Well, the Atlanta Culinary Expo (ACE) came and went and didn’t disappoint Atlanta’s culinary world. The ACE was the anticipated gastronomical event on February 23rd for 2013, showcasing some of the city’s top chefs, new chefs, innovative chefs, eateries and markets with touches of style as it pertains to food. Although this year’s packed house was staged at the Georgia World Congress Center, it was surprisingly not a crowded affair with the addition of major sponsors Patrón Tequila, Ultimat Vodka, Pyrat Rum, Smartwater, the Georgia Beef Board, Lethal Rhythms Entertainment, Juniper Blu, and BJ’s Wholesale Club. Enchanted Events of Atlanta and Enchanted Blu Events, who are the organizers and hosts, seemed to know how to tap into their audience. Again, the event was to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation. So, if you attended the 2012 presentation, you knew what to expect; if this year was your first attendance, you didn’t leave disappointed.
Just like old times
I saw old friends for the second time that included Milton’s, Legal Seafoods, Thrive, and Baraonda Restaurants, Amusing Treats, and Cute Chicks Cooking, and that made me feel comfortable knowing they were in the house. Other newer offerings stood out because they had new twists on old favorites. Creative Vegan Ensembles, Frannie’s Gluten Free, Lee Chin Oriental Cooking Specialist, Chef Jax, Chef Eric B. West (Kulcha Club: Dining For A Cause), Crate It, Cake Café, Honeysuckle Southern Inspired Gelato, The Nerdy Chef (Kayla Saslow), The Great Cupcake Company, “Mad Love Cooking” Author Chef Joe, Executive Chef Kevin Davis (Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center), Chef Nicholas Walker (Cobb Galleria Centre), Chef Roshni Gurvani (Season 10 Winner: Hell’s Kitchen), Chef Kendra Robinson (Cooking For The Stars), “Taste Buds” Author Chef Rian Macdonald, and a so many others contributed to the success of the expo. I’m sure I missed somebody in this story so for a complete list and contact information for the chefs and eateries, go to the Enchanted Events of Atlanta website.
What’s trending now
There were new and old trends but several chefs leaned toward more lamb-based dishes. Of course there were cook-offs and how-to’s on the grand stage, and something new called “Fan Favorites”. The expo attendee’s could vote for their favorite chef or dish. This made the event well-rounded because there was the element of education that catered to adults and children as well. There were representatives from the Georgia Beef Board, and I got a chance to briefly ask them about the difference taste-wise between grass-fed beef and grain-fed. Accordingly, the conclusion was there was no real taste difference but the marbling of the cuts might be different in terms of leanness. If you have any questions or for more information, visit their website.
There was the featured cocktail designer Christopher "Kit" Lewis who handcrafted signature cocktails and provided a live mixology demonstration at the Patrón Tequila mixing lounge where guests had the opportunity to try each cocktail and pick up recipes to try at home.
All-in-all, this was an awesome, well-run and memorable event. If you know some people who have attended, you should have been with them because I’m sure they told you what you missed. Look forward to next year’s ACE but then again, check out the next Enchanted Event coming soon.
See more photos online http://thethirdsystem.tumblr.com/post/45051572336/atlanta-culinary-expo-2013 click on “READ MORE”