It's that time again!! It's time for the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival!!
Even though it seems as though there are new food festivals popping up in Atlanta all the time, the one that has been my #1 pick since it began three years ago, is the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival. Created as a fundraiser for Georgia Organics, this great event pairs some of the South's top chefs and mixologists with local farmers to celebrate the fruit, that, in my humble opinion, most epitomizes summer, the tomato.
Hosted by one of my favorite chefs, Ford Fry, in and around his West Midtown restaurant JCT Kitchen, this year's event will take place this Sunday, July 22, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can expect to rock out to the musical stylings of the Spazmatics and local chef band, 5 Bone Rack, as you sip and nibble your way through tomato utopia.
One of the best bites from last year was the "The Love Apple" created by Chef Christopher Neff from Sprig, a perfect cherry tomato stuffed with summer tomato salad and red snapper ceviche. It was bright and fun and tasted like summer at the beach. I had to slap my own hand to keep from popping about 15 of them in my mouth.
My top pick for drinks, The Pineapple Express, was created by one of the most talented mixologists in the city, Brian Stanger. The gorgeous tomatoes that he was given to work with were as tasty as they were beautiful. I'm lucky he let me try a slice, it had such a fantastic flavor. I wish I had been smart enough to save some seeds from it for my garden!
The above photos are just a few from last year's event. If you want to view the whole photo set, please feel free to do so here.
Most of the chefs are set up outside, and this is July in Atlanta, so dress accordingly and don't forget the sunscreen! For more information, check out the website. If you want to join me there, you can buy your ticket here. This year's line up has chefs coming in from as far away as Washington, DC, so you will not want to miss it!
Participating chefs include:
Jay Swift of 4th & Swift
David Larkworthy of 5 Seasons Brewing Company
Tyler Williams of Abattoir
Gerry Klaskala of Aria
Andy Carson and Carla Tomasko of Bacchanalia *Won “Best Tasting Dish” in 2011
Shaun Doty of Bantam & Biddy
Todd Ginsberg of Bocado
Carvel Grant Gould of Canoe
Tandy Wilson of City House (in Nashville, TN)
Ryan Smith of Empire State South
Whitney Otawka of Farm 255
Terry Koval of Farm Burger
Harper McClure of The Federalist (in Washington D.C.)
Cooper Miller of The Feed Store
Christopher Schmidt of Floataway Café
Ford Fry of JCT. Kitchen & Bar
Brent Banda of La Tavola Trattoria
Eric Ottensmeyer of Leon’s Full Service
Zeb Stevenson of Livingston Restaurant + Bar
Chris Hall of Local Three
Steven Satterfield of Miller Union
Donald Sargent of Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream *Won a “Special Mention” in 2011
Drew Belline of No. 246
Adam Evans of The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist
Andrew Smith of Ormsby’s
Nick Rutherford and Molly Gunn of The Porter
Hector Santiago of Pura Vida *Won “Best Presentation” in 2011
Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun’s, Kevin Rathbun Steak and Krog Bar
Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House *Won “Best Booth” in 2011
Ron Eyester of Rosebud and The Family Dog
Scott Serpas of Serpas True Food
Drew Van Leuvan of Seven Lamps
Jessica Hanners of Souper Jenny
Christopher Neff of Sprig
Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol *Won “People’s Choice for Best Tasting Dish” in 2011
Chris Marconi of West Egg Café
E.J. Hodgkinson of Woodfire Grill
Participating mixologists include:
Kevin Bragg of 4th& Swift
Ryan McLaughlin of Abattoir
Clay Webb of Bacchanalia
Kellie Thorn of Empire State South
Jarina Naone of Floataway Café
Jerry Slater and Callie Schlosser of H. Harper Station
Andy Minchow of Holeman & Finch Public House
Lara Creasy of JCT. Kitchen & Bar, No. 246 and The Optimist
Miles Macquarrie of Leon’s Full Service *Won “Best Tasting Cocktail” in 2011
Stuart White of Miller Union
Paul Calvert of Pura Vida *Won “People’s Choice for Best Tasting Cocktail” in 2011
Brian Stanger of Woodfire Grill