Monday, November 10, 2008

Les Dames Afternoon in the Country

Yesterday the boyfriend and I volunteered at the 8th Annual Afternoon in the Country, sponsored by the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d' Escoffier. Thanks to Holly Beach who managed all of the beverages at the event for including us in this awesome day!

Les Dames is an invitational organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality whose mission is education, advocacy and philanthropy. Proceeds from the event benefit the Atlanta Chapter's scholarship fund and the Georgia farming community.
This event was amazing, and I dare say it might be the best food event in Atlanta. All the best restaurants were there dishing up tasty bite sized morsels, and a huge variety of wine distributors were pouring samples, too. The boyfriend and I spent some time pouring wines for Hemisphere Wines. We were serving a wide variety of wines, from different varietals and regions. They included:
  • Familia Oliveda Cava Brut
  • Anton Bauer 'Gmork' Gruner Veltliner
  • Cesani Vernaccia di San Gimignano
  • Sur de los Andes Malbec
  • Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Barranc dels Closos Negre Priorat
My personal favorites were the Slingshot Cab and the Barranc dels Closos Negre Priorat, whcih was a granache blend from Spain. As for the other tables' wines, honestly I tried too many over the course of the day to accurately remember most of them, but suffice it to say we enjoyed our beverages mightily!
The event was held at Serenbe, which made for a beautiful setting on what was a perfect fall day. Two tents housed more than 80 chefs and wine distributors, and a bluegrass band kept things lively. In between helping out Hemisphere, the boyfriend and I had plenty of time for stuffing our faces and schmoozing chefs.

Not surprisingly all of my favorite restaurant were churning out delicious eats. Holeman and Finch's bbq sandwich was succulent with fantastically crunchy pickles. Shaun's bangers and mash was the boyfriend's favorite nibble of the day, and even better, we finally got to meet Shaun himself. After going ga-ga over his cooking for months, it was nice to put a face to the reputation. Check out his pic below!One of my favorite dishes of the day actually came from the yet-to-open Serpas, which will be at the Pavilion at Studioplex. They served up fried oysters with bacon and blue cheese that were so addictive they seemed to run out before everything else. Serpas will be in walking distance from my place, so I hope to make these a regular part of my diet once it opens in January!

My beloved JCT's veal meatball sandwich wasn't quite what I was hoping for, but as always, chef Ford Fry was charming and chatting everyone up. I'd never heard of Sun in My Belly before, but their chile braised oxtail with pomegranate seeds was good enough to inspire me to check it out sometime soon.
After we'd thoroughly stuffed ourselves with all the savory options, it was on to dessert. Canoe's apple crumb cake and Neo's paremsan cheese cakes were big hits with us (especially the boyfriend who snuck back to Neo's table more than once). Fritti's chocolate soup was a bit too much like drinking chocolate syrup, but heck, even that's not too bad! Although we didn't get to try them, we also admired the gorgeous cakes on display for the raffle, including a particularly cool bacon and eggs cake created by Cakes and Ale that looked like something out of the Simpson's.

You can't ask for much more than a lovely day spent enjoying the best of Atlanta's cuisine and a bevy of wines from around the world. I'd been dying to go to Serenbe for ages, and I was glad to see it was just as wholesome and cute as I'd imagined. At $95/ticket, this isn't cheap, but you definitely get your money's worth, so make this a must-go event for next year!



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