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Taste of Atlanta – Sweet Sixteen

Friday, October 20th, 2017

This is a special year as Taste of Atlanta celebrates 16 sweet years of turning ‘tasters into diners’ this October 20th, 21st and 22nd. Taste of Atlanta’s three-day event will take place for its first time in a new location, Historic Fourth Ward Park in Old Fourth Ward. Each day of the event is an opportunity for tasters and chefs to come together and bond over the unique flavors of each Atlanta neighborhood.

Taste of Atlanta 2017

Over 100 Atlanta restaurants participate in Taste of Atlanta and represent the growing culinary landscape of the city. Newcomer restaurants participating this year include Hattie B’s, Le Bilboquet, Hampton + Hudson, The Halal Guys, Bezoria, 4Rivers Atlanta, and Better Half.

Like many restaurants, Taste of Atlanta continues to support Atlanta’s non-profit community. Taste has joined together to support The Giving Kitchen, Second Helpings Atlanta, Cooking Matters, American Culinary Federation (Greater Atlanta Chapter), Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia and Georgia Organics.

Taste of Atlanta is kicking off this year with a Sweet 16 party theme to commemorate its anniversary of bringing the community together over its love for food. This will include a variety of Atlantan dessert favorites such as High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet and Sprinkles Cupcakes. This all-inclusive party offers an over-the-top theme and an unlimited variety of desserts will help set the scene for the main event.

The past few years, Taste of Atlanta restaurants have achieved efficient visits and purchases using the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology making the festival completely cashless. This technology is an advantage to Taste of Atlanta participating restaurants since it allows for communication after the festival. This year, restaurants can get into the transition of turning ‘tasters into diners’ by sending out specials and promotions to participating guests.

For more information and a full list of participating restaurants, visit or email


Himitsu alumnus Ben Yabrow takes head bartender job at The Regent Cocktail Club

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Ben Yabrow, who recently led the beverage program at Buckhead speakeasy Himitsu under mixology master Shingo Gokan, is now bringing his expertise to The Regent.

“Our focus is what’s in the glass,” says Yabrow. “For our guests, The Regent is a place where they are introduced to something new in a relaxed environment with a knowledgeable staff.”

Guest favorites on the anniversary cocktail menu include the Black Dahlia, made with Tito’s Homemade Vodka, elderflower, blackberry and lemon; a Sazerac blending rye whiskey, cognac, demerara, absinthe and bitters; the Junglebird shaken with rum, Campari, pineapple and lime; and the Pineapple concocted with elyx, pineapple Montenegro, allspice and orgeat.

Yabrow and his staff like to ask first-time guests about their spirits and taste preferences to serve each guest the perfect cocktail. “It’s important to tailor drinks to each guest’s liking,” says Yabrow. “Once we have an idea of what they’re looking for, we focus on creating the right balance of flavors with an array of spirits and fresh ingredients.”

The Regent’s guests enjoy a bar menu created by executive chef John Adamson. Bar bites include tuna poke with avocado, radishes and pine nuts; honey Sriracha wings; and Wagyu beef sliders with beer cheese.

In 2012, LDV Hospitality launched the first Regent Cocktail Club in Miami Beach at the boutique Gale Hotel. In 2013, The Regent was recognized as one of the Top Ten Hotel Bars in the World at the ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ Awards in New Orleans. In the summer of 2015, LDV opened its second outpost in the Hamptons at the Gurney’s Resort and Spa in Montauk. The Regent Cocktail Club joined Atlanta’s cocktail scene on the third level of American Cut in 2016.


Atlanta Les Dames d’Escoffier International Celebrates 17th Annual Afternoon in the Country on November 5th

Friday, October 20th, 2017

On November 5, Atlanta Les Dames d’Escoffier International will host a food and wine tasting event – Afternoon in the Country at Fox Hall Resort & Sporting in Douglasville, Georgia.

Attendees will enjoy more than 115 tasting stations from Atlanta’s finest chefs, paired with the area’s best farms, along with fine wines and premium micro-brews. These stations will be set up under tents, surrounded by the Chattahoochee River, beautiful lakes and long-range countryside vistas at the Foxhall Resort & Sporting Club. Additional entertainment includes live music by Theresa Hightower andher jazz band, a cake raffle andan extensive silent auction.

Proceeds from Afternoon in the Country benefit LDEI|ATL’s scholarship and grant programs which support Georgia women in the culinary, beverage and hospitality arts. The event also supports local non-profit organizations.

For more information on Atlanta Les Dames d’Escoffier International or the chapter’s signature event, Afternoon in the Country, visit


Solís Two Porsche Drive gears up to open Apron and Overdrive

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Solís Two Porsche Drive is excited to announce two food and beverage destinations to debut upon the hotel’s opening in November 2017. In addition to 24-hour-in-room dining service, the hotel offers Apron, a full-service restaurant and bar, and Overdrive Lounge, a rooftop bar with hand-crafted cocktails.

Executive chef Derrick Green will run the kitchen at Apron. With 15 years of experience at luxury hotels across the southeastern United States, Green plans to feature a blend of Greek, North African, French, Portuguese and Spanish influences on the restaurant’s dinner menu.

The restaurant, located on the lobby level of the new hotel, will present an inspired take on regional Mediterranean cuisine, including locally sourced produce, aged meats and house made pastas, partnered with wine and beer pairings sourced from across the globe. Chef Green’s signature dishes will include favorites like piri-piri prawns with house made potato gnocchi, grilled okra and Pomodoro; octopus terrinewith Marcona almonds, boquerones, pickled Fresnos, marinated olives, Meyer lemon, Espelette and Romesco; grilled branzino with charred lemon, Piquillo and red onion pepperonata, crispy capers and patatas bravas; and harissa-rubbed striped bass with smoked eggplant mousse, fennel pickle, marinated baby heirloom tomatoes and Chermoula sauce.

Centered around a spacious bar area, Apron will serve a variety of cocktails, wines and local craft beers. Guests in search of an outdoor dining experience will have a front row seat to the action of the Porsche Experience Center and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Smaller groups will be also able to book reservations in Apron’s semi-private dining space enclosed by suspended wine racks.

Also coming soon to Solís Two Porsche Drive, Overdrive Lounge will offer a rooftop experience. In the lounge, experienced mixologists will prepare signature cocktails. Guests of the eighth-floor lounge will also be privy to tableside service and chef Green’s constructed tapas, shared plates and flights of sliders and beverages.

Following in the footsteps of existing Solís Hotels and Resorts destinations in China and Ireland, the forthcoming hotel will showcase 28 suites and 185 guest rooms fitted with contemporary, sports car-inspired décor.

Solis Two Porsche Drive is owned by ACRON AG, a Swiss-based company, vis a vis its United States affiliate, ACRON (USA) LP, in conjunction with development partner Castleton Holdings LLC. Bruce Bradley, owner of Washington, D.C.-based Castleton Holdings, and Atlanta-based developer Scott Condra have overseen the development of the hotel project under their Castleton-Condra LLC


Bulla Gastrobar – a Spanish tapas bar and restaurant – opened in Midtown Atlanta

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Bulla Gastrobar’s first Atlanta location, in the 12th & Midtown mixed-use development along Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta, opened for business in September. Known for its atmosphere, cocktail program and contemporary takes on traditional Spanish tapas, Bulla (pronounced “boo-ya”) is owned by Centurion Restaurant Group and has three South Florida locations.

Additionally, Centurion Restaurant Group runs Pisco y Nazca at The Palms at Town & Country plaza in Kendall and Pisco y Nazca located in The Shops at Downtown Doral with plans of expanding both brands further in Florida and throughout the United States.

“We’re very excited to bring Bulla to Atlanta,” says Centurion Restaurant Group founder and president Carlos Centurion. “This is a world-class city for food lovers, with some of the finest restaurants anywhere. We believe our emphasis on authentic, shareable Spanish cuisine in a communal setting will make Bulla a perfect addition to Atlanta’s culinary landscape.”

Bulla takes its name for the Spanish slang term for “chatter,” which encapsulates the restaurant’s atmosphere. Like the famous gastrobars of Spain that inspire it, Bulla balances a fun, easygoing environment with creative cuisine that applies contemporary innovations to traditional Spanish tapas.

The menu includes both small plates and larger signature entrées. Highlights include paella (Valencia-style rice, seafood, red sofrito and saffron), braised short ribs (with tetilla cheese, potato foam, cipollini onions and red wine sauce) and salmón (with baby spinach, chickpeas and lemon cream). In addition to a monthly Market Menu that showcases a rotating selection of five to six dishes, desserts and a cocktail of the month, Bulla also offers guests a three-course tasting weekend brunch menu featuring $3 mimosas on Saturday and Sunday.

The drink menu includes handcrafted cocktails with syrups made from scratch, top-shelf beer and wine selections and three made-to-order sangrias – traditional, sangría blanca, and sangría de cerveza.

The space is an urban loft vibe inspired by the tapas bars of Barcelona and a traditional Spanish marketplace. A large gather-around bar sits center stage, establishing a community atmosphere, and there is a second-floor event space for parties and company dinners.


Lane Hart Named Executive Chef at Johnny’s Hideaway

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Lane Hart was named the new executive chef at  Johnny’s Hideaway, the dance club located in Buckhead.

Most recently the executive chef at Norman’s Landing for four years, Lane was guided by his mentor, Bill Norman. Prior to that, he served as a corporate trainer and lead line cook for Tony Roma’s. Lane is a graduate of the Lincoln Culinary School in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Several of the new dishes are available now as specials and include “Mini Mac” sliders, shrimp po’ boys and racks of perfectly seasoned and sauced ribs. “I hope people will also save room for our fried Oreos,” Hart adds.

A true love of food is what brought Hart into the restaurant industry. “One of my favorite memories will always be of my grandmother cooking up bacon, eggs and grilled potatoes. Simple food prepared well never goes out of style. I plan to apply that same sensibility at Johnny’s,” he says.


Fifth Group Restaurants Names Andrew Peterson Executive Chef at La Tavola Trattoria

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

The Fifth Group, the Atlanta hospitality company behind restaurant concepts South City Kitchen, La Tavola Trattoria, Ecco, The Original El Taco, Alma Cocina and Lure, in addition to full-service events company Bold Catering & Design, announced the appointment of Andrew Peterson as executive chef of La Tavola.

Andrew PetersonPeterson brings a diverse culinary background and a keen understanding of Italian food to his new role, having kicked off his career at notable Charleston institutions Blossom and Trattoria Lucca. In 2013, he relocated to Georgia as chef de partie at Sea Island Resort’s Tavola, where he further sharpened his Italian culinary craft. In late 2014, Peterson moved to Atlanta to help open Colletta with the Indigo Road Restaurant Group, and following a successful turn there transitioned to La Tavola, where he now leads the kitchen as executive chef.

“Italian food has always been my passion, so coming to La Tavola was an incredibly natural fit for me,” said Peterson. “I’m thrilled to continue my career as part of the Fifth Group family and can’t wait to collaborate with the team to put my spin on the restaurant’s beloved menu.”

In his new role, Peterson will lead the La Tavola team in the continued execution of menu favorites, including the restaurant’s signature house made pasta program, and developing  seasonal additions, special event menus and more.


Bantam + Biddy Expands to Chattanooga

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Atlanta-based Bantam + Biddy, the casual, family-friendly eatery from chef-restaurateurs Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere, will open its next location in Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, at 728 Market Street this fall. The restaurant, whose name refers to two poultry breed sizes, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and will also offer a full espresso bar along with alcoholic beverages. Bantam + Biddy is the first restaurant planned for the Market City Centerproperty opening in mid-September from developer Boyd Simpson of The Simpson Organization.

“We are thrilled about becoming part of the growth that Downtown Chattanooga is experiencing and supporting the local entrepreneurial culture in the city’s Innovation District,” says Bantam + Biddy co-owner and executive chef Shaun Doty. “Our restaurants are very entrenched in the neighborhoods where they are located, so the true sense of community in Chattanooga really spoke to us. We look forward to providing Southern favorites made with seasonal, local ingredients that guests can feel good about eating.”

Doty’s extensive culinary expertise in Atlanta (The Federal, YEAH! Burger, Shaun’s, MidCity Cuisine, Mumbo Jumbo) is the driving force behind Bantam + Biddy’s affordable menu of local free-range and pastured chicken and Southern diner-inspired dishes. Although his career has spanned the globe, he is most passionate about creating simply prepared contemporary fare.

Lunch and dinner selections at Bantam & Biddy include a “meat-and-two” option, as well as chicken-centric entrées, salads and sandwiches. Breakfast brings build-your-own biscuits, fried chicken and cheddar waffles and pastured three-egg omelets and burritos. There is also a  carry-out counter for grabbing a high-quality meal on the go, including the “Family Meal” (choice of whole rotisserie chicken, meatloaf or 24-ounce herb-roasted pork loin with a family-sized organic green salad, cornbread, choice of dressing, three sides and a half-gallon of freshly brewed tea) that serves three to five people for under $50.

The new Chattanooga restaurant, designed by Tim Nichols, is going to seat 62 guests indoors and an additional 18 in the building’s air-conditioned atrium. Nichols’ decor features classic wood bead board, bright ceramic tile and rich pecan wood for a charming and casual atmosphere within Market City Center’s retail, office and residential community.

Recently dubbed one of the nation’s most startup-friendly cities by, Chattanooga was a natural fit for Doty and his team. The restaurant’s location is part of the city’s Innovation District, a vibrant and walkable area containing Chattanooga’s main downtown public spaces and a host of coffee shops and eateries linked by attractive streets, a bike share program and a free downtown electric shuttle. Anchoring this district is the Edney Innovation Center, which serves as a connecting point, support base and catalyst for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Bantam + Biddy will be a great addition to City Center and to the Innovation District,” says Kim White, president and CEO of River City Company, the economic development engine for Downtown Chattanooga. “Downtown Chattanooga has long enjoyed excellent restaurants and exceptional chefs, and we are excited to add another eatery to that list.”

Bantam + Biddy is located at 728 Market Street in Chattanooga. The restaurant also has three Atlanta-area locations at Ansley Mall, Avalon and Lenox.


Taste of Atlanta Showcases Three Stages

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Tickets are going fast for the 16th annual Taste of Atlanta Presented by Capital One debuting Oct. 20-22 in its new permanent home in the city’s Historic Fourth Ward Park, adjacent to the Beltline. Organizers of Atlanta’s fall food festival are busy behind the scenes whipping up special chef appearances, dynamic demos, barcraft competitions and a Friday night kickoff party – not to mention craft beer, cocktails and wines with creations from more than 90 of Atlanta’s favorite restaurants.

Attendees will be at the center of the action with three interactive stages running complimentary demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday. At the Chef’s Table stage hosted by Tom Sullivan, food fans can learn tips and techniques and enjoy tastes and sips from some of Atlanta’s favorite chefs from Establishment, 1Kept, and DaVinci’s, along with local Food Network Star finalist Rusty Hamlin and more. The audience will also be energized and entertained by a local DJ providing lively music.

At the Sprouts Farmers Market Home Plate stage, all ages will be inspired to tie on an apron, gather around the kitchen counter and get cooking as locally and nationally celebrated chefs demonstrate home-cooked favorites with the freshest local ingredients on the spot. Featured guests of the Home Plate stage include chefs from Open Hand Atlanta, the Georgia Peanut Commission, Sprouts and Andretti Grill.

The Kitchen Workshop stage will offer 20 hands-on kitchen stations. Each cooking experience, sponsored in part by The Cook’s Warehouse and led by some of the city’s most talented chefs, will be hosted by TV and radio personality Holly Firfer. Featured chefs include local favorites from 5Church, RA Sushi, Davio’s and more.

Those wanting to shake up a more sip-able craft cocktail learning experience will want to check out the weekend-long Ninth Annual Barcraft Competition sponsored by George Dickel. Winners of this September’s quarterfinal competition will gather on Saturday and Sunday with cocktail shakers in hand for the exciting semifinal and final competitions featuring some of the city’s most cutting-edge beverage tastemakers doing the judging and Greg Best as the emcee.

Taste of Atlanta is celebrating its Sweet 16th year with more than 200 nibbles, sips and samples from the city’s favorite neighborhood hotspots alongside today’s most creative restaurants. Local favorites and exciting newcomers participating this year include Hattie B’s, Le Bilboquet, Hampton + Hudson, The Halal Guys, Bezoria and Better Half.

In addition to Saturday and Sunday General Admission food adventures filled with soul-satisfying samples, festivalgoers can upgrade to the Grand Tasting Experience, which includes 20 Taste Points and access to exclusive bites and beverages. This popular option sells out every year, so tasters are encouraged to purchase their tickets early. Hometown chefs Jonathan and Justin Fox of Fox Bros. BBQ are looking forward to hosting Friday night’s Sweet 16 Kick-Off Party sponsored by Cheney Brothers, and chef demonstrations, interactive panel conversations, music and more round out the schedule for a weekend full of food and fun.

In addition to Saturday and Sunday General Admission food adventures filled with soul-satisfying samples, festivalgoers can upgrade to the Grand Tasting Experience, which includes 20 Taste Points and access to exclusive bites and beverages. This popular option sells out every year, so tasters are encouraged to purchase their tickets early. Hometown chefs Jonathan and Justin Fox of Fox Bros. BBQ are looking forward to hosting Friday night’s Sweet 16 Kick-Off Party sponsored by Cheney Brothers. Guests will dance, drink and dine the night away with bites from more than 20 of Atlanta’s favorite chefs and restaurants, delicious drinks and lively music.

Attendees are encouraged to ride their bikes to the festival and park at the Emory Midtown Hospital Bike Valet.


The Giving Kitchen – Hurricane Irma Emergency Assistance Fund

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Hurricane Irma has left a mark on Georgia and our restaurant community. There are countless lives impacted and a pressing need to get support out to those facing financial crises due to the storm. Restaurant workers near and far are grappling with Irma’s aftermath.

Restaurant workers are often among those hit hardest by natural disasters – both in sheer number (since the hospitality industry employs so many) and in severity of impact – and The Giving Kitchen provides disaster relief for Atlanta metro area restaurant workers facing a financial crisis due to flood, fire, or wind damage. Their Crisis Grant coverage area spans 40 counties surrounding Atlanta.

Due to the size and nature of Irma’s path through the state, The Giving Kitchen has launched an additional relief effort – the Hurricane Irma Emergency Assistance Fund. This new effort expands their coverage to the entire state of Georgia, including aid specifically for workers in the mandatory evacuation zone that spans the entire Georgia coast – and the 1000+ restaurants that serve the area. Grants for those who qualify will provide $500 to help them through this challenging time.

Full details on this new grant program are available at

The Giving Kitchen asks your support in all of the following ways

– If you are in need, please APPLY NOW

– If you know a restaurant worker in need, please share this information or SUBMIT A REFERRAL

– If you would like to support this emergency assistance fund, please DONATE NOW

– If you would like to help raise funds, please email


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