kicked into high gear with a DJ, live artist painting and tastings of Blue Swift on its own and in cocktails.

Martell Blue Swift launch party

Blue Swift is a spirit that represents the partnership between France and America. Martell was the first to ship its Cognac to the United States more than 230 years ago. The name is a tribute to Martell’s swift emblem, a bird that can fly for extremely long distances, including across the Atlantic Ocean.

Martell Blue Swift

Blue Swift is an Eau de Vie de Vin. It starts with a base of high quality Cognac, the VSOP, and then spends additional time aging in Kentucky Bourbon casks. The VSOP has flavors of candied fruit and plum, while the bourbon casks impart notes of vanilla and smoky oak. Round and smooth, Martell Blue Swift can be enjoyed on its own or in cocktails. My favorite way to sip it is mixed with ginger ale.

Click here to learn more about Cognac

Martell Blue Swift is now available in Atlanta and select U.S. cities. It retails for $49.99.

For more information visit Martell’s website at martell.com/en-us/.

Jeffrey Fashion Cares

Fashion for a Cause: Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2016

Atlanta’s most fashionable gathered at Phipps Plaza Monday night for Jeffrey Fashion Cares. Founded by fashion guru Jeffrey Kalinsky, the 24th annual event is one of the largest combined AIDS and breast cancer benefits in the country. One hundred percent of net proceeds benefit the Atlanta AIDS Fund and Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta.

Cucumber Pink Mule cocktail
Cucumber Pink Mule cocktail

The fete kicked off with a cocktail hour. While perusing the silent auction items guests sipped on drinks including a Tropical Tiki Mojito, Spicy Margarita and a Cucumber Pink Mule, made with Svedka Cucumber Lime Vodka, LiDestri Pink Limoncello, and Ginger Beer Syrup and Baltimore Bitters from local favorite 18.21 Bitters.

Once guests took their seats along the runway in the transformed Monarch Court, event chairs Lila Hertz, Jeffrey McQuithy and Louise Sams gave a brief introduction. A live auction offered guests the chance to bid on fabulous trips, experiences and jewelry.

Jeffrey Fashion Cares

Then it was on to the main event. Models showed off the latest looks from Celine, Balenciaga, Chloe, Givenchy, Gucci and beyond.

Major fashion envy ensued. My closet simply won’t be complete without the fab purple pants from Dries Van Noten and gorgeous geometric print dress from Haider Ackerman.

The final walk at Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2016
The final walk at Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2016. I’ll take one of everything, thanks!

Last year’s sold-out Jeffrey Fashion Cares raised $700,000 for the Atlanta AIDS Fund and Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta.

Jeffrey Kalinsky is the founder and president of the Jeffrey boutique chain, with locations in New York City and Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza.

For more information visit jeffreyfashioncares.com.

Nando's PERi-PERi Sauce

Nando’s PERi-PERi Sauce Makes Atlanta Debut

It’s the most famous sauce you’ve never heard of.

So the saying goes for Nando’s PERi-PERi, the South African sauce that made its debut in Atlanta this month. But you’re in luck, we’ll let you in on the tasty secret.

We got to try the hot sauce at Braai on the BeltLine, a South African barbecue-themed pop-up party on the Atlanta BeltLine. Nando’s teamed up with Justin Anthony, the South African restaurateur behind Cape Dutch, 10 Degrees South, Yebo Beach Haus and Biltong Bar to serve the PERi-PERi sauce along with Nando’s famous PERi-PERi chicken, which was marinated for 24 hours and flame grilled.

Braai on the BeltLine

One taste of Nando’s PERi-PERi and you’ll realize it’s more than a hot sauce. It is hot – the medium, my favorite, has much more heat than most medium hot sauces.

Nando's PERi-PERi chiliThe flavor is what makes Nando’s PERi-PERi unique. It gets this flavor from African Bird’s Eye Chili, grown in southern Africa. The chili is handpicked, then dried and crushed. Swahili for “pepper pepper,” the PERi-PERi is enhanced with sun-ripened lemons and a dash of garlic. It does not contain artificial preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors or added MSG. It is also gluten-free, kosher and suitable for vegetarians.

See why people from England to Australia are going gaga for PERi-PERi by picking up one or several of the Nando’s sauces. They’re now available in Georgia at Kroger, Publix and Walmart.

For more information, visit www.nandosperiperi.com/sauces.

Braai on the BeltLine

Saint-Cirq Lapopie

Snapshots from Saint-Cirq Lapopie

Your visit to the Cahors region is not complete without a day in Saint-Cirq Lapopie.

The commune perched on a cliff overlooking the Lot River is classified as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France” (Les Plus Beaux Villages de France). In 2012 the French voted it their favorite village in the country.

Take time to stroll along the cobblestone streets and visit the boutiques. There are plenty of cafés and restaurants to enjoy a drink or bite to eat. Climb the steps near the church for magnificent views of the rooftops and river.

Continue reading

Epcot Food and Wine Fest

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2014

A trip to Epcot at Walt Disney World is even better when you go during the International Food & Wine Festival. From Friday, September 19th through Monday, November 10th, visitors have the chance to eat and drink around the world.

The Amateur Gastronomer got a peek at what makes the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival so much fun during the first weekend of this year’s event.

Headed there this fall? Check out our tips for what to see and taste.

Epcot 2014

 

Continue reading

Pastry Live

Pastry Live National Showpiece Champtionship

On the final day of Pastry Live in Atlanta five teams of pastry chefs competed in the National Showpiece Championship. The teams had seven hours to build sculptures made entirely of chocolate or sugar.

This year’s theme was video games, and Super Mario Brothers was a popular pick. The winners, who swept the Best Overall, Best Sugar Showpiece and Competitors’ Choice, were Bill Foltz and Cori Schlemmer for their Dragon Ball inspired sculpture.

Watch the video below to see the teams in action.

Continue reading

Dinner Lab

Dinner Lab Now Cooking in Atlanta

 

A unique social dining experiment has arrived in Atlanta. Dinner Lab, the secret, pop-up supper club that began in New Orleans, is now accepting members.

It’s a mouthwatering concept: up-and-coming chefs get a chance to showcase their talents and creativity with a group of adventurous food fans. The chef and five-course menu are announced when tickets go up for sale, but the location is a secret until the day before. During the dinner guests are encouraged to write comments about each dish and offer constructive feedback for the chef.

Chef Brandon ChavannesThe Amateur Gastronomer got a sneak peek (and taste) last week at the Panta Rei dinner featuring Chef Brandon Chavannes. The Atlanta born and raised chef brings his passion for cooking seafood to Lure in Midtown. For his Dinner Lab menu, Chef Chavannes mixed Spanish and West Indies culinary traditions, and highlighted foods he grew up on.

The location of the dinner was Studio 900, a nondescript space on Dekalb Avenue in Inman Park that would be easy to miss, had there not been a number of cars parked in front. After sipping a welcome cocktail and mingling with the other guests, we took our seats at communal tables.

Continue reading

Cypress Street Pint & Plate pairing

Sublime Pairings at Cypress Street Pint & Plate

They say opposites attract. And you would think it wouldn’t get any more opposite than beer and doughnuts. This unusual pairing was the feature at a special Valentine’s Day edition of Beer Geek Tuesday at Cypress Street Pint & Plate.

Cypress Street Pint & PlateIntrigue, or maybe just hunger and thirst brought a big crowd to the Midtown bar. Even the outside tables were full – cold temperatures and the threat of ice and snow seemed to be no deterrent. My husband and I took a corner table inside and were greeted immediately by the Beer Geek himself, Rob “BrewRu” Merrick.

Talking with Rob, it’s clear how knowledgeable and passionate he is about beer. He’s also a lot of fun. If you’re new to craft beer, Rob can make it easy to understand. If you’re more experienced, you’ll likely learn about or taste something new.

We took Rob up on his suggestion to try the featured New Belgium beers of the evening. The Snapshot wheat started with sweet citrus, followed by a gentle sourness and clean finish. The Spring Blond Belgian style ale was refreshing with apple and lemon notes, and a slightly bitter finish.

Both Rob and our server Anthony were great about checking in throughout the evening to make sure we were enjoying the beer and food.

The menu looks like a typical brewpub menu, but the quality of the food is far beyond. We started with the BBQ Eggrolls, a southern take on the Chinese dish. Filled with bbq pork and collard greens and served with a sriracha ranch dipping sauce, they were unbelievably flavorful and juicy (make sure you take a bite over the plate). Before my husband and I finished the eggrolls we were planning a return visit for them.

Our main courses were equally as delicious. I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, which was topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, blue cheese and spicy mayo. Every bite was a mix of tangy, spicy and creamy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a buffalo chicken sandwich so good as Cypress Street’s.

My husband ordered the famous Sublime Burger. The ultimate indulgence, it is a half-pound burger topped with cheddar cheese, applewood bacon and caramelized onions between two Sublime doughnuts. Sublime exclusively makes the glazed doughnuts for Cypress Street Pint & Plate. As you might expect for something so over the top, it was delicious. The doughnuts, not as sweet as I had thought they would be, went surprisingly well with the savory beef and bacon. Definitely worth the guilt, or the extra time in the gym.

Sublime doughnuts and beerThen it was time for the main event – three Sublime doughnuts paired with three 4 oz. pours of beer. A Reese’s peanut butter cup doughnut was paired with Lonerider Brewing Company’s Pistols at Dawn; a heart-shaped strawberry-filled chocolate doughnut with chocolate icing was paired with Allagash Saison; and a red velvet cake doughnut was paired with Delirium Noël.

My favorite doughnut was the heart. It was almost a surprise biting in and finding whole strawberries, and they were made even better by the chocolate icing. For me, the pairing that worked best was the Reese’s doughnut and Lonerider beer. The chocolate and peanut butter in the doughnut worked well with the coffee flavors in the Pistols at Dawn.

While not every Beer Geek Tuesday involves an opposites-attract pairing, the evening is sure to include new or unique beers and excellent food.

Beer Geek Tuesdays are every Tuesday evening beginning at 7pm.

Cypress Street Pint & Plate, 817 West Peachtree Street NE. (404) 815-9243 www.cypressbar.com

Flying solo this Valentine’s Day? Check out Cypress Street Pint and Plate’s inaugural Valentine’s Day Solo Party. On February 14th beginning at 8 pm, guests will enjoy $1 PBRs and $2 SweetWater IPAs served in classic red Solo Cups. Rob has crafted a special “Love Bites” beer shake for the event, with Frozen Pints Milk Chocolate Stout craft beer ice cream and fresh strawberries, topped with vodka whipped cream and drizzled with a chocolate beer reduction. There will be music from DJ Pat O’Brien, and there is no cost to attend.

>> Connect
Twitter: @CypressStreet
Facebook: CypressStreet

photo credit Teodora Nicolae