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As I write this, chefs from across the South are prepping to converge on Midtown Atlanta for the third annual Atlanta Food and Wine Festival and I can’t wait. The festival has been headquartered at the Loews Hotel and surrounding area since 2011 and will again play as a host to the event which celebrates food & spirits of the South.

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The festival has grown in attendance each year and is looking forward to welcoming 9,000 attendees for seminars, cooking demos, book signings, collaborative dinners, and my favorite – the tasting tents.

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At the tasting tents, you’ll find chefs from restaurants from DC to Texas, specialty food vendors, and wide array of spirits. This is the South, and there will be plenty of bourbon on hand. The ticket price is all-inclusive and there are no tickets to deal with. It’s a high end event and you won’t find vendors serving sliders & meatballs or lines to purchase beer or cocktails. Along with some of my favorite Atlanta restaurants, last year I enjoyed delicious crab beignets from New Orleans’ La Petite Grocery & a great bite from One Hot Mama’s of Hilton Head, SC.

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If I come up missing, you’ll probably be able to find me next to the French Broad Chocolates’ table or getting a sip of Georgia’s Richland Rum.

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Back at the Loews Hotel, the festival organizers along with their founder’s council have come up with a fun list of classes where participants can taste and learn about different aspects of Southern cuisine, fine wine, craft beer and spirits.

 

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A couple of classes that I have my eye on: Frontiers of Frying: A cooking demonstration of Southern fried foods with the Lee Brothers, Chefs Bryan Caswell, Asha Gomez & Todd Richards,  Shades of Shrimp with Andrea Reusing, Makin’ Bacon grilling demonstration with Ford Fry & Joe Schafer, and Women ‘shine with mixologist Arianne Fielder & craft spirit distiller Troy Ball. New this year, participants can purchase individual tickets to take in a class or two by booking directly on the AFWF website.

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Whichever route you choose, be prepared to have fun and have a good time. Remember to drink responsibly and call a cab or order up an Uber for a safe ride home. If you’d like to see more from last year’s festival, check out these recap posts from 2011 & 2012.

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ATLANTA FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

Loews Atlanta Hotel & Midtown Atlanta

May 30-June 2, 2013