The whole idea started when chef Zeb Stevenson of the Livingston tweeted, "Is Atlanta ready for blood?" Apparently, the response from local chefs and diners was a resounding yes, and Stevenson began to recruit co-conspirators in this sanguine enterprise.
Chefs Tyler Williams of Abattoir, Ryan Smith of Empire State South and Josh Hopkins of STG Trattoria will join Stevenson for the dinner. I've had both Smith and Chef Williams' food on several occasions and can attest that they are very talented and creative. And if they invited Hopkins to join them, I'm sure he's got the chops.
Here's how the event organizers describe the premise of the dinner: "The Atlanta Blood Dinner will feature a variety of courses that explore the boundaries of blood as food. Beyond the established uses of blood in sausage and soup, chefs Stevenson, Williams, Hopkins and Smith will examine texture, temperature and flavor in their collaborative menu. They will seek to honor the traditional use of blood in various cultures, while updating those traditions to create an elevated dining experience for the discerning modern palate."
The menu looks, how should I put this ... challenging. There is the expected blood sausage, but also more creative ideas, like the bloodline of a Hamachi fish served with satsuma and white soy and an oxblood strozapretti with rabbit sugo. Since the name of the pasta literally means "priest strangler" in Italian, it seems somehow appropriate for a Blood Dinner. Dexter would be proud.
I doubt anyone will jump in their car right away and beat it down I-24 for the event tonight, but perhaps this can inspire some of Nashville's talented charcuterie experts to attempt something similarly challenging. I'm looking at you, PRB.