The fifth annual Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival will draw kosher connoisseurs, barbecue enthusiasts, families out for fun and other members of the Atlanta Jewish community to Dunwoody’s Liane Levetan Park at Brook Run on Sunday, Oct. 22, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Presented by the Hebrew Order of David, the festival formerly known as the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Competition remains focused on the competition among at least 23 teams, who will send their best beans, beef ribs, chicken and brisket before a panel of Kansas City Barbeque Society judges.
After prepping their meat Thursday night, Oct. 19, at Congregation B’nai Torah, the mix of serious chefs and backyard smokers will start barbecuing Saturday night on Weber kettle grills under the supervision of the Atlanta Kosher Commission.
Sunday’s crowd of more than 4,000 people can look forward to being greeted by the scent of slow-cooked beef and chicken wafting from the grills along the driveway of the park at 4770 N. Peachtree Road. The temperature is expected to be in the low 70s, although the early forecast includes a chance of morning rain.
Members of the public can get bite-size samples of the competitors’ culinary creations for tickets that cost $1 apiece.
Admission to the festival is free, although attendees are asked to bring nonperishable food donations for Jewish Family & Career Services’ Kosher Food Pantry. Donate two food items to get a free tasting ticket.
The dining choices are not limited to what the competitors cook up. A Kosher Touch, For All Occasions and More, Griller’s Pride, Kosher Gourmet, Keith’s Corner BBQ, Cinnaholic and Revolution Gelato will be selling kosher food, and Peachtree Growlers will offer beer to wash it all down.
“Since we’ve started at Brook Run Park, our festival has grown tremendously,” said Ian Platt, a festival co-director. “This year we have more food vendors, a larger Kids Zone and dozens of organizations taking part in the festival.”
The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival is organizing the live music from Ian’s Friends Band, Nick and the Grooves, Big Daddy Whiskey, and No Solution.
Besides their food, the teams are competing for trophies for their names and booth decorations, to be judged by a panel of celebrities including WSB-TV sports director Zach Klein and comedian Jerry Farber.
Under the auspices of the nonprofit HOD, the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival benefits community organizations in addition to supplying fun. This year’s beneficiaries are the Jewish Educational Loan Fund, I Care Atlanta, the JF&CS Kosher Food Pantry, Helping Feed Atlanta, Weinstein Hospice and the Cobb County police K9 unit.
“Hebrew Order of David’s function is community service and to do things where the community as a whole benefits,” festival Executive Director Jody Pollack said. “The BBQ Festival really epitomizes what HOD stands for: bringing the community together for all groups — secular, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Chabad and non-Jews. Everyone comes to enjoy the barbecue, and that’s our goal.”
The festival (www.theatlantakosherbbq.com) is completely funded by sponsors and donations.
What to Expect at the Festival
- Barbecue competition among 23 teams, with tastes available for $1.
- Judges certified by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.
- Vendors selling kosher meals and desserts.
- A Peachtree Growler Co. beer garden.
- Live entertainment sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.
- A Kids Zone packed with activities.
- Booths for dozens of organizations and retailers.
- A kosher food drive for JF&CS.