Everything You Need to Know About the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
Get ready to indulge.
The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival makes its return September 11 and 12. Here’s what to know ahead of the weekend.
This year, there are no classes being held at the Loews Hotel. “It’s literally for safety,” says Brett Friedman, founder of Agency 21, which now owns AF&WF. “It just didn’t seem smart to us, especially when we started planning this event nine months ago, to put 20-30 people in a ballroom.” The classes are a part of the festival’s identity, though, and the plan is to bring them back in 2022, says Friedman.
While festival-goers might miss the classes, they’ll be pleased to know that the tasting tents are very much a go. Located in Historic Fourth Ward Park, tickets to the tasting tents (which start at $99) include unlimited bites as well as wine, beer, and cocktails. Restaurants and eateries sharing tastes include Local Expedition Wood Fired Grill, El Tesoro, and Pie Bar.
There will also be chef demonstrations. “The major discernible difference between this year and previous years, is that we're actually going to be doing a cooking demonstration onsite,” says Friedman. “That’s brand new, and looking forward, that's probably an element we'll continue to do. And that will highlight local talents, the marquee chefs, actually like David Rhodes, who's on the Cooking Channel and has competed in numerous different throwdowns and competitions.”
Other chefs participating in the demonstrations include John Tesar from Knife in Dallas along with Alex Seidel and Justin Brunson. They’ll be doing an East-meets-West TexMex with a twist concept. Chefs Enrika Williams, Eddie Wright, and Brian Myrick are teaming up to give revelers a taste of Jackson, Mississippi. The full demonstration schedule can be found here (along with recipes that will be shared closer to the event).
Additionally, there’s a host of private brunches and dinners held at restaurants around town. “We are really focusing on doing the dinners and brunches at the restaurants to help drive continued business,” says Agency 21’s Lauren Melamed. “Even though obviously Atlanta is more open than other cities, the hospitality industry as a whole continues to be suffering. So it has been our mission to continue to drive business and support the restaurants that have been with us since the festival's inception.”
Private events include A Taste of España at Cooks & Soldiers in West Midtown with a menu that includes a lobster pintxo and vaca vieja ribeye. Or head to Twisted Soul on Sunday for Not Your Average Southern Supper with Deborah VanTrece. Tickets for these events range from $110 to $250.