More Local Chefs Added to Music City Eats Roster and Featured at Atlanta Wine & Food Festival



For Bitesters who have not been fortunate enough to visit any of the various food festivals around the country, you may not realize how difficult it is to achieve a good balance between nationally-acclaimed personalities and local chef talent when organizers put together a roster of participants. Last week's announcement of the inaugural Music City Eats: Nashville Food, Wine & Spirits Festival included local favorites like Erik Anderson and Josh Habiger (The Catbird Seat); Carey Bringle (The Peg Leg Porker); Matt Farley (The Southern); Sarah Gavigan (Otaku South); Joseph Lenn (The Barn at Blackberry Farm); Pat Martin (Martin’s Bar-B-Que); Deb Paquette (Etch); Giovanni Pinato (Giovanni Ristorante); Barclay Stratton (Merchants); and Tandy Wilson (City House).

Organizers promised more local talent would be added, and they've already followed through by expanding the roster to include Philip Krajeck from Rolf & Daughters, Margot McCormack of Marché and Margot Café & Bar and Nick Pellegrino of Mangia Nashville. Even more additions are promised, but the mind already boggles at the thought of Nick Pellegrino mamboing with Chef Margot at the Flavors of Nashville event.

Before we feature our own chefs at Music City Eats, some of Nashville's finest will make their way south as guests at the third annual Atlanta Food and Wine Festival which runs from May 30-June 2. The schedule is jam-packed with seminars, chef dinners and a fabulous tasting tent, all of which feature at least a few Nashville chefs.

The Capitol Grille's Tyler Brown will be leading a seminar on Saturday, June 1, from 1 to 2 p.m. titled "CSA Box CPR" where he will teach attendees maximize the bounty of their box with some simple healthy recipes. At the same time (unfortunate scheduling dilemma), City House's Tandy Wilson will join Charleston's Matt and Ted Lee, Katie Button from Curate in North Carolina and Brandon Glamery from Florida as they discuss "What I Learned: Spain and Italy." Any one who has dined in any of these talented chefs' restaurants has benefited from the culinary souvenirs they brought back from their international travels.

On Sunday, June 2, Chris Carter and James Peisker of Porter Road Butcher will hold forth from 10 to 11 a.m. on the topic of the "Butcher Renaissance." They'll discuss "the growing renaissance of chefs becoming butchers and a rebirth of the local butcher shops that began disappearing after the development of mass refrigeration, as well as their commitment to locally sourced, pasture-raised animals and whole animal butchery."

Tyler Brown will also be cooking at the "About South" chefs' dinner on Saturday night at the Atlanta History Center, but the event has unfortunately already sold out. There are events on Thursday night and Sunday night that will feature multiple chefs, so there's still availability to taste some of your favorites and make some new ones.

Speaking of tasting, the Tasting Tents that the festival sets up in Midtown have quickly become one of my favorite places on earth to graze for a few hours. Among the scores of exhibitors setting up tables full of foods to snack on and wines and spirits to imbibe are many Middle Tennesseans. Pat Martin will be serving up barbecue to the masses, while Hal Holden-Bache (Lockeland Table) holds court in the seafood pavilion. The Porter Road boys are creating some special sandwiches to hand out in the "Southern Sandwiches" tent. Sweet treats are also well represented, with offerings from 1808 Grille, Goo Goo Clusters and Sweet 16th Bakery. Finally you can wash that all down with a nip of Belle Meade Bourbon or some Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream.

Tickets to the Tasting Tents run $100 for a one-day visit, or you can buy a full pass to the festival for $500 that includes admission to nine seminars, three days of tasting tents and the Pig Out: Tailgate Style event. As you can see, this puts the Music City Eats pricing pretty much in line with Atlanta and other similar festivals. When you consider that you receive three days of food, drink, information, entertainment and the chance to rub shoulders with so many of your favorite chefs in one place ,either festival (or both) is a splurge well worth considering.

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