Thursday, February 26, 2015

A beer dinner at Food 101? Hell yeah!

A sneak peek of the 3rd course, the Braised Short Rib with Red Wine Reduction. I salivated when I took this shot!
Yes! I’m hosting another beer dinner March 5th and it looks awesome!

Cheers Beer Lovers!

Not only am I a proud gourmand, but I when I pair it with some of the world’s best beers that complement gourmet fare, it results in an unforgettable dining experience. Having hosted beer dinners in the past including the last one with SaltYard here and ongoing Girl Scout Cookie pairing with Hop City and ScoutMob that sold out here, my next one at Sandy Springs’ award-winning Food 101 is going to be pretty damn awesome on Thursday, March 5th!
My first session during the Girl Scout Cookie Pairing last Monday.
I came up with the theme of season hopping, meaning we will include some hearty dishes to keep us warm during the winter while simultaneously ushering the blossoming vibe of the spring. Hence, the name “Season Hopping.” (Did you catch the “hop” reference too?) Besides the sneak peek at the Short Rib course above, here is the full menu below and a description brilliantly written by Green Olive’s Henri Hollis. Please book a seat here and come through. Along with eating and drinking in bliss, there will certainly be some other surprises in store (like I usually do). Shout out to the very talented Executive Chef Justin Keith and Sous Chef Cooper Sweat who plan on putting permanent smiles on your faces!
Thanks in advance for booking your reservation. For a mere $50 for five courses, you can’t lose! (Come on, poutine?!) 
Keep in mind that any dietary restrictions will be catered to if you call ahead. 404.497.9700


Food 101 Sends The Cold Back North With “Season Hopping” Beer Dinner
Atlanta’s favorite southern eatery is partnering with Ale Sharpton to squeeze the last few drops out of winter and celebrate the coming spring with a menu and beverages inspired by the seasons’ transitions 

In the South, indulging in decadent food is one of winter’s only redeeming qualities. However, with the dawn of spring around the corner, green creeps back into the landscape and our diets. On Thursday, March 5, Executive Chef Justin Keith, Sous Chef Cooper Sweat and Atlanta’s favorite beer critic Ale Sharpton will team up to create a dining experience that perfectly captures this moment on the Southern calendar. The four course dinner (with an amuse bouche to start) includes the best of both worlds – a little of the decadence of winter, along with a bit of the lightness and excitement of spring. Each course will be paired with a brew handpicked by Ale Sharpton to perfectly complement both the season and the dish.

Amuse Bouche
Beer Battered Apple / Black Pepper Goat Cheese Whip / Hard Cider Reduction
Beer Pairing: Dupont Pommeau de Normandie

1st Course - Fish
Pan Seared Halibut / Vegetable Risotto / Stewed Tomato Coulis / Herb Oil
Beer Pairing: Westbrook White Thai

2nd Course - Intermezzo of "Southern Poutine"
Hand Cut Fries / BBQ Gravy / 101 Pimento Cheese / Poached Farm Egg
Beer Pairing: Three Taverns Prince of Pilsen

3rd Course - Deconstructed Boeuf Bourguignon
Braised Short Rib / Carrot / Turnip / Mushroom / Potato / Red Wine Reduction / Fried Sage Leaves
Beer Pairing: Monday Night Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale

4th Course - Sweets
Bacon Hushpuppies / Powdered Sugar / Stout Anglaise
Beer Pairing: Burnt Hickory Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout

Reservations will sell out quickly as space is limited, with tickets available at here for $50 apiece (excluding tax and gratuity). Each ticket includes the full dinner with five pairings, all of which will be served in Food 101’s private dining room beginning at 7:30 p.m. on March 5. For diners with allergies or special requests, please call 404.497.9700 to speak with a member of the Food 101 team. For additional announcements, events, specials and other news, please follow Food 101 on Facebook or on Twitter.

Food 101 has evolved during the past decade to focus on farm-to-table, cutting edge Southern Cuisine, while featuring several long-time favorites. Executive Chef Justin Keith highlights a bounty of local ingredients prepared with a bold Southern flair that provides a deliciously satisfying dining experience. High standards of quality ingredients and cutting edge cuisine have become synonymous with Food 101, including its Barrel Bar, which features Southern-inspired plates of its own with a cocktail menu built around two dozen bourbons. Food 101 serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday – Friday; dinner from 5:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Sunday –Thursday and 5:30 until 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and brunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sundays. Food 101 is located at 4969 Roswell Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30342. For reservations, menus and more information, visit Connect with us on Facebook or on Twitter.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Here are six awesome beer events you can’t miss!

This was the Secret Stash Bash trophy in 2014. Who will win it this year?! I took this when TMAC's Head Honcho
Adam  Anacker proudly held this up last year.
From Brick Store’s Changing of the Guard to Secret Stash Bash (plus my beer dinner), make plans now!


With so much poppin’ off in ATL to end the month of February and then make the big step into March, I had to post a few of the events starting with tomorrow’s Changing of The Guard at the Brick Store, one of the world’s most revered beer bars. To add on a personal note, I just completed the first session of my sold out (Thank You!) Girl Scout Cookie Beer Pairing with Hop City and Scout Mob at Krog Street Market; the final two sessions are next Monday. As a follow up, I have a beer dinner themed around merging winter and spring justly titled Season Hopping with the award-winning restaurant Food 101 in Sandy Springs on March 5th at 7:00. I am about to post the full menu and details in a separate post, but for now, here is what’s in store for the next two weeks that I figured to be super dope.  
Thanks so much for your support via physical mailings, Tweets, Instagrams, and any other shout outs you have given me. Seriously, I appreciate you.  
Okay, here we go…

Brick Store’s Changing of the Guard Celebration
February 26, 4 p.m.
Me: So my homey Tim Ensor is passing the baton of beer management duties at the world renowned Brick Store so that he can put full time into his My Parents’ Basement beer bar venture. Therefore, this is an once-in-a-lifetime event this Thursday starting at 4 p.m. Be there and splurge with your homey and some the most exotic suds you can ever put to your lips! According to Tim, they have Bell’s Hopslam, Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme, Creature Comforts Southerly Love, Boulevard Za Tart, Red Brick 100% Brett A-Town Brown, Terrapin French Toast Wake N Bake, and the one I can't wait to try, the Westbrook 4th Anniversary among other hard-to-finds! It's gonna be nuts!

Fourth Annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
February 28th, 12 to 6 p.m.
I say: Beer and all-you-can-eat BBQ? Wait, and bourbon? Nuts!
They say:
WHAT:            4th Annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
WHO:              Produced By Trigger Agency
WHERE:        Atlantic Station Grounds
WHEN:           Saturday, February 28, 2014, 12 to 6:00 p.m.
Special VIP admission runs from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., followed by general admission beginning at 2:00 p.m.
They Say: The Fourth Annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, produced by The Trigger Agency is returning to Atlanta under the big tents at the Atlantic Station on February 28, 2015. This year’s event will benefit The Spirit of Hope Children’s Foundation and Citizen Advocacy of Atlanta & DeKalb, Inc.
The all-you-care-to-taste extravaganza features a special VIP Bacon and Whole Hog session from Noon - 6pm.  The General Admission session runs from 2 pm to 6 pm. Over 5,000 enthusiasts are expected to attend this salute to some of the South’s best assets. 
At the event, attendees can taste over 60 craft beers, sip 40 styles of bourbon and eat lots of southern style BBQ. Admission includes a souvenir sampling glass for guests to try out all the unlimited beverages the festival features. Some of the best barbeque Pit Masters will be on-site cooking up their most mouthwatering dishes. Barbeque selections will include pulled pork from whole hogs, ribs, brisket, chicken, and sausages with all the fixins you can imagine.
More info is here: or call 800-830-3976.
There is plenty of parking around the site, however please drink responsibly and bring a designated driver.
Decatur Stirs
This weekend!
I Say: Just look it up because it sounds pretty chill. I mean, come on! A series of mixology workshops, sippin’ cocktails, and an awesome brunch that’s this weekend. Oh, and Leon’s Full Service is a part of it.
They say: For more information or to buy tickets, go to

Come ‘Season Hopping’! 
My Food 101 Beer Dinner
Thursday, March 5th, at 7:30
Click here!
I say: After doing my sold out Girl Scout Cookie beer pairing, it’s time to take dishes to a more hearty, hot and finger lickin' level by pairing some seriously gangster beer with amazing fare ingeniously crafted by the acclaimed Executive Chef Justin Keith and Sous Chef Cooper Sweat. And of course, there are always some surprises whenever I do an event if you know what I mean! Go here to reserve seats leading to an unforgettable night of sippin’ and culinary indulgence!
My partners say: Atlanta’s favorite southern eatery is partnering with Ale Sharpton (me!) to squeeze the last few drops out of winter and celebrate the coming spring with a menu and beverages inspired by the transition of the seasons.
Reservations will sell out quickly as space is limited, with tickets available at here for $50 (a crazy deal!) apiece. Each ticket includes the full dinner with five pairings, all of which will be served in Food 101’s private dining room beginning at 7:30 p.m. on March 5. For diners with allergies or special requests, please call 404.497.9700 to speak with a member of the Food 101 team. 

For additional announcements, events, specials and other news, please follow Food 101 on Facebook or on Twitter.

The Secret Stash Bash
The Prado’s Taco Mac and 5 Seasons, Sandy Springs, GA, March 7th
I say: This is the shiiiizzzzznit for beer lovers! (Besides my beer dinner at Food 101). Basically, some of the world’s best breweries are coming together and pour more than 40 amazingly hard-to-find gems for folks during two shifts on Saturday, March 7th. Session 1: 1:30-4:00 pm
Session 2: 5-7:30 pm
They say: The time has come for some of the greatest breweries you have ever known to break out the extra special beers from their brewer's Secret Stash. Expect the unexpected: rare beers, cellared beers, barrel-aged, blended, Brett, wild, and everything in between. Not only will you get to taste over 40 amazing beers in one setting, there will be notable brewery folks on hand to talk to you about their unique creations.
•           Only 450 attendees per session
•           Souvenir Tasting Glass
•           No long lines
•           No clueless volunteers
•           No common beers
•           Knowledgeable brewer representatives

See you soon!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Girl Scout Cookies and Beer? Let’s rock!

My dude Kraig Torres of Hop City couldn't wait until after the photo shoot to bite a cookie. (Dope photos by Laura Relyea/ScoutMob)
Come by Krog Street Market and try this one-of-kind pairing with me, Hop  City and Scout Mob!

Hey Y’all!

The word is out about my upcoming Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing next Monday, February 23rd, and again on March 2nd, and I wanted to give you a personal account on the blog. (That’s what it’s here for, right?)
Well, I worked with ScoutMob before when they did a feature on me, so when the idea of pairing beers with Girl Scout Cookies surfaced (marketing guru Bill Kaelin was seminal to this by the way), there was no better place to do it than the Hop City based in Inman Park's newest shopping sensation, Krog Street Market. Besides their jaw-dropping bottle section, Hop City has an adjacent bar based in the main atrium featuring more than 400 beers on tap! To add, the super cool and knowledgeable Kraig Torres—the owner of Hop City—and I have a bit of history because I actually helped him open his first of three locations on the west side of town a few years ago. Since then, we have always stayed in touch and, of course, he saw me frequently buy from his locations (he also has one in Birmingham). Anyway, after meeting up with everyone and doing a test run, things worked perfectly and now it’s officially a go!
Now, due to my education as a Cornell University Hotelie, plus having an extensive background in the culinary arts thanks to my family’s catering history and especially my mom and sister Simone’s mastery in the kitchen, I know flavor. (I am also no slouch with the pots either, but that’s another story.) Combine that for my love for beer, and it only makes sense to encourage, promote, curate and host pairings with fare any time possible. This one is my most eccentric to date and I happily accept the challenge. I mean sheesh, ales and lagers can be chocolately, smoky, citrusy, earthy, fruity, sour, roasty… Pair them with those irresistible baked circles of oral pleasure and it’s a match made in heaven!  
I hope you get a chance to book a seat and maybe treat a companion while we enjoy the awesome cookies everybody and their mommas love. Of course, everyone has a favorite (I freeze my Thin Mints), so look for at least four variations. And like all of my events, there will be some other surprises as well. Here is the link to the witty write up by ScoutMob’s Laura Relyea along with a link to the tickets. (She took the photos too.)
I hope to see you there!
Some quick facts:
·         It will be seated
·         There will be a beer with each cookie selection
·         You will get more than one cookie (unless it's the really rich, think ones!)
·         There are two shifts each night, so four different time slots are available
·         Kraig and I will both be hosting this one so attention will be spread around. 

Oh yeah! I have a beer dinner coming up with the slick eatery Food 101 on March 5th as well so stay tuned for that too! 

Much love and thanks!


Monday, February 16, 2015

SweetWater & The Giving Kitchen host a beer dinner at TAP!

Come kick it in Midtown ATL and support a good cause…and your appetite!

Hey Y’all!

I had a blast in Chicago this past weekend covering their auto show and, of course, Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’ before making it back in time to enjoy Valentine’s Day and the NBA All Star activities. Make sure you check out my Twitter posts and Instagram pics documenting the trip!  
Anyway, as usual, every time I return to Atlanta from a trip, there is always something going on so I want you, my prized readers, to get the scoop and as many details as possible. One of my favorite gastropubs—TAP [1180 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 (404) 347-2220]—is throwing another beer dinner tomorrow night! Here is the information including the menu in detail. Brandy (the always sweet general manager) and Chef McCormick always know how to throw down so it should be a blast! It’s five courses and six beers featuring SweetWater’s liquid craftiness, and proceeds will benefit The Giving Kitchen, so you know this is going to be an awesome event.

Side note: Speaking of events, I have a Girl Scout Cookie Beer Pairing coming up with ScoutMob, Krog Street Market and Hop City on February 23rd and March 2nd, so look for my post on that too! You can get tickets here.

Okay, here’s the menu for Tuesday night at TAP. Call and make reservations. It sounds delicious! Boom:

Sweet Water & The Giving Kitchen 
Beer Dinner 2/17/15

SweetWater Take Two Pils
Poached Trout on Toast
Poached Carolina Trout, horseradish cream, marble rye, black radish

Hop Hash infused with jalapeno, coriander, mint
Crispy Chili Fritters
Jalapeno, samosa filling, Hop hash batter, mint yogurt

Second Helping I.P.A.
Lamb Tartar
Quail egg, apple, fennel & celery salad, garlic herb crostini

Spinner Bait
Gum Creek Farms Porchetta
German potato salad, shaved fennel, arugula, sorghum jus

Happy Ending Imperial Stout & Sweet Water Blue
Chocolate Stout & Banana Cup Cakes
Sweet Grass Green Hill- raisin walnut toast, blueberry compote


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fifth Group’s Restaurants do it big on Valentine’s Day! Part 3

Here are even more restaurants to choose from this weekend!

For Part 3 of my Valentine’s Day Dining Guide, here are links to what the various dining destinations of the revered Fifth Group have in store including their descriptions, the menus and reservations.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

South City Kitchen Midtown & Vinings

Three-course pre-fixe menus featuring South City favorites and new exciting flavors.

La Tavola
Three-course pre-fixe menu for a romantic evening in Italy.


Specials running Thursday-Sunday, for those who want to join in the hustle on Saturday or celebrate a little early or late.

El Taco
Bad break-up? Another year single? Bitter cuz you don’t have a sitter? We’ve all been there. If you’re dreading the arrival of February 14th this year, you’re in luck. El Taco is here to make you feel better for Stupid Cupid Night with drink and food specials.

Alma Cocina
Spice up your evening and venture Downtown to Alma Cocina for Valentine’s Day. Our dinner menu will bring just enough heat for the occasion.

Brent Banda is crafting incredible specials to accompany the dinner menu for the seafood lover in all of us.