Straight From Chef: Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Secrets

We asked the superstar chefs involved in the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival to give us the inside scoop for enjoying the acclaimed foodie event to its fullest. Here’s what these gregarious gourmands had to say.

We asked the superstar chefs involved in the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival (May 29-31) to give us the inside scoop for enjoying the acclaimed foodie event to its fullest. Here’s what these gregarious gourmands had to say.

John Currence

City Grocery Restaurant Group, Oxford, Miss.

“If you want to watch animals in the wild, in their own environment, go to the lobby bar at the Loews and meet the guys whose food you like. It’s always fun to see the group that gathers there. It’s a really fun scene.”

Michael Gulotta

MoPho, New Orleans, La.

“Asha Gomez's class ‘Nourishing the Community.’ She [is] an ambassador [for moving] in a direction of sustainability and food-waste management. I am also excited about the ‘Malicious to Delicious’ segment—changing people’s notions about what can be great cuisine so that we can better manage our food supplies.” 

Linton Hopkins

Restaurant EugeneHoleman & FinchH&F Bread Co., Atlanta, Ga.

“Go to Empire State South and hang out at that bar, because that’s where a lot of the food professionals are going. The better festivals erase the wall between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ I think you’ll find the Southern chefs that are represented are not putting up airs, and we’re not going to hide in a hotel room or go to private after parties. That’s a cool aspect of it.”

Kevin Ouzts

The Spotted Trotter, Atlanta, Ga.

“I think the way people are utilizing fish and sustainable seafoods, to say it's a hot-button issue is an understatement. There has to be a social change and awareness about what we’re pulling from the ocean. People need to be dialed in as consumers, so any education we can give on that is crucial.”

Kevin Rathbun

Kevin Rathbun SteakRathbun'sKR SteakBar, Krog Bar, Atlanta, Ga.

“Early classes are the best for learning. You might see me sneak into the New Sustainable class. The Bugs & Chocolate class … [offers] a rare opportunity to step outside the box. Who knows? One day we all may be eating more bugs.”