/PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta Food & Wine Festival (AF&WF) tickets are now on sale for the upcoming Southern epicurean showcase, set to take place in Atlanta on May 19-22, 2011. Founders Dominique Love and Elizabeth Feichter, together with a council of 60 top chefs, sommeliers and tastemakers from 13 states in the region will celebrate the rich food and drink traditions of the South, highlighting culinary personalities ranging from barbecue pit masters and bourbon distillers to local farmers and award-winning chefs such as chef John Besh from Restaurant August in New Orleans and Tim Love from The Lonesome Dove in Fort Worth, TX.
"Guests can sip, savor and learn about Southern food and drink culture from the most talented industry leaders south of the Mason-Dixon," says Feichter. "Not only will the Atlanta Food &Wine Festival honor the region's diverse heritage, but we are proud to share the new and emerging flavors and traditions that make the South simply the most dynamic culinary region in the U.S.," added Love.
The AF&WF will feature more than 200 activities over four days, including tasting tents, seminars, chef demonstrations, theme dinners and special events featuring whole animal roasts, regional craft beer tastings, a variety of Southern barbecue, and fine wines and cocktails from some of the country's top talents. All activities are connected to the festival's three themes: old traditions, new traditions, and imports and inspirations (aka "other Southern").
A sampling of festival events includes: Traditional Southern Supper with Matt Lee & Ted Lee at Miller Union; White Lightnin'— The Story of 'Shine from Distilling Legend and NASCAR Superstar Junior Johnson ; Dry v. Wet Grill Off with Kevin and Kent Rathbun ; Farmer Hall of Fame gala to recognize outstanding regional growers, and a variety of Southern 101 seminars exploring topics from the highly politicized street cart movement to the future of dining in the South. Kevin Gillespie of Atlanta's Woodfire Grill and a Top Chef alum will be curating a special Whole Pig Tent, in which festival-goers will be able to learn roasting techniques and sample all things pork.
The Festival will also boast a number of wine and spirits tastings, featuring products from the region and from other Southern regions around the globe, such as Southern Europe, South Africa, South America and Australia. Beverage seminars include tastings of Chateauneuf-du-Pape by Marc Perrin and a reserve bourbon tasting with Julian Van Winkle of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillers. In addition, Van Winkle will be curating the Festival's landmark Bourbon Tent, which will feature top bourbons from throughout the South.
To ensure that authentic Southern food and traditions are represented, Love and Feichter have created the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Founders Council, a committee of some of the South's best culinary talent, including such notable chefs John Currence from City Grocery in Oxford, MS; Michael Paley from Proof on Main in Louisville, KY; Sean Brock from McCrady's in Charleston, SC; Hugh Acheson from Five & Ten in Athens, GA; and Frank Stitt from Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, AL.
In addition, Southern chef stalwarts, such as Christopher and Idie Hastings from Hot &Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, AL , Kevin Maxey from Craft in Atlanta, GA; Pano Karatassos Jr. from Buckhead Life Restaurant Group in Atlanta, GA; Andrea Reusing from Lantern in Chapel Hill, NC; Kelly English from Restaurant Iris in Memphis, TN; and Duane Nutter from One Flew South in Atlanta, GA, are all part of the Festival's prestigious Founder's Council, the goal of which is to create authentic and compelling experiences for all Festival guests.
Tickets for the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival are now on sale and range from $75 for select tastings and events to the $2500 Connoisseur Package, which includes access to the exclusive Connoisseur Track, Connoisseur Lounge and Events, Opening Reception, Tasting Tents, and even early access to all seminars and demos. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com and follow us on Facebook.com/AtlantaFoodandWineFestival and Twitter.com/ATLFoodandWine.
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