Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tandy Wilson Vies to Conquer Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival in Atlanta

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Yeah, I know that we in Nashville have our own Tomato Art Festival, which is coming up in East Nashville on Aug. 11, but the truth is, that event is more about art, costumes and community activities than about food per se. There's nothing wrong with that, but maybe I lost a little interest when they did away with the haiku contest last year before I could get a chance to win back my title from my friend Dana. I hear it might return for 2012, so yay for that.

But as far as a food festival dedicated wholly to Solanum lycopersicum, it's hard to beat Atlanta's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, now in its fourth year. This festival benefits Georgia Organics, a nonprofit connecting organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families, and features some of the Southeast’s best chefs, mixologists and farmers working together to create novel and delicious dishes and drinks featuring the tomato.

The event is organized by chef Ford Fry of JCT Kitchen, one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta. (Plus, it's right around the corner from IKEA in case you want to skip the Swedish meatballs and lingonberries on your next shopping trip.) This year 37 chefs are teaming with over 30 tomato farmers to prepare a single dish for judges and attendees to sample and vote on. One of our own, chef Tandy Wilson of City House will be heading down this Sunday to represent for Music City.

He'll be competing against a "who's who" of Atlanta's best culinary minds.

Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival Contenders

Jay Swift of 4th & Swift

David Larkworthy of 5 Seasons Brewing Co.

Tyler Williams of Abattoir

Gerry Klaskala of Aria

Andy Carson and Carla Tomasko of Bacchanalia *Won “Best Tasting Dish” in 2011

Shaun Doty of Bantam & Biddy

Todd Ginsberg of Bocado

Carvel Grant Gould of Canoe

Tandy Wilson of City House (in Nashville, TN)

Ryan Smith of Empire State South

Whitney Otawka of Farm 255

Terry Koval of Farm Burger

Harper McClure of The Federalist (in Washington D.C.)

Cooper Miller of The Feed Store

Christopher Schmidt of Floataway Cafe

Ford Fry of JCT. Kitchen & Bar

Brent Banda of La Tavola Trattoria

Eric Ottensmeyer of Leon’s Full Service

Zeb Stevenson of Livingston Restaurant + Bar

Chris Hall of Local Three

Steven Satterfield of Miller Union

Donald Sargent of Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream *Won a “Special Mention” in 2011

Drew Belline of No. 246

Adam Evans of The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist

Andrew Smith of Ormsby’s

Nick Rutherford and Molly Gunn of The Porter

Hector Santiago of Pura Vida *Won “Best Presentation” in 2011

Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun’s, Kevin Rathbun Steak, and Krog Bar

Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House *Won “Best Booth” in 2011

Ron Eyester of Rosebud and The Family Dog

Scott Serpas of Serpas True Food

Drew Van Leuvan of Seven Lamps

Jessica Hanners of Souper Jenny

Christopher Neff of Sprig

Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol *Won “People’s Choice for Best Tasting Dish” in 2011

Chris Marconi of West Egg Cafe

E.J. Hodgkinson of Woodfire Grill

Those are some serious heavy hitters, but I think Tandy will acquit himself just fine. Judges include high-profile foodies like Garden & Gun Deputy Editor Dave Mezz, Esquire restaurant features writer (and Catbird nemesis) John Mariani and actor David Miller, who played Mason Dixon in the original Attack of the Killer Tomatoes movie, who will be choosing the best dish, best beverage and best table decorations during the event.

If you'd like to attend and be part of the judging, tickets are available at the event website.

Go get 'em, Tandy!

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