Food That Rocks returned to the City Green at City Springs June 8 with a hungry throng of 1,800. A salute to the community’s bustling dining scene, this was the fourth annual gathering.
Dale Gordon DeSena is the founder and CEO of Taste of Atlanta, which produces Food That Rocks. She said, “Tonight is absolutely great! Great food, great crowd, and great weather.” The latter referred to last year’s lightening-threatened event and the fact that Saturday there were sheets of predicted torrential rain that miraculously subsided an hour before start time.
Food That Rocks brought together community and entertainment for Sandy Springs-based charities Community Assistance Center, Ian’s Friends Foundation and Second Helpings Atlanta. Sandy Springs City Councilman Andy Bauman remarked, “I am delighted to see so many unfamiliar and diverse faces in the crowd this year.” Sandy Springs police officer Craig Manne, who is Jewish, was on duty circling among the displays.
A total of 25 vendors were on display. Bogartz Food Artz chefs Bruce Bogartz and Terri Hitzig were first-time participants and are doing well in their Sandy Springs location which offers some Jewish-oriented menu items and has many Jewish patrons. At the event, they served smoked trout tater tots, which were recently featured in Nation’s Restaurant News.
Chef Bruce said, “We want people to see how innovative and creative we are at Bogartz. Folks just can’t resist our pineapple upside-down bread pudding with spiced rum sauce,” as the long line to sample it verified.
General manager of The Select, Dave Green, was on hand with Chef Matt Rainey and LeToya Witherspoon serving splashing passion fruit cocktails and strawberry champagne shooters. Green said, “Hey, we won best restaurant last year when we had not yet opened.”
My healthy favorites were Israeli conceived Kale Me Crazy with fresh juices, avocado toast, quinoa bowls and kale salad. Flower Child served its famous sweet potato mushroom grain bowl with demi chocolate mousse cups. Newcomer Casi Cielo owner Juan Henao proffered a wonderful cubed raw tuna with mango. On the side were fresh orange slices topped with grasshoppers (that many eschewed).
Outgoing Sandy Springs Society president Sue Winner said, “I think it’s wonderful to see all this culture and activity right here in the middle of our city!”