The fifth annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival served crowds of food-loving fans plenty of sought-after BBQ, fried chicken, pimento cheese and bourbon cocktails. But, the real delight is in the detail of fresh new ways of enjoying Southern taste traditions with a twist. Matt Bolus, chef at the 404 Kitchen in Nashville shared samples of his sweet and spicy whisky jam with bites of thinly sliced ham. Executive chef Tory McPhail of the historic Commander’s Palace restaurant in New Orleans revealed the secrets of making BBQ lamb, beef and pork belly fancy enough for a white tablecloth experience with an elegant presentation and a root beer extract glaze.
Slices of smoked duck ham from chef Steve McHugh of Cured restaurant in San Antonio, Texas, were topped with housemade raspberry mustard. Fluffy fried pork skin snacks called Pork Clouds from Atlanta-based Bacon’s Heir were presented in bold flavors such as habanero pepper. Andrea Upchurch, pastry chef of Cypress in Charleston, brought Orange Creamsicle Cake with mixed berries, and lemon curd.