I had so much fun at Atlanta Food and Wine Festival in 2011. Since the moment it ended, I have been waiting to go back. Today Dominique Love gave a preview of what is in store for May 10-13 2012. Here is what I learned from a smattering of tweets on twitter (from @savoryexposure, @katiebell3, @360Media, @ATLFoodandWine, @vlalife, @ATL_Events and @doveatl) while they were enjoying a media lunch.
- There will be four categories of ticket experiences: tasting tent passes, day passes, 3 day passes and connoisseur passes. I was thankful had a connoisseur pass last year and was able to attend Julian Van Winkle's bourbon session. I learned so much about bourbon in such a short amount of time. I must have taken three pages of notes. The tasting of Pappy mid morning was quite a treat too!
- Tasting tables will be open for 3 hours instead of 2. My favorite tasting table experience would have to be hanging out with my Asheville favorites like French Broad Chocolates.
- There will be a cast iron cook off among the Food and Wine's best new chefs.
- No food trucks this year. This is sad because my single favorite moment of AF&W 2011 occurred at the food trucks. I can still taste the lamb meatballs from gastroPOD . Best bite hands down.
- Craft beers and chocolates will be showcased. Love this. The sessions by Cacao and the beer tasting with Steve Hayes of Terrapin were so fun.
- Fun facts: $150,000 worth of tickets were donated to charitable organizations; the festival had 5872 attendees; there were 104 exhibitors and 124 cooking and cocktail classes.
- I am excited to see how the festival will be better this year. I didn't have a single complaint last year. It was three days of fun. I learned a bunch, met fantastic people and tasted the best of what the south has to offer. Tickets go on sale Feb. 14th. Best Valentines Day present ever.