What is the best pizza in Atlanta? It's a question that has dominated the hearts, minds, and stomachs of Creative Loafing's dining team for months. There are hundreds of pizza joints around metro Atlanta; so many styles, so many types. The first order of business was to narrow the playing field to just 12 contenders. For us, 12 felt like a magic Goldilocks number: It's enough to feel somewhat comprehensive, but at the same time, still manageable. (We gave burgers the same treatment last year.) It was tough, but with the help of some core criteria we were able to decide on 11 worthy competitors.
The Association of Food Journalists dropped its list of award finalists for the 2014 school year and Creative Loafing has been honored with two nominations: Best Newspaper Special Food Project for the 2014 Food Issue and Best Writing on Beer, Wine and/or Spirits for Austin L. Ray's September cover story on Red Brick Brewing Company.
The Food Issue was built around the theme of "Legacy" and included an expansive history of Atlanta farmers markets by CL Food Editor Stephanie Dazey; a mind-melting web of restaurant connections by Dazey, Restaurant Critic Jennifer Zyman, and Graphic Designer Rachel Hortman; tours of swanky old school haunts by Scott Henry and Joeff Davis; burritos, BBQ; brews; recipes from ATL's ethnic food trailblazers, and more. Writers, editors, photographers and graphic designers on the project included: Cliff Bostock, Todd Brock, Angela Hansberger, Scott Henry, Brad Kaplan, Alex Lockie, Miles Macquarrie, Sucheta Rawal, Austin L. Ray, Jennifer Zyman, Wes Duvall, Rachel Hortman, Joeff Davis, Konyin Ayuba, Eric Cash, Adam Komich, Matthew Smith, Mia Yakal, Dazey and yours truly.
Ray's longform feature on Red Brick Brewing, nee Atlanta Brewing Company, looked at the scrappy local brewer's fight to stay relevant and in business over the last 21 years. The story traced the ascension of the craft beer market in Atlanta over the past two decades, the fight over distribution and direct sales, and the brewery's fresh talent that's turning out some of the best beer in the company's history.
Winners will be announced Sept. 17 at AFJ's annual conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.
A wave of cookbook mania has set in for several Atlanta chefs. Here are five we've got our eye on:
Kevin Gillespie will release his Pure Pork Awesomeness book at Gunshow March 29.
Last but not least, local celeb chef Virginia Willis is releasing her new cookbook Lighten Up Y'all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome today. The book's launch party will be held tonight, Tues., March 3, 6 p.m., at the Cook’s Warehouse in Midtown. The event is free and open to the public.
Here's (a lot of!) what happened:
The beginning of 2014 was made bittersweet by the death of chef Ryan Hidinger and the subsequent Team Hidi 2.0 memorial fundraiser, which raised $325,000 for local nonprofit the Giving Kitchen. After a six-month run on the Westside, Guy Wong's fast casual dim sum joint Yum Bunz closed the first week of January. Wong's new Vietnamese restaurant Le Fat, however, is slated to open in the former Yum Bunz space at 935 Marietta St. in 2015.
Atlanta restaurant mogul Ford Fry's empire grew with the opening of St. Cecelia in the former Bluepointe space in Buckhead. Waffle House offered candlelight dining to lovers on Valentine's Day. TV personality Andrew Zimmern was in town to film the Atlanta episode of "Bizarre Foods", just in the knick of time before thousands of Atlanta motorists and students were stranded overnight due to an unthinkable gridlock caused by a major winter storm.
Let's face it - you've got to be pretty audacious to think the world needs another book about cocktails. Pick any topic having to do with the drinks, and it's been written about to death. But the folks at Death & Co, a heralded New York cocktail bar, are exactly the type of bold bar evangelists who are audacious enough to think they have something unique to share. Don't believe me? Just look inside the front cover of their big, beautiful new book, where the boastful braggadocio kicks in with the very first sentence:
Death & Co is the most important, influential, and oft-imitated bar to emerge from the contemporary craft cocktail movement. Since its opening in 2006, Death & Co has been a must-visit destination for serious drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts... boasting a supremely talented and creative bar staff - the best in the industry.
Love burgers? Of course you do. And now, Atlanta, it is time to make your burger-loving voices heard. The dining team here at CL has been sampling the city's most beloved cheeseburgers as part of our soon-to-be-published 2014 Atlanta Burger Smackdown. After an intense, fisticuff-filled elimination process, we narrowed down our contenders to eleven. But we want your help in filling the twelfth and final spot...
I'm happy to share the news that Creative Loafing's 100 Dishes has been nominated for a 2014 AFJ award for Best Food Multimedia Presentation. Info about the entire package and nomination over on Fresh Loaf.
We're giddy to finally announce that Jennifer Zyman, aka the Blissful Glutton, will be writing monthly starred restaurant reviews for Creative Loafing starting immediately. Read all about it on Fresh Loaf!
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