“We wanted to feature a Southern city that’s known for great food and wine, and surely Atlanta has numerous food and wine festivals and beer festivals now,” said Susan Ungaro, the foundation’s president. “It’s certainly one of the top 10 cities in America with some of the best James Beard Award-winning chefs creating great cuisine there.”
Sept. 12, the tour will present A Night of Culinary Stars at the King Plow Event Gallery in west Midtown. Five top Atlanta chefs — including James Beard Award winner Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Buckhead — and a local master sommelier will serve up food and drinks at the cocktail and tasting reception, which will start at 6:30 p.m. At 8 p.m., guests will enjoy a four-course seated dinner hosted by Todd Annis of Bold American Events in west Midtown and created by James Beard Award winners Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia in west Midtown and Barbara Lynch of Barbara Lynch Gruppo in Boston.
Hopkins, a Buckhead native, said he will be serving up a crispy chicken and rice dish during the tasting reception.
“I’m going to do it Southern style,” he said.
Hopkins said Atlanta is developing a strong restaurant culture, making the city a good choice as a stop on this year’s tour.
“We’re just loaded right now with some amazing talent,” he said.
Hopkins said he hopes guests come away from the event with an appreciation of the foundation. A portion of the event’s proceeds will go to its Taste America Scholarship Fund for culinary students.
In addition to offering scholarships, the foundation puts on various programs throughout the year that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, chef advocacy training and an annual national conference. The group’s namesake, Beard, who died in 1985, was a cookbook author, culinary teacher and champion of American cuisine.
The Atlanta stop of the tour will also feature a series of free, in-store events at Sur la Table at North Point Mall in Alpharetta Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Quatrano and Lynch will host cooking demonstrations and book signings. High Road Craft Ice Cream and Sorbet in Marietta and The Spotted Trotter in Atlanta will provide special tastings.
Other stops on the tour are Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington.
If you go:
What: A Night of Culinary Stars
When: Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: King Plow Event Gallery, 887 W. Marietta St., west Midtown
Cost: Tickets start at $85