Roswell Food & Beverage Festival

Above: Executive Chef Jason Stern of From The Earth Brewing Company and Tim Stevens, owner of From the Earth Brewing Company and spearhead of the Roswell Food & Beverage Festival.

By Tara Gary

What happens when you bring some of the best local chefs, restaurants, wine connoisseurs, and craft beer experts together for a celebration of their knowledge and expertise? I have a few answers (which I will keep to myself, with a smile), but it’s also known as the First Annual Roswell Food & Beverage Festival. These talented individuals will share their knowledge, demonstrating food preparation and the proper/appropriate beverage pairings for their tasty dishes. There will be sample bites from local chefs including those from Adele’s on Canton, C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar, Hugo’s Oyster Bar, From the Earth Brewing Company, Foundation Social Eatery, The Mill Kitchen and Bar, Gracious Plenty Bakery & Breakfast, and more. Most notably, what differentiates this event from typical tasting events is that it will feature interactive demonstrations—ceramic smokers, open fire cooking, mixology, whole animal breakdown, and answers to your culinary questions by a field of experts.

Dana Gurela, owner of Deep Roots Wine Market & Tasting Room, a wine shop featuring California wines by the taste, by the glass and by the bottle(s) to go.

A special panel, which includes Dana Gurela (owner of Deep Roots Wine Market & Tasting Room), Melissa Harbers (owner of Pinkies Up Beer & Wine), Ethan Craig (owner of Tap & Six and author of The Current Hub’s Crafty Curator), as well as others, will guide you and offer select adult beverages during 30-minute seminars—connecting you to your inner wine, beer, and/or spirit connoisseur.

Ethan Craig of Tap & Six shares a toast with The Current Hub‘s Tara Gary. Ethan will be on the panel answering questions and making suggestions about beer selections.

I recently had the opportunity, well, I actually called Chef Marc from Adele’s on Canton and asked if I could stop by and watch him in the kitchen. Always a delight to see Chef Marc. Donning his trademark baggy chef pants, he looked up from the bar with a jubilant smile and reached his arms out for a hug. I’m sure he greets everyone the same, but I like to think it’s a selective response. It’s actually very typical of native Louisianans, especially those from New Orleans.

Chef Marc Wegman of Adele’s on Canton

Marc and his partner Ruth relocated to Atlanta after Hurricane Katrina wiped their home off the map. That being said, Chef Marc is one heck of an amazing bonafide Cajun chef. His crawfish étouffée is lick-the-bowl worthy. I usually order it as part of the Trio, along with gumbo and jambalaya. The latter being the dish Chef Marc will prepare at the Roswell F&B Festival. Attendees will be able to see how he combines andouille sausage, tasso, onion, bell pepper, celery, chicken broth, and a slew of Cajun spices in a black iron skillet to create this authentic Cajun dish. As I was watching Chef Marc in the kitchen, his weekly delivery of fresh meat (which is driven in from Louisiana) was delivered—the perfect example of his dedication to perfection. And, you can taste that dedication in his jambalaya. Now, I’m no beverage expert (although some would beg to differ), but I do know an Abita Beer is the perfect complement to his jambalaya, soothing those Cajun spices just enough to take another bite. Maybe I should be on the panel.

Executive Chef Jason Stern of From the Earth Brewing Company.

I was also able to catch Executive Chef Jason Stern of From the Earth Brewing Company, just long enough to belly up to the bar for one of their house draft IPAs, Porch Song. I had just come in from driving my convertible in the sweltering heat we’ve been experiencing. I know I can put the top on and rev up the air conditioning, but I feel compelled on any precipitation-free day to experience the world with the top down. The Porch Song would have been delicious regardless, but it was simply exquisite on this occasion—quenching my thirst with its juicy, tropical aroma and flavor. I highly recommend it. Oh, and then I spoke with Chef Jason as he divulged his contribution for the Roswell F&B Festival, “grilled octopus with cannellini beans and mortadella.” My pen stopped to ask for assistance from my brain’s spell check application (which doesn’t exist). According to Google, mortadella is a specially flavored Italian sausage. I have not had the opportunity to sample this dish (yet), but I am intrigued and looking forward to it. Let’s see what the panel will suggest as a complementing beverage. I’m thinking maybe a red wine, but I’ll leave that up to the experts. This will be an educational experience I am definitely looking forward to.

One of the best things about attending a festival is the good it evokes. The Roswell F&B Festival will benefit the charity HomeStretch. Since 1993, HomeStretch has been guiding working homeless families toward increased self-reliance and stability. They provide supportive housing and programs that equip working families to regain and sustain permanent housing. The need for this charity has been growing as the poverty rate in Georgia tops eighteen percent. A worthy cause indeed.

Left to right: Ernie Fichtel of Gate City; Matthew Curling of Variant; Nathan Schieber, Pat Leonard of Gate City; Tim Stevens, Brian Lee of From the Earth.

So if you enjoy cooking (or like me, prefer to have your food prepared for you) and would like to support a worthy cause, this is an event for you. This indulgent all-inclusive tasting will be held Sunday, October 27, 2019 in the Connexion Shopping Center parking lot in front of From the Earth Brewing Company from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. General admission tickets include: unlimited food and beverages, all the food and beverage knowledge you can obtain within a four-hour period, and an experience like no other. VIP tickets include: early admission (from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.), the VIP Lounge experience (provided by 13 Hub Lane), reserved wine selections, limited release beers, and an exclusive collaboration beer from Roswell brewing companies—From the Earth, Gate City, and Variant. I am choosing the VIP experience for sure. Hope to see you there!

Roswell F&B Festival

1570 Holcomb Bridge Road Roswell, Georgia 30076
Benefiting Homestretch

When not writing, Roswell resident Tara Gary is busy making industrial furniture, charcuterie boards, and local art. Most nights she can be found with her friends at local breweries and pubs drinking craft beer.