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Celebrating its 17th year, the Taste of Atlanta – the city’s three-day food and drink festival showcasing the local restaurant scene – will feature more than 90 of Atlanta’s favorite restaurants and their most craveable dishes alongside live on-stage cooking demos and group classes from top chefs. This year’s Taste will kick off Oct. 17 with an all-inclusive Friday Night ‘World of Taste’ Kickoff Party, a lively stage commingling of food and music.

“World of Taste” is the theme for Taste of Atlanta’s 2018 Friday Night Kickoff Party. On October 19 from 6:30-11 p.m. at Historic Fourth Ward Park and will hosted by acclaimed Atlanta chefs Archna Becker of Bhojanic, Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol and Hector Santiago of El Super Pan.

“World of Taste” will showcase international flavors from across the globe, bringing together over two dozen local chefs  to prepare unique dishes representing a variety of cuisines, including Salmon Usuzukuri with pickled wasabi stem, chives, black volcano salt and crispy crunchies from O-Ku, Crispy Mortadella with giardiniera from Donetto and Lamb Steak with coffee molasses steak sauce, arugula pesto and new potatoes from Twisted Soul. Other participating restaurants include CO, Deep End, il Giallo Osteria & Bar, Porch Light Latin Kitchen, The Mercury, Tiny Lou’s and more. Dixie Vodka, the official vodka of Taste of Atlanta, as well as Bulleit Bourbon will serve tastings of cocktail creations alongside pours of international beers and beverages from Long Drink, Ravage Wines, Proximo Spirits, Topo Chico and White Claw Hard Seltzer.

Friday night guests will be treated to live music from funk and soul band Bumpin’ The Mango and The Cordon Blues Band, which features chef and foodie band members. Tickets to the Friday Night Kickoff Party are $85.

Festivities on Saturday and Sunday will feature local chefs and hospitality pros leading on-stage cooking demos and hands-on cooking classes, while guests sample craveable bites, plus Georgia craft beer, wine and cocktails. Events centers include The Chef’s Table Stage, and a showdown from 3-3:45 p.m. – “Soul School vs. New School” with Das BBQ and This is It BBQ. Experience the down-home tastes of soul food BBQ v. the new Texas style, smoky flavor from two of A-town’s most recent BBQ hits. In The Kitchen Workshop Sunday, from 4:15-5pm – “Sharpen Your Southern Cookin’ Skills” with Jennifer Booker: Learn how to make two classic Southern dishes with a French twist from Southern-raised, French-trained Chef Jennifer Hill Booker. She’ll be preparing two dishes from her cookbooks –– Green Onion Hoe Cakes with smokey pimento cheese and Brown Sugar Bacon.

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