memorable hats galore, a giant grey goose ice sculpture, elegant show horses, happy dispositions, and a rainstorm to top all rainstorms were just a few of the describing phrases one might use in reference to this year’s Down Home Derby benefiting the Child Development Association of Roswell, Ga. i’ll be the first to admit that driving to Alpharetta in the pouring rain and parking my car in a mudslide did not set my spirits high. even in my first few minutes there, the deluge of water around the tent and the fact that attendees breaths were visible in the cold made me wonder if i had wandered into some other universe that was not Georgia in MAY!!!
but thankfully, once i got my camera set up and started shooting, my attitude improved and i started capturing the beauty of the night. the evening was successfully executed by Sean O’Keefe Events with the delectable meal provided by 5 Seasons Brewery. attendees proved who was boss over the atrocious weather by bidding, dancing, eating, and drinking to their hearts content.
here’s just a sampling of images from this year’s event.
last night, octopus bar got to show off some skills at the Georgia Organic’s fundrasing event This is Market. The evening was filled with amazing food, local beer, music from Lily and Tigers (one of my favorites) and a farm full of awesome atlanta folk.
my dish was a cardamom fromage cheesecake with rosewater syrup and various accoutrements including violets from Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet, strawberries from Watsonia Farms, and crushed pistachios. the fromage was from CalyRoad Creamery and I’m pretty pumped that i have a little bit left to use at my disposal. it is definitely some of the best cheese i’ve ever tasted.
angus and nhan prepared head cheese terrines with meat from Riverview Farms. they also made a white miso and pea puree to accompany it! so good.
a few weeks back, lucky little me got to head to san francisco for an octopus bar “work” trip. octopus bar had the privilege of hosting and preparing a pop-up supper in sausalito, california which was hard work, but certainly a welcome and fun reprieve from the usual day to day work in atlanta.
needless to say, i had a blast reuniting with this guy,
who’s been traveling in Asia for the past 5 months. accompanied by nhan as well as sellitto, the charcuterie master, from Boston, the 3 day trip was a nice reunion filled with a titch of work, a lot of laughs, and a necessary overload of fantastic food research.
the work portion:
i made miniature citrus almond bundt cakes with an orange simple syrup brushed on top and a spoonful of whipped cream.
the night ended on a very nice yacht with a very nice young man. many details of the evening seemed very fuzzy, but we went with it.
next came the play:
a hike in Tennessee Valley near Sausalito
we did some dim sum in china town. nhan went nuts.
our food research took us to dinner at Central Kitchen in the mission. the meal one of the freshest and creatively plated dinners i’ve ever had. all of the dishes were prepared simply and very straight forward allowing the natural freshness of each component to shin which to me, speaks to the “california-ness” of it all. the plating on the other hand was intricate and immaculate. it is by far one of the best dinner’s i’ve had in a long time.
next was dessert at Bar Tartine also in the Mission which sadly didn’t blow my mind as i was so hopeful it would. seeing as Tartine is one of my favorite bakeries in the world, i felt rather sad about it, but the service was stellar and the restaurant itself was worth sitting in… very well designed and put together. as jennie dodge likes to say, you win some, you lose some.
before departing, i spent a lovely night at the very classy best western near the airport.
and then i flew home.
loved loved loved taking these photos for EATER atl.
i also took the opportunity to visit and have a few lovely crafted cocktails… the atmosphere and the menu are not to be matched. all in all, it’s a killer combination and the bar is certainly on my favorites list. go see!
i love road trips and i love road trips in the south, where 1 minute you’re in the hustle and bustle of atlanta traffic and the next minute you’re in the secluded north georgia mountains. or maybe a few hours, but i love southern road trips. i have a list of places here and there that i’m just hankering to see. main man friend and i set out to see two of those : the cohutta wilderness and the Doo-Nanny folk festival in seale, ala.
first off: the cohutta wilderness.
after an evening of fireside chatting and reading by gas lamplight, we slept soundly in the dead silence of the mountain wilderness. we awoke early to spend 1 glorious hour turning in overdue work at the elijay, ga starbucks which was a real treat. not really, but thanks to main man friend’s patience i got it done and we were off to seale, ala, home of the Doo-Nanny Festival.
the Doo-Nanny is a folk festival in Seale, Alabama on the property of artist Butch Anthony. it is truly a place of wild and wonder that energizes the spirit. also worth mentioning is the giant wood pyre meant to represent a female vagina that is lit on fire at the end of the evening. as butch anthony said, “they’ve got a burning man, why not have a burning woman?” respect the DOOOOO, y’all. and the art.
after receiving a somewhat pleasant night’s sleep at the callaway gardens
hotel motel (disclosure: at the 2 hotels that main man friend and i have stayed, the cleaning staff seem to think 9am is an acceptable time to come in and clean. nope, we’re still sleeping. it’s the freaking weekend!!! does this happen to anyone else???!!!), we headed back to atlanta to enjoy a little easter brunch with the family. nothing like telling your mom about a flaming vaginal effigy over easter brunch :) .
fripp the dog.
today is my best friend’s birthday and it’s hard to know just where to start with this one. where to start, where to start? let’s see… how about HERE at the chandelier tree!
we’ve driven a mini van through the trunk of a tree together. we’ve traveled this continent together. we’ve hiked the grand canyon together. we’ve lived in a tent for a week together. we’ve cried about living in said tent for a week together. we’ve traversed italy together. we’ve had 2 purses of mine stolen together. we’ve been to hugh hefner’s birthday together. we’ve unknowingly gone to a transvestites member’s only drug den together and danced like we still didn’t know together. we’ve farmed together. we’ve cooked together. we’ve been to vegas together. we’ve almost crossed into mexico together and told our mom’s we were in mexico only to have our phones die and feel really really bad about it together. we’ve been denied entrance into Canada and gotten really really pissed about it together. we’ve eaten lots of chocolate together. we’ve eaten lots of fried eggs atop salad greens together. we’ve stayed in some of the shittiest cockroach infested motels together. we’ve watched deliverance together. we mocked carolyn bassett kennedy and jfk jr.’s cumberland island nuptials together. we went to the corn palace together. we ate bull testicles together. we’ve thrown up in stranger’s volvo’s together… oh wait, that was just Batty. but we were together!
we’ve cried a lot together and shared a lot of things, but i’m lucky to say that i’ve spent enough time laughing with this girl to last a lifetime. she keeps me sane and smiling and no matter where we are or what we’re doing, she’s there through and through and she usually looks a lot prettier than me. i love you bratty more than this dumb page can say and i can’t wait for years and years of more weird times and fried eggs atop mixed greens.
i love you ally batty. happy birthday.