Taste of Atlanta Offers Local Foodies VIP Experience

Taste of Atlanta Offers Local Foodies VIP Experience

A new format enhances tasting at all four venues, including Sandy Springs, Chamblee and Midtown.

A wide variety of beverages was served to complement the many restaurant offerings.
A wide variety of beverages was served to complement the many restaurant offerings.

Taste of Atlanta launched its 2022 season this summer with a new recipe for success — one that includes smaller, hyper-localized food and beverage events in popular neighborhoods throughout Atlanta, all for the price of an $85 VIP admission ticket. Events are planned throughout the summer and fall in Sandy Springs, Chamblee/Brookhaven and Midtown.

“We decided to make some changes to enhance the experience of our attendees. We will continue to highlight the best restaurants in Atlanta while making the events smaller and more intimate as we move forward,” said Dale Gordon DeSena, founder and president of Taste of Atlanta, Inc.

Founder and president of Taste of Atlanta, Inc., Dale Gordon DeSena.

“Also, in the past, different ticket levels provided a set amount of food tastings, but this year we have simplified the process and attendees will be able to sample delicious food from as many restaurants and beverage vendors as they’d like for one price. They won’t have to reach for their wallets again,” she added.

Now in its 21st year, Taste of Atlanta held its first 2022 event, Taste Around Town Alpharetta, in late July, under the large pavilion at Union Hill Park. The fun-filled kickoff featured 24 of Alpharetta’s best restaurants and chefs, including Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails, South Main Kitchen, Sankranti Restaurant, Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Bocado.

South Main Kitchen prepared their fresh Tomato Tartines, a favorite among attendees, onsite at the event.

More than 2,000 people attended the festive weekend event, which unfolded over two days and three sessions and featured interactive chef demonstrations and live music. The event was produced by Taste of Atlanta in partnership with the City of Alpharetta and Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

From mouth-watering tomato tartines to tantalizing spicy rubbed beef carpaccio, a plethora of food options satisfied the varied tastebuds of participants. Cocktails and alcohol-free beverages were just as plentiful, curated by a diverse array of vendors, including Tito’s, Tanqueray, Coke Zero Sugar, Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co. and IslandJon Vodka. “Best Taste” awards, voted on each night by attendees, went to Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar and Sankranti Restaurant.

BMW, the title sponsor for all four events, gave away insulated drink tumblers to attendees.

“We were thrilled to win the Taste Award,” said Kavitha Nimmagadda, owner of Sankranti Restaurant. “In fact, we were happily surprised since we did not know any awards would be given. This was our first time participating, and we appreciate the support and exposure we received. We have a very nice community and are honored by this recognition,” she added.

Up next for Taste of Atlanta is Food That Rocks, which will take place at City Springs later this summer, on Aug. 19 and 20, in partnership with the City of Sandy Springs and Visit Sandy Springs. Participating restaurants include The Select, NAM Kitchen, The General Muir, Tre Vele and Nowak’s.

Managing partners Derek and Lisa Dollar of Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails offered tasters their popular signature dish, spicy pastrami carpaccio.

Taste Around Chamblee will take place on Sept. 23 and 24, in partnership with the City of Chamblee and Discover DeKalb. Many Brookhaven, Chamblee and DeKalb restaurants will participate in the event, to be held at Chamblee’s new City Hall green space. The Grand Tasting, held one night only, will take place on Oct. 20 at Epicurean Atlanta hotel in midtown Atlanta and showcase many of the best Atlanta restaurants and chefs.

Since its inception, Taste of Atlanta has supported the local hospitality community, which has been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. DeSena stressed that these events help build greater awareness and support for the chefs, restaurants and staff who work tirelessly to provide patrons with memorable food and drink experiences. As part of the company’s mission, Taste of Atlanta created a Culinary Job Bank for participating restaurants and culinary partners to fill open positions with job-eligible candidates.

Owner Kevin John of IslandJon Vodka was busy all night, serving tropical drinks, as well as the label’s New Richey Reserve.

“When we talk with chefs and restaurants at this time, finding good employees is always at the top of their list of challenges. With an immense number of job opportunities available, Taste of Atlanta is committed to projects that inspire and encourage people to pursue meaningful careers in foodservice to help our restaurant communities be successful,” said DeSena.

The company also showcases local nonprofit groups during each event. At the Alpharetta tasting, the Giving Kitchen, North Fulton Community Charities and Second Helpings Atlanta were all highlighted, and ticketholders were invited to bring canned goods or make a financial contribution to these worthwhile organizations.

Taste of Atlanta has been recognized as one of Atlanta’s largest and best food and drink festivals, showcasing local culinary talent among established and new restaurants in communities in and around Atlanta.

Oprah Magazine named Taste of Atlanta a “Top Food Festival Worth the Trip,” while Creative Loafing called it the “Best Food Festival or Event” for six years running.

To find out more about the upcoming events or purchase tickets, please visit www.tasteofatlanta.com.

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