There were more than 50 of Atlanta's best restaurants present last night, and the food was exceptional. Some of the most memorable dishes for me were The Globe's green curry & coconut soup shooter, Aria's housemade pork schnitzel with tomato ginger jam, Beleza's tuna & watermelon skewer, and, my favorite, Craft's braised pork lettuce wraps.
Now, I know what you really want to know is, where was honorary guest chef Tom Colicchio during this full-house event? He was standing at Craft's table all night, shaking hands, taking photos and serving up lettuce wraps. He even auctioned off his chef's coat from the evening. Poor man must have been asked a million times if Richard Blais will win this season's Top Chef. Chef Colicchio held his tongue and didn't give away any secrets.
The evening ended with a exceptional live auction. The highest auctioned item was a special Atlanta Chef's dinner for 11 at home. The dinner included the participation of some of Atlanta's most darling chefs - Gerry Klaskala, Gary Mennie, Carvel Grant Gould, etc. The bidding got so high that the chefs actually huddled on stage, mid-bid, and declared they were changing the dinner from 11 guests to 14. Then Ted Turner, honorary chairperson for this year's event, chimed in and offered to match the top bid. In the end, the dinner went for $17,000! Incredible!