Oh, Atlanta I Hear You Calling…



It’s that time of year again. In just a few short days we’ll be flying to Atlanta for the annual Food and Wine Festival. My timehop app has been pinging me daily for the last week with photos from past trips reminding me that our departure is quickly approaching. Honestly, it’s not like I could easily forget with all the preparations we still have to wrap up before we leave. I can hear Queen’s song “Under Pressure” playing on repeat in my head throughout the day as we tackle one thing after another.

For instance, tomorrow we will be shipping out 150 freshly caught Blue Crabs for his acclaimed tamarind BBQ Crabs. A dish that Bryan grew up cooking with his family at their bay house and has been serving at Reef every summer since it’s opening. He even introduced the city of New York to this Texas styled, Vietnamese influenced, treat when he served it while cooking at a City Grit dinner in 2013. It also *might* have a teeeeeny bit to do with why I married him – a fact that he is quite proud of.

I usually go to the festival with Bryan for moral support and all of the amazing food and wine. Plus, I usually get to catch up on some much needed rest. It’s a lot easier to sleep in without a goliath-sized-toddler waking you up by smacking you on the head while screaming, “Foooooooooood!!!!” as if he hasn’t had a meal in months. He was definitely born into the right family with his insatiable appetite and love of food.

This year is a little different though. I won’t be attending as the supportive chef wife, hiding in my room under the fluffy covers when he’s doing behind the scenes prep. Instead, I will be working. Not nearly at the same level as Bryan, it’s not a photography festival after all but I will have a small studio set up in the same location as the cooking classes so that we can do a mini version of our “Oui, Chef” series this year’s talent.

Then, on Sunday afternoon at 1:45, Bryan and I will sit down with one of our favorite writers from the south – Jennifer Cole. Former deputy editor of Southern Living, she now contributes to magazines such as Garden and Gun, Esquire, Travel + Leisure and more. Her ever-growing collection of articles based on her travels, music and food is just as admirable as her list of achievements. Basically – she’s a badass.

The most recent item crossed off our to-do’s was the playlist she asked us to create as background music while we chat about Sleeping With The Chef, restaurant life, food and of course… bourbon (she’s a serious collector y’all). It proved to be just as challenging as we thought it would be. Even though we typically enjoy, or at least tolerate, each other’s music, we do have a few artists that make the other’s ears bleed. To both our daughters’ dismay, Justin Bieber has that same effect on both of us. So, when Jennifer emailed us about the playlist, I told her it might be the most “manic playlist of all time,” just to be sure she knew what she would be getting herself into.

After a few nights of intensely debating songs while playing Bourre in our kitchen, I think we may have the final list put together. I blurred the songs in the photo above to keep it a surprise for Jennifer, but if you’re in Atlanta this weekend and you enjoy classic rock and vintage country, mostly of the Texas variety, come find us and you can hear it for yourself along with a some good conversation. I mean, what could be better than a Sunday afternoon filled with food, libations, music and friends?

PS. I won the card game for those of you keeping score. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I have to tell all the people.

PPS. Here’s a recent pic of Jennifer Cole and Bryan at Raiford’s Disco in Memphis last month. I have no idea what they are up to, but at least now you can see why we love her!




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