In just its third year, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival has quickly blossomed into one of the premier events of its kind. That's not just a slick PR spin; it's a sentiment that was echoed by almost every chef we talked to at this year's blowout over a (mostly) steamy weekend in Midtown.
While fancy sit-down meals and over 100 hands-on instructional classes helped round out this year's agenda, three consecutive afternoons of Tasting Tents were far and away the major draw for hungry festival-goers, with culinary talent from 12 Southern states handing out samples of everything imaginable, along with a few noshes we'd never ever dreamed of.
With over 250 bites and beverages to choose from, we weren't able to taste everything, despite our best efforts. But strolling among the fifteen or so clearly defined "food trails," chatting with the region's best chefs and cooks, and engaging in that oh-so-Southern tradition of discreetly eavesdropping on your neighbor's conversations, we not only got a sense of where honest, classic Southern cuisine comes from, but where it's headed, too.
Click through the slideshow for a supersized sampling of what we saw, who we ran into, and the very best of what we ate at the 2013 Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.
About the Author: Todd Brock lives the glamorous life of a stay-at-home freelance writer in the suburbs of Atlanta. Besides being paid to eat cheeseburgers for AHT, pizzas for Slice, and desserts for Sweets, he's written and produced over 1,000 hours of television and penned Building Chicken Coops for Dummies. When he grows up, he wants to be either the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys or the drummer for The Gaslight Anthem. Or both.