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Don’t spill a drop: The second Waiters’ Race Atlanta is coming up

Normally, waiters and waitresses are judged on their skills by hungry diners who vote with measly or generous tips. 

But next month, they’ll be evaluated by a panel that includes a James Beard award-winning chef and prestigious food writers. 

The second Waiters’ Race Atlanta will take place at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta on July 15. The event is a a Southern version of the more than 100-year-old Parisian tradition, which is now hosted in more than 50 countries.

Participants will attempt to navigate obstacles while holding a loaded server’s tray in one hand without spilling its contents. At the end, they’ll be challenged to open and pour “a perfect glass of champagne,” a press release said. 

The winner will receive a round-trip ticket to Paris for two and a trophy to be housed in the restaurant where they work for the next year.

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Last year, the trophy was awarded to a waiter from Cafe Lily in Decatur.


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Judging the participants on speed, service and style this year will be TV host Lynn Smith, writer Carolyn O’Neil, TV and radio host Dana Barrett, beauty expert Nyssa Green, veteran dining critic Christiane Lauterbach and the executive chef at Cape Dutch Restaurant, Philippe Haddad.

The race, hosted by Le Bilboquet Atlanta, begins at 5 p.m. A summer block party with live entertainment, outdoor cocktail bars, food tasting stations, children’s games and a bocce court will be held before and after the race, beginning at 3 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m. 

Registration is $25 per waiter. Each participant should wear the uniform from their restaurant and will be given a race bib with an assigned race number.

The race is produced by nonprofit The Industry Fund; all proceeds will benefit the Giving Kitchen.


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