The 11th annual AF&WF is this monthRafterman Photography
So you’re thinking about attending the upcoming 11th annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival that’s taking place in just a few weeks—September 15 to 18th and you’re not sure where to start. Whether it’s your first food and wine festival experience or tenth, it always helps to have some insight on how to navigate a perfect food and drink-filled festival weekend.
Over the last 11 years, the festival has become the largest annual food & wine event in Atlanta, attracting visitors from all over the country, and now it’s one of the largest food & wine festivals in the south with more than 60 participating chefs. Plus it’s for a good cause as a portion of proceeds from ticket sales benefit Children of Conservation’s school lunch program, providing nutrient-dense meals for children in Africa.
If you’re traveling in from out of town, you’ve got to figure out where to stay. InterContinental Buckhead is the official hotel partner of the 11th annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Other local favorites include Hotel Clermont, Wylie Hotel, and Epicurean Atlanta.
Once you’ve got your room booked it’s time to decide your game plan for events. Parking may be a headache, and using rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft are recommended as it’s the responsible way to enjoy events where there will be so much free flowing wine and alcohol.
When it comes to dishes, you’re going to want to go in with an open mind and be willing to try anything. Southern cuisine continues to evolve, and this year’s festival features incredible talent who will be on a mission to shake up your taste buds with their innovative flavors. Also, you should definitely engage with the chefs throughout festival weekend since it’s a great way to meet the culinary, wine, and spirits communities around you—then you can support them post-festival.Here’s what an ideal itinerary for Atlanta Food & Wine might look like if you’re hoping to fully dive into the festival:
Chat with chefs in an intimate settingRafterman Photography Tuesday, September 13th
Start off early with a chef mashup at Talat Market with Parnass Savang and Lucas Sin (one of Food & Wine’s 2021 Best New Chefs), coming in from NYC. The two will meld their Thai and Chinese flavors for an epic feast of the senses. This 5-course dinner includes wine & cocktails. It starts at 7 p.M. And is $200 per person, inclusive of tax & gratuity.Thursday, September 15th
Grab tickets to Sliced from 7 to 10 p.M. At Guardian Works. This is a brand new event to formally kickoff festival weekend. Guests can enjoy all things “sliced” — think brisket and pie to pizza and french toast – any way you slice it. If you’re feeling a group, tasting-style event, this is for you. You’ll have access to unlimited bites and drinks from restaurants and chefs across the Southeast.
Or if you’re looking to head to one of several intimate dinners sponsored by Infiniti, an Atlanta Food & Wine Festival staple celebrating local restaurants, consider going to The Iberian Pig Buckhead’s dinner, hosted by executive chef Josue Pena alongside guest chefs Liron Eisenberg & Jon Sinecki of Nashville’s Dream Hotel. Tickets are $150 for the 5-course dinner including beverage pairings, tax and gratuity. The evening starts with a cocktail kickoff at 6:30 p.M.Friday, September 16th
Another brand new event for this year’s festival is, Cluck’d, which will take place from 7-10 p.M. At Guardian Works ($110 pp). Chicken lovers rejoice as this is a total chicken and cocktail soiree featuring all things chicken: roasted, battered, fried, barbecued, you name it. Cluck’d includes unlimited bites and drinks from restaurants across the southeast.
Or snag yourself a seat at A Night at The Americano with Chefs Scott Conant, Jernard Wells and David Rose, if you’re going for that intimate dinner vibe. The Americano is Scott Conant’s new restaurant at the InterContinental. Starting at 7 p.M., tickets are $195 per person and include wine pairings for the Italian fare by Jordan Winery.Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18th
Make your way to the Tasting Tents at Old Fourth Ward Park. Each day will host a slightly different line-up of chefs making it easy to do two days in a row if you’re really feeling it. This is the quintessential food and wine festival event as it features unlimited bites from new, classic, and favorite Atlanta restaurants alongside other hotspots across the southeast. It’s the perfect way to find new chefs and restaurants to add to your dining bucket list. There’s also plenty of wine, cocktails, and beer to help wash it all down.
Chef demos 2021Rafterman Photography
Interactive chef demos sponsored by Publix will give you a chance to learn tips and tricks from some of the best, while having another opportunity to try even more exciting dishes. These tents are open from 1 to 5 p.M. For VIPs and 2 to 5 p.M. For General Admission with tickets starting at just $99—and there’s the option for a weekend pass granting access both days for $158.
Check out the Festival’s website for tickets and more information and to see what discounted ticket packages may be available.