Monday, June 6, 2011

Luisa's Trip to Atlanta, GA

My friend Amanda, who recently moved to Austin TX, won an online contest for tickets to the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. She knew her husband wouldn't really be into it so she invited ME (how awesome is that?!?!) Of course I accepted because I knew I'd probably never get a chance to go to an event like this for free again (well, not totally FREE - I had to cover airfare and hotel but still... great opportunity!)

Please enjoy the photos from our trip below :-)

Arrival: Thursday, May 19th

menu at Eleven, Loews Hotel.
we were tired from our flights and decided to just eat at the hotel restaurant in the lobby by the bar...

Amanda's blue iceberg: bacon, shropshire blue cheese, tomato green goddess dressing

My forest mushroom cappuccino soup, truffle foam, rosemary biscotti
the soup was awesome and very "truffley" - the biscotti, not so great. It was too sweet and wasn't fresh
My 1st fried pickle experience: cornmeal fried pickle with buttermilk green goddess. Yummy.
I have a jar of pickled green tomatoes that Dawn shipped to me that I will use instead of pickles so I can recreate this!
 Opening Reception: "Sugar" on the Loews Hotel Terrace 

interesting cocktails... not very season freindly and not my favorite flavors (sambuca, anise, bitters)

it was love at first sight... until we realized the cupcakes sucked

aren't they pretty though?

Friday, May 20
very first seminar of the trip: bomb ass charcuterie by Chef Kevin Ouzts of Spotted Trotter

Tete Pressee - Pressed Pigs Head with citrus pickled fennel fronds, Lamb Tongue Terrine - with a Mayhaw Salpicon and Fresh Peaches, finished with Lamb and Veal Glace - Georgia Sorghum and Black Pepper Salami - with D' avignon Radish Butter and confit shallots - Veal Bologna - Pepperoni - Shaved Southern Tasso, Spicy Rabbit Rillettes En Croute - with Rillons and Blueberry Caviar - Three Chilie Chicharrones
The Lee Brothers!

The boys about to prepare a fish and grits breakfast. We were lucky enough to later catch an elevator ride with just us and both of them... woo woo!
Connoisseur Lounge Opening Lunch
 Anthony Giglio & Julia Le Roy

Chicken Rilette with local pickled veggies
the pickled okra - which I have never had before - was my favorite part!
ummm, where's Todd English??? He was supposed to have been the chef for this lunch... WEAK!

live centerpiece on each table. cute!

The lunch menu

 Street Cart Pavillion

they served tasty lamb meatballs (too bad they were raw in the center!)

Lamb-Fennel Meatball, fresh Goat Cheese, Harissa

Alabama Tea Cake - coconut flavored

these cupcakes were sooooo good! beat out the ones they served at the reception hands down!

Connoisseur Dinner with Michele Bernstein!

very friendly "mixologist" serving some more funky cocktails
(poor thing had just spilled some all over his arm!)

there's my girl! and she's FRYING CHICKEN! I was so happy to see her :-)
so yeah, my plate is a HOT MESS but it was GOOD! I even ate the shrimp head.

Banana Pudding
Although a bit too sweet, I loved the addition of banana bread to it; soaked up the goodness!

Saturday, May 21 (it's my birthday!)

Sweet and Savory Spreadables with David Guas, Chef/Owner, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

bacon marmalade (I got the recipe from David, yay!), lemon curd and pepper jelly on mini buttermilk biscuits...mmmmm mmmmm!
"Hot Tamale" class with Chef John Currence.

Street Cart Pavillion revisted

I HAD to have the "Thelma" dulce de leche cupcake again!

super tasty jambalaya, smoked pork tenderlion, and catfish
(I would never buy catfish because they are bottom feeders and taste "muddy" to me but this one was pretty damn good!) 

Back to the hotel for JOHN BESH!

my latest chef crush (pitter patter)

after sharing shots in front of us with some of his peeps, he declared shots for everyone! avocado-tequila!

there were no bowls to sample his asian inspired shrimp bisque so everyone made due with whatever we could find - in my case, someones abandoned plastic cup from the tequila shot... it was delicious!

hawt schtuff... I was too shy to talk to him!
"Say Cheese Ya'll!" Seminar (last one of our trip)
with Tim Gaddis from Star Provisions,
Adam Spannaus from Blackberry Farm and a woman from Sequatchie Cove (can't remember her name).

1 -"Brebis", a soft ewe’s milk cheese, is produced earlier in the season and is similar to a Chevre. It has a rich and supple texture that is light on the palate. It is slightly tangy, yet well balanced.
2- Goat's milk cheese with ash, inspired by Humboldt Fog, called "Ellington"
3- Cow's milk cheese, washed with beer and rind pressed with crushed cocoa nibs, called "Chocolate Lab"
4- aged pecorino style cheese called "Singing Brooke"
5- Tallegio style cheese, soft ripened, called "Trefoil"
6- sheep's milk blue cheese (still premature but so good!) called "Blackberry"

My Birthday Dinner at Richard Blaise's Flip Burger Boutique

iceburg disc – bacon, tomato, blue cheese dressing ~ more fried pickles, yay!

and finally...San Francisco... home sweet home! :-)