It’s that time of year, the grandaddy of Atlanta food festivals, Taste of Atlanta arrives in Midtown this weekend, October 23 & 24th. It’s a weekend full of  tastings from 70+ Atlanta restaurants, cooking demos, farm to festival village, family area, entertainment and a wine + beer + cocktail experience. If you’re looking for a short list of spots to try, check out my friend Jonathan’s cheat sheet on Citysearch. New this year is their Inside the Food Studio seminars – I’ve provided that information at the bottom of this post. I’ll be there on Sunday, so say hey if you see me!

So Fresh & So Clean - The grillmaster at Max Lager's

Farm to Festival Village showcase by Farmer D

BarCraft competition

Cooking Demo crowd on 5th Street Bridge

Crowd last year for Top Chef contestant Carla Hall

Woodfire Grill & Top Chef favorite Kevin Gillespie on the cooking stage Saturday

Chef Shane Devereux of Top Flr & newcomer Sound Table

Farmer D

Experience, taste and discover in a series of sessions – hosted by Star 94’s Tom Sullivan – with renowned chefs fromAtlanta and the Southeast, prepared to impart their cooking wisdom on everything from Southern food traditions, chocolate and America’s Best Burger.  For $25, patrons can enjoy a variety of hour-long lessons, both Saturday and Sunday, in an intimate theatre-style setting from master chefs who will offer cooking tips, suggestions and demonstrations.  (Only 50 spots available for each session!)

To purchase tickets, visit www.TasteofAtlanta.com.   The session menu includes:

SATURDAY OCTOBER 24, 2010

12:30PM – 1:30PM

  • French Cooking from the Lowcountry: Master French Chef Nico Romo, FISH (Charleston, S.C.)

Master French Chef Nico Romo will prepare and serve one of his most popular dishes from his restaurant, FISH. He will discuss the importance of sustainability and buying from local fisheries. Jodie Battles, general manager ofFish, will discuss the beverage and wine program and offer a wine pairing with the bouillabaisse sampling.

2PM – 3PM

  • Southern Food Traditions: A New Take on the Old South with Marie Nygren, Serenbe & Hugh Acheson, Empire State South & Five & 10

Enjoy Southern food at it’s finest as you learn about the South’s rich culinary history and traditions.

3:30PM – 4:30PM

  • Chocolate Academy with Taria Camerino, Highland Bakery

Join us for an exploration in single origin, small batch chocolate.  Learn flavor profiling and fun interesting facts while eating chocolate.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 25, 2010

12:30PM – 1:30PM

  • Joe Truex’s Louisiana Kitchen with Executive Chef Joe Truex, Watershed and John Kessler, Atlanta-Journal Constitution Dining Critic

Parish (“French Louisiana”) native Joe Truex will teach guests about the culinary traditions of his homeland, including its annual “cochon de lait” festival and charcuterie. He will also discuss his French Louisiana roots withAtlanta Journal-Constitution food writer John Kessler.

2PM –3PM

  • Israel: The Oldest Newest Wine Region of the World with Jose Yosef Vinas , Yarden Wines and Don Hacket of Sherlock’s

Enjoy wine tasting and Mediterranean nibbles such as baba ghanoush, pita bread and assorted olives from Gilbert’s as you learn about one of the oldest wine regions in the world.

3:30PM – 4:30PM

  • The Secret Behind America’s Best Burger with Executive Sous Chef Jason Paolini, Holeman & Finch Public House
    Since opening in 2008, Holeman & Finch Public House has received tremendous praise and acclaim, much of it focused on their ten o’clock burger.  The Food Network even named Holeman & Finch Public House’s burger “The Best in America.”  Getting your hands on one of these delicious treasures is not always easy to do since the pub only serves twenty four burgers a night – and only at ten o’clock.

Here’s your chance to learn how to replicate the delicious Holeman & Finch Public House 10 o’clock burger at home.