Breaking Chews 6.10.23

James Beard Win for the ATL!

This week an Atlanta Chef (FINALLY!!) won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast, tantamount to a hometown hero winning the Oscar. Downtown Decatur's Chef Terry Koval of The Deer and The Dove picked up the hardware this past Monday in Chicago. He was one of 10 semifinalists from Atlanta and Georgia this year but emerged as the victor of the big prize. This is a massive deal for Atlanta which, in my opinion, regularly gets snubbed at The James Beard Awards despite the amazing talent in the city. If you haven't been to the Deer and The Dove, put it on your list for sure, it's an extraordinary place where Chef Koval serves up a constantly evolving menu of in-season vegetables, locally sourced beef and pork as well as game meat entrees, like rabbit, duck and gorgeous versions of venison preparation. Hopefully, this will break what has been a frustrating drought for our city with the James Beard folks.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is Back!

One of my favorite festivals of the year is back after its pandemic hiatus—the legendary Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival will return on Sunday, July 30th from 1 PM - 4 PM. The 12th annual event benefits Georgia Organics and will feature tomato-based tastings and beverages, live music, and a silent auction. Tickets are on sale now! Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival was one of Atlanta's best festivals and had become one of my favorite summer rituals until it was halted in 2020. Now, the Attack is back at its former home - Westside Provisions District. This year Georgia Organics takes over hosting duties from Chef Ford Fry and will spotlight the partnership between Georgia's organic farmers and the culinary teams who make local ingredients shine. Tickets are expected to sell out are on sale now at Killertomatofest.com. General admission tickets are $95 and include tomato-based tasting from dozens of the Southeast's top Chefs and Mixologists and music from The Spazmatics and Ford Fry's Chef Band! VIP tickets are $195 and include early festival entry and access to the private VIP Lounge with exclusive chefs & mixologists, specialty beer & wine, luxury restrooms, and a "swag bag" upon entry.

Big Moves

Other big news this week: with the closure of one iconic restaurant, Chef Hugh Acheson's Empire State South, we now know that another classic will move cross-town into the space: Lazy Betty, the renowned modern and inventive restaurant from Chef-Partners Ron Hsu and Aaron Phillips, is set to relocate to Atlanta's Midtown neighborhood later this year. The restaurant will welcome guests to enjoy the tasting menus and approachable ambiance and service style Lazy Betty has become known for since opening in 2019, plus a new bar menu offering smaller, a la carte dishes and drinks. While Lazy Betty's new space undergoes construction, the restaurant will continue to operate as usual in its Candler Park space. Over the last four years, Lazy Betty and its culinary team have received great acclaim. Most recently, Chefs Ron and Aaron were named 2023 James Beard Award semifinalists for Best Chef Southeast and 2023 StarChefs Restaurateur Rising Stars. In 2020, the restaurant was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. That same year, Atlanta Magazine named Lazy Betty "Best New Restaurant" (here) and Eater Atlanta awarded it "Restaurant of the Year" (here). It also was awarded three-star reviews from both The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (here) and Atlanta Magazine (here). Nationally, the restaurant has been covered by Travel Channel, Eater National, bon app├ętit, New York Times, HuffPost, Garden & Gun and more.

Reach Out

Let me know your favorite places to dine and dash off to. I am always looking for inspiration!

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