On Thursday evening, Sept. 29, Southern Culinary & Creative kicks off its 2nd annual Gather ‘round festival with the Soul of the South dining experience.
Curated in partnership with Punk Foodie, Soul of the South offers up a tasting menu from 14 chefs who represent the emerging “new, new South” Atlanta dining scene which is defined by an increasing infusion of the diverse cultures and experiences that live in our city.
Soul of the South is not a street food festival, but rather a carefully crafted experience with chefs serving up intentional, delicious creations which represent who they are, where they came from and where they are going. The curators recognize that pop-ups are not only a dining format which evolve into successful ‘uniquely Atlanta’ restaurants (e.g., Talat Market, Tio Luchos, Little Bear, Lazy Betty, and CHE BUTTER JONEZ), but that pop-ups are also a platform for expression of chefs as artists.
As such, while the food is first and foremost, the curators also present a program guide to provide context for better understanding and appreciation of each dish. Much like you might find at an art gallery exhibit or in an album liner notes, the guide includes back stories for each chef and the dish they will share.
A couple of highlights from the program guide:
- Burong Isda (Crispy Binagoongan on Jasmine Rice) from Barangay. Barangay means “neighborhood” and the pop-up pays an impassioned homage to the deep-rooted regional culinary traditions of Pampanga and the Visayas in the Philippines mixed with the expressions of an ‘80s-born Filipino American. Chef Tungol represents his Filipino heritage with burong isda, a Pampanga delicacy which is rice and fish salt-cured & sauteed with aromatics and served with fresh mustard leaves, eggplant, okra, and pan-fried fish. Gabriel uses wild salmon for its rich velvety flavor.
- Curried Goat w/ roti, chickpeas, mango chutney from Heritage Supper Club: Heritages’ Demetrius Brown has fond that outside of his home, restaurants are not cooking Caribbean dishes that reminded him of his Trinidadian grandmother or the African cuisine cooked by his mother. Heritage Supper Club fills in those gaps and helps tell the stories of the African diaspora that have been lost to history. The roti in his dish was introduced to the Caribbean by way of India and has taken on a new identity in all corners of the Caribbean. Brown grew up eating roti made by my Trinidadian grandmother and would sometimes buy roti skins (dough) from the corner store when they didn’t feel like making their own. This dish truly honors Brown’s family and the history of the Caribbean.
Some other dishes include Jackfruit Pastor Fruit Pie from Stolen Goods, Pimento Kimcheese w/ Spam Jam & Scallion Salad on Honey Butter Toast from Ganji and Korean Corn Cheese Milk Bread Bun from Leftie Lee’s.
Along with the pop-ups, Soul of the South will have mixologists, breweries, artist and DJs filling out a total of over 35 stations at the Guardian Works on the West Side. The event is from 7:00-10:00 PM and tickets are all-inclusive.