Today, the Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio welcomes Dale DeSena, founder and president of Taste of Atlanta, which starts tomorrow in the city. Our hosts Bryan Nonni and Todd Schnick also spoke with Eric Zizka, executive chef of Oak Steakhouse.
Atlanta has a variety of fun activities to experience every weekend, and Taste of Atlanta has been one of the city’s most happening events for the past 14 years. Residents and visitors from around the city come out to taste delicious foods prepared by Atlanta’s top restaurants.
The event kicks off tomorrow night, Sept. 25 with 22 chefs descending on Tech Square to present food from 20 different restaurants. There will also be live music from Blair Crimmins and the Hookers and an all-chef band called Five Bone Rack. There promises to be something for everyone at the start of a super fun, food-filled weekend!
The main event begins on Saturday from noon until 7 p.m., and picks up on Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. This year, event attendees can enjoy four live cooking stages with culinary professionals offering up expert tips, live demonstrations and cooking classes at no additional charge for festival-goers.
Dale emphasizes how important it was for festival organizers to make sure that local restaurants and chefs were accessible to the event attendees and that they had the freedom to do what they wanted to. “We really followed the trends of food in our city and around the world in order to stay current and have our chefs give us topics and presentations that they want to give that showcases what they are doing in their restaurant,” said Dale. “We are also the only festival in town where the chef is there and you can rub elbows with them.”
With more than 90 Atlanta restaurants represented during the festival, attendees will sample the best in Atlanta restaurant cuisine. A few of this year’s demonstrations include Mary Moore of The Cooks Warehouse, who will be conducting a fried chicken class. Chef Patrick from Max’s Wine Dive will throw a Latke-Palooza, where he will put his own twist on traditional Latke potato pancakes and Chef Suzanne Vizethann from Buttermilk Kitchen demonstrating a delicious egg dish.
Eric Zizka, executive chef of Oak Steakhouse dropped in to discuss the restaurants involvement in Taste of Atlanta. The restaurant has multiple locations and when deciding to open an Atlanta location the owner really wanted a more contemporary spin on the traditional steakhouse. After such a warm reception from Atlantans, Oak Steakhouse wanted to show their appreciation to the city, Eric adds, “Indigo Road and Oak Steakhouse really enjoy doing anything we can to give back to the community. We really jumped at the chance to give thanks and show what we could do.”
Eric will be preparing three dishes for Taste of Atlanta, all three of the dishes are available at the restaurant in Alpharetta. The first dish is a spin on a Maine Lobster Roll, served with Old Bay potato chips. The second selection will be Big Eye Tuna served on a crispy Won Ton with slivered Jalapenos and Squid Ink Tobiko. The final dish is Beef Carpaccio, which will be seared and served on Crostini with Aioli and Microgreens.
As the dining experience becomes more popular and customers continue to expand their palate, Dale reminisces back to why she started Taste of Atlanta, she explains, “We really wanted to make sure that we were turning tasters into diners. We are going to have all kinds of people downtown tasting all of this restaurant quality food and it’s so great that they love what they do and I get to showcase what they do and bring them more success and more people to eat and love their food.”
One of the newest features being implemented at this year’s Taste of Atlanta is the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) wristbands. This year, instead of the book of coupons used to cash in for food samples, this new technology will allow festivalgoers to use points that will come pre-loaded to the band for their samples. Additionally, festivalgoers will have a chance to load additional points to their wristband from home, from their cell phone or from “taste banks” at the festival.
Taste of Atlanta will also partner with local charities, one of which is The Giving Kitchen, an organization that provides emergency assistance grants to Atlanta restaurant communities facing unanticipated hardship. Another local charity working with Taste of Atlanta this year is Bert’s Big Adventure, an organization that provides an all expense paid journey to Walt Disney World for children with chronic and terminal illnesses in their families.
Everyone in Atlanta is urged to get out and enjoy Taste of Atlanta this weekend! Tickets are still available for Taste of Atlanta, for additional information visit www.TasteofAtlanta.com, also visit their social media pages:
To find out more information about Oak Steakhouse visit www.OakSteakhouseAtlanta.com, also check out the restaurant’s social media pages:
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