Friday, January 02, 2015

Happy New Year & Thanks!

The beginning of a new year triggers introspection. It is very easy to get swept away by all the end-of-year madness, so it is important to pause and reflect on the good and bad aspects of the previous year to learn and grow from our mistakes and accomplishments, as we resolve to make 2015 an even better year by working together to promote Atlanta as the gateway to the Southern food experience.

The year of 2014 was a good one for the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society. We more than tripled our membership, participated in 23 members-only dining experiences, and received exclusive media passes to five premiere Atlanta food events. Our Twitter feed was named "Best Atlanta Food Tweeter" by Creative Loafing, and we were instrumental in bringing the nationally-renowned “TECHmunch” Food Blogger Conference to Atlanta, as well as well as the worldwide phenomenon, “Diner En Blanc.” Our members won a variety of awards for writing, cooking and recipe development. We had members featured in Best Self Atlanta and Jezebel magazines, interviewed on NPR, and highlighted on websites and television including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fox5 News, Thrillist, Eater Atlanta, Atlanta Eats and Huffington Post.

I'm incredibly grateful that we continue to thrive, despite the ever-changing and aggressive industry we represent. We initiated some powerful changes within the last year in an effort to enhance the visibility and credibility of our members, and to strengthen our core membership. To my immense relief and gratitude, those changes have resulted in a Society that is even more electric and resilient than ever before. We are now 42 members strong with an incredibly diverse readership and content scope.

Now, let’s be honest. We could not have achieved these pinnacles without your support and readership. We write our posts with you all in mind. We chronicle our experiences and opinions and share our recipes and stories in the hope that it will spark a chord with you; our audience. We thank each one of you for taking the time to read our member blogs, and we welcome your comments, questions, and feedback.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Atlanta Food Bloggers' Society - Best of 2014

The past year has provided our members many opportunities to experience the many varied offerings of the Atlanta food industry. This is a small sampling of the best of 2014:

  • Most Informative Excuse to Eat Cheese – Visiting Atlanta for the first time in 2014, the Parmigiano-Reggiano Academy is a traveling seminar featuring an intimate sensory analysis of Italy’s most well known cheese

  • Best Chicken and Waffle Combination (Tie) – Infusion Bistro’s “Red Velvet Waffle & Chicken” and Red Sky Tapas’ “Buffalo Chicken & Waffle

  • Freshest “Farm-to-Table” Dish  of 2014– Murphy’s “Tempura Fried, Stuffed Squash Blossoms” made with blossoms picked mere hours beforehand from a garden less than one mile away.

  • Most Dubious Event That Turned Out To Be Awesome – The Low-Lactose Creations Dinner with Chef Caitlin Steininger hosted by the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA) sounded like a sleeper, but was instead an educational and entertaining evening with surprisingly delicious food.

  • The Most Incredibly Crowded Food Festival With The Best NameAttack Of the Killer Tomatoes Festival held at the Goat Farm. Best advice: Get there EARLY!

  • Most Anticipated And Yet Overrated Food Festival – Atlanta Street Food Festival is a wonderful gathering of food trucks in Piedmont Park, yet the organizers need to improve the wristband system. Just saying.

  • Best Cocktail Concept As Performance Art – “Burning Down The House” at Sweet Auburn BBQ where a hickory log is torched until smoking and an Old-Fashioned glass is placed over the top to “smoke” the glass adding a unique flavor to the concoction.

  • Best Place To Avoid The Spinach Dip – While the lamb pops at the The Atlanta Improv are among the best in the city, their spinach dip is much less impressive.

  • Best Winning Cobbler Served With Artisanal Ice Cream (Argh!) – Kathleen Miliotis of Davio’s Atlanta with Denise Romeo of We Like to Cook! were the winners of the first High Road Craft "Cobbler Gobbler" with their Peppered Pineapple Cranberry Cobbler.

  • Blogger Dinner That Almost Became A Musical – 14 members of the AFBS sauntered from Publik Draft House to Baraonda Ristorante during a Progressive Dinner looking like the filming of a musical on Peachtree Street.

  • Best Conversations Revolving Around Food – The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival offers nearly 100 “classes,” many of which are discussion panels featuring truly fantastic dialogue on a variety of food-related topics.

  • Best Opportunity Eat Your Way Through Atlanta – Celebrating its 13th year, Taste of Atlanta presents samples from more than 90 of the top Atlanta restaurants and chefs.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

SUDIA Hosts Low-Lactose Creations Dinner

Several members of AFBS recently had the pleasure of attending the Low-Lactose Creations Dinner with Chef Caitlin Steininger hosted by The Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA), the National Dairy Council and Cabot Cheese. Because it is important for those with LI to include small amounts of lactose in their diets to maintain a healthy lifestyle, they teamed up with Caitlin Steininger, a trained chef and food personality with a unique and inspiring approach to food, to create a one-of-a-kind “pop-up restaurant” featuring nine original low-lactose appetizers, main courses and desserts to promote LI-friendly dishes using real dairy products. Fermented dairy products such as yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, crème fraîche, and marscapone are made using healthy bacteria to convert some or all of the lactose in milk into lactic acid. As a result, these dairy products are lower in lactose than fresh milk. Hard cheeses, too, are made only from milk protein and thus contain little or no lactose sugar.

More from AFBS member Shashi Charles of Runnin Srilankan

Monday, November 10, 2014

Society Thanksgiving e-Cookbook FREE Download

We are very excited to announce the publication of our first e-cookbook just in time for planning your Thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving is a special time for most families; a time for sharing customs and making memories. We would like to share a few of those recipes in the hopes that you will incorporate them into your Thanksgiving traditions.

Please feel free to download and share!


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Crafted 'Que at Smokebelly BBQ

This week the Atlanta Food Blogger Society had the pleasure of dining at the newly opened Smokebelly BBQ in Buckhead. Smokbelly was created by the group of Southern men who brought us Tin Lizzy’s, The Big Ketch, Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails, and even The Fur Bus. We had the pleasure of dining with one of the co-owners, Chris Hadermann, carefully selected our food for the best dining experience. The menu is a taste of the South as best described by them as “chef crafted ‘cue with soul warming fixings.” The space is rustic with modern touches. There are two large bars that flank the indoor dining and a stage off to one side for live music performances which take place every Thursday to Saturday.  There’s also a large patio for outdoor dining and enough TVs to watch the game from any angle.

Read more from AFBS member Jehan Powell of Jehan Can Cook