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At the Food and Wine Festival 2011, there were so many fun and educational food events, it's impossible to summarize the experience in one post. I will definitely be back next year! This week, I will post a three part series about my adventures at the festival. Bloggers sometimes take a little while to get their reports up, but this was an educational BBQ event relevant at any time of year, a grilling presentation by two illustrious Atlanta chefs.
When I arrived at the beautiful, modern Loews Hotel, I was very excited to see crowds of my fellow foodies navigating the festival, making new acquaintances, and having lots of fun in general. It was time for programs presented by chefs and culinary experts, and I chose to join the group outside on the Terrace to see the "Grilling Demo: Chef's Secrets to Perfect Grilling" presented by Duane Nutter and Todd Richards.
Chef Duane Nutter is the Chef/Owner of One Flew South and Rolling Bones. "His simple yet intricate dishes have led to his acknowledgement as one of Atlanta's most innovative chefs." Chef Nutter is also a stand-up comedian and competed on Iron Chef. His partner in the demo, Chef Todd Richards, is the Chef of the Cafe at the The Ritz Carlton in Buckhead where I had my wedding luncheon. Chef Richards was on Iron Chef America and has won numerous accolades. A couple of assistants were there from the Ritz Carlton as well.
The grilling presentation was great. The chefs kept the humor level high the whole time, informing us that in their kitchen, "Fat" is not a bad word, but is actually called "The Goodness." They said that you should keep your seasonings simple, and not create a "Hodge Modge Collage" of flavors - 3 flavors maximum usually. Often, the only seasoning a great cut of meat needs is salt and pepper. Salt is most important.
We also passed around a small plate of fennel to smell (I have smelled/tasted most seasonings since Dan had to know each one at culinary school), and Chef Nutter joked that we shouldn't snort a bump of his fennel. They made a prawn dish with mint apple salad, and left a bit of shell on the prawns' tails. Prawns don't take long to grill of course. They also discussed many other grilled meats.
The chefs said that Salmon is the #1 fish in Atlanta, followed by Tilapia, which holds up well to marinade, but doesn't have much nutrition. Sea Bass is also popular, but not good for grilling because it falls apart. An audience member asked how to tell if fish is done, and the chefs said that you can check for white albumen, a protein that comes out of the fish.
Steaks are the best thing to grill because of the high fat content - also lamb. It's good to sear steaks because it breaks down the connective tissues and you get a flavorful crust. Chefs often sear meat in the oven, not in the pan because it's easy to get an even sear.
If you want to have your steak blue (very rare) Nutter recommends grass-fed beef. He also said that the fresher you can get the meat, the better, preferably as soon as the animal is gone. The Chefs joked that they do not care for orders for "medium plus" steaks. There is rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, and well-done. Chefs think "medium plus" is just silly, and I definitely think that diners should educate themselves on meat temperatures. Often diners order their steaks medium, and send it back because it's not done enough, when actually the chef cooked it perfectly.
Other points - you can use a wet or dry marinade, and don't use pure EVOO on grilling because it's a waste. I asked how they choose their meat cuts. They said that chefs in restaurants choose the meats on the menu in large part based on what is available and cost-effective. Chefs have to look out for their bottom line. They often buy large cuts to butcher, and they are responsible for the whole thing. The Chefs said that you can do the test for meat doneness according to different places on your face. That is something for home cooks, as chefs always know when meat is done. The presentation was done using Viking grills. It was a lovely location, and I learned a lot from these funny and accomplished chefs.
Executive Chef Branden Holte of Meehan’s Pub in Vinings is hosting a Terrapin Beer Dinner on Monday, June 20th @ 7:30pm. Meehan's is teaming up with friends at Terrapin Brewery for their June beer dinner, featuring the winner of the IPA Social, Terrapin Hopsecutioner. This dinner will pair big beers with gourmet dishes, such as Smoked Baby Back Ribs with a Hopsecutioner BBQ Sauce. Their menu looks really nice!
My husband Dan's friend Evan Lazzara is a Chef at Whole Foods Sandy Springs. There are several classically trained chefs at Whole Foods Sandy Springs, including Evan, and they are preparing a Whole Foods Summer's Best Dinner Party for June 29th from 7 PM to 9 PM! It will be an elegant, five-course meal with delicious wine pairings. The guest list is limited to 20 people, and you must reserve your space by June 24th. The cost is $30, which is a very good deal considering everything guests will enjoy at the dinner. It promises to be a delightful evening.
Last week, Mom and I went to Savi Urban Market in Inman Park to try their gourmet fare and dishes by their Executive Chef, Don Trimble. Savi focuses on local, organic foods, of which I am a big proponent. Most of their produce comes from Dillwood Farms, based in Loganville, GA. Savi’s owner is Paul Nair, an entrepreneur from Bombay who went to Cornell. He was very knowledgeable and hospitable, as was the entire staff.
Savi appeals to gourmands, with a wide selection of wines and an Enomatic Wine Machine which allows you to taste many wines before you buy them. They also employ an experienced cheesemonger, and they have a case stocked full of sous vide items, vacuum-sealed products that are prepared in an extremely controlled environment to maximize flavor. Sous vide is one of the most popular trends in cooking at the moment. Savi will be expanding soon with two more additional stores, and they will start offering Chef’s Table dinners for customers. We were able to sample one of these dinners, which was truly gourmet and delicious! My husband, also a chef, was impressed by Savi’s menu.
Here is the menu for the Chef’s Table, which was handwritten by Chef Don Trimble, a very nice touch. Everything was amazing and so flavorful! If you are a gourmand or foodie, you will love this market and restaurant.
Bone Marrow Fritter, Marrow Crème, Davignon Radish
Scallop, Lardo, Rhubarb
Grilled Octopus, Squid Ink Gnocchi, Buckwheat
Veal Cheek, Green Coriander Gastrique, Morels, Ramps
Black Sea Bass, Sapelo Island Clams, Spring Bulb Onion, Scarlett Queen
Free Chocolate Chip Cookies at Centennial Olympic Park
On Thursday, June 16, the Cookie CAREavan tour will stop at Centennial Olympic Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to hand out free chocolate chip cookies to help sweeten summer travel. Kwanza Hall, Atlanta City Councilmember for District 2, will also proclaim June 16th “National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day” in Atlanta at 10 a.m. before handing out cookies until 11 a.m.
Atlantans can also tweet @DoubleTree for a chance to get a sweet break while the Cookie CAREavan is in town. Using the hashtags #SweetBreak and #CAREavan, office mates can rally together for a chance to win 250 hand delivered chocolate chip cookies to their office on June 16.
This year, the Georgia Peach Council is predicting a tasty season for the Peach State’s namesake fruit. Georgia produces over 2.6 million cartons, or more than 63 million pounds, of sweet-tasting peaches between mid-May and mid-August, and expectations are that the 2011 crop will meet or exceed that level.
“This year’s crop, which will hit prime harvesting season in mid-June, looks very promising,” said Duke Lane III, President of the Georgia Peach Council. “For the best and freshest peaches around, we encourage consumers to ask their grocers for home-grown sweet Georgia peaches.”
Savi Urban Market is a lovely little gourmet market located in the Historic neighborhood of Inman Park, just west of Downtown Atlanta near the corner of Elizabeth St. and North Highland Ave. Daily Candy Atlanta says that Savi is "the in-town grocery where shelves are packed with everything from fresh thyme to toothbrushes." They have a great wine and cheese selection.
Savi works exclusively with certified organic wholesalers to sell organic fruits and vegetables and have a Four-Star rating from The Examiner in Atlanta. They offer a variety of organic and all natural beef, poultry and pork, all fed only vegetarian diets, with no growth hormones or antibiotics, and raised in the most humane environments possible.
The Jew and The Carrot blog, profiled Todd Ginsberg, the chef behind Atlanta’s Bocado restaurant. Deemed the “Best New Chef 2010” from The Atlantan, Ginsberg graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked in many restaurants, from Atlanta to Paris, before settling down. Much of the food Ginsberg uses is grown locally, but most of the menu is meat and fish-centric. Some of Ginsberg’s popular dishes include his award-winning burger and deviled eggs.
Ginsberg grew up in a reform Jewish home and has hosted traditional Passover seders at Bocado for the past two years. However, he is not a kosher chef, beginning his interview with The Forward, saying, “I just want to say, right off the back, I’m Jewish, but I cook pork. Is that a problem?”
"Experience Independence Day like never before with Jim & Nick’s barbecue and live music provided by The Yacht Rock Revue." The celebration will take place on the top floor of the parking deck, offering unparalleled views of Atlanta’s most magnificent fireworks display, from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and tickets are $45 per person. Proceeds benefit Georgia Aquarium’s education initiatives.
When: Monday, July 4, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Where: Georgia Aquarium, parking deck rooftop What: Fourth of July celebration with barbecue, beer, live music and a great view of the Centennial Olympic Park firework celebration Who: Adults 21 and above
Blade Magazine Knife Show this Weekend
The Blade Magazine Knife Show was held this weekend at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The show featured over 150 booths and 700 tables of exhibitors, including cutlery manufacturers. Blade Magazine Knife Show
Atlanta Event: Purple Ribbon Kidz Launch Party - Yesterday, the secret location for the record label launch of Purple Ribbon Kidz was revealed to be the Hard Rock Café Atlanta. Purple Ribbon Kidz record label is a gift from Big Boi to his daughter, Jordan Patton, for her 16th birthday.
Big Boi wanted to give Jordan a practical gift, the ability to be an entrepreneur. Jordan discovered 13 year-old singer Gabbie Rae on YouTube, and Big Boi and Jordan signed her as their first act.
Big Boi and Jordan welcomed hundreds of guests and celebrities to the event, which was coordinated completely by kids, hosted by Adrian Kali Turner, and DJed by teen DJ Priest. Celebrities included Jamal Anderson, Isaac Hayes III, and celebrity photographer Derek Blanks. There were lots of performances by teen artists, including Gabbie Rae, who performed her single “Neverland,” Von Grey, and Audio (formerly B5). The party was a huge success. Jordan’s future is so bright, she should definitely wear shades.
My mom, Pattie, and I went to Heirloom Market BBQ today to see what all the talk was about. This place is still a best kept secret, although it was pretty busy when we went. I wondered how such a buzzworthy restaurant was practically out of the perimeter. At first we couldn't even find it. I knew it was near Sal Grosso and Rose and Crown Tavern, but I didn't know where Akers Mill was. Then we called Dad and he helped us out with the directions. I guess it's time to bring the GPS with me, but I do love to get lost and go exploring.
Anyway, we did find it after turning right on Powers Ferry from Windy Hill, then going until it dead-ended into Akers Mill, and taking a right. Once we turned right, the restaurant was immediately on the left.
Heirloom Market BBQ is owned and run by two friendly young chefs who happen to be a couple! Chef Jiyeon Lee is the female chef, and she is so gorgeous in her pink chef's coat, and very, very nice! She is also a Korean pop star, and she went to Le Cordon Bleu, my husband's alma mater. Jiyeon infuses the cuisine with Korean flavors as well, which you can see in many spicy dishes, and ones such as the Kimchi Cole Slaw. Her partner is Chef Cody Taylor, who worked at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead. They met while working at Repast. The cashier was also extremely friendly, and she told us that she bakes the jumbo cookies that are for sale.
Heirloom's decor is very interesting and comfortable. Down-to-earth, yet full of antiques and neat tchotchkes. There is also a deck outside with stacks of wood for smoking. Asian notes appear throughout, in the Jasmine sweet tea, in the free candy jar as you leave. Everything at Heirloom seems designed to welcome you earnestly as a guest into Cody and Jiyeon's home away from home. It is wonderful to dine in such a welcoming environment.
We ordered pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw and tempura sweet potatoes with Tennessee sauce, as well as smoked brisket and chicken with collard greens. This has got to be the best BBQ I've ever tasted. It has set the standard for Atlanta, and I hope everyone else rises to meet this challenge. In the meantime, I will go back to Heirloom if I am in the mood for BBQ. Exquisite food, and a lovely atmosphere.
So here are the three best things I love about Heirloom Market BBQ - 1. The Food is SMOKIN'! 2. It is totally down to earth. 3. It is nearby! I hope it stays there forever! :)
This Sunday, June 5th, Grammy–winning ATLien Big Boi will solidify his legacy to musical history by passing the torch on to his teen daughter with a star-studded launch of a newly developed record label, Purple Ribbon Kidz. Scheduled to take place at a private location, Big Boi and his teen daughter Jordan Patton, will welcome a host of celebrity kids from all walks of fame for food, fun and of music during this “BIG” celebration.
Almost twenty years ago as one half of hip hop royalty; Big Boi made history and helped establish Atlanta as a focal point for creative energy. Today, Big hopes to be an active part of keeping the Outkast legacy alive by passing the torch to his sixteen year old daughter, gifting her with her own record label, complete with a superstar flagship artist, thirteen year old YouTube sensation Gabbie Rae. Adrian Kali Turner from Nickleodeon will host the event. “It means a lot for me to be able to follow in my dad’s footsteps,” Jordan says proudly.
Thank you for 9 Years of Atlanta Foodies! Fun reviews of Atlanta restaurants and much more! Atlanta Foodies includes food news, history, and foodies news. I'm Becca, the epicurean writer. I have lots of foodie and chef friends in the Atlanta area who contribute as well.
So sit back and let us do the dirty work. When you want to go out to eat in Metro Atlanta, consult our blog and you won't wind up having an unpleasant experience and hating yourself or your loved ones for it. Thanks for visiting. Hope you enjoy it, and Bon Appetit, Y'all!