Every Monday we bring you the SL Hot List, a round up of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. Atlanta gallery goes mobile. Jennifer Schwartz, owner of the eponymous gallery in Atlanta, has been on the road bringing photography to the people in a 1977 VW bus named Lady Blue. Her two-month tour, Crusade for Collecting, is her one-woman mission to introduce the public to new photographers, encourage art collecting, and support emerging artists. She’s got two more stops on her tour–Washington, D.C. on Wednesday and Richmond, Virginia, on Sunday–where’s she’ll be giving away signed photos and speaking about her cause.
2. New South Carolina restaurant. Chef and owner Ken Vedrinski’s newest venture, Coda del Pesce, opens officially today on Isle of Palms. The restaurant’s menu takes its cues from the sea but (like his other spots) still retains Ken’s signature Italian slant: dishes include octopus bolognese and grilled calamari with tomato and eggplant. You’ll want to eat the fresh catch and house-made pastas at a table near the floor-to-ceiling windows–we hear the the views are incredible.
3. Southern summer read. First-time author Anton DiSclafani drew from her own North Florida childhood riding horses for The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls out Tuesday. Anton’s teenage heroine Thea Atwell is forced to leave her family’s Florida farm at the height of the Great Depression after a tragedy. She finds herself navigating the social scene at a faraway boarding school in the Blue Ridge Mountains while wrestling with her past. (You can find Anton in North Carolina, Texas, and Florida at her book signings in June.)
4. To-go sweets in Virginia and Kentucky. We’d have a hard time picking between the almond croissant or the Nutella cream doughnut at the new food cart Hot Hot Bakery in Arlington, Virginia. Thankfully, the owners (who ate and baked their way through France for a year) are out four days a week serving up sweets (as well as gourmet sandwiches). Louisville’s Proof on Main is taking their dessert on the road with a gelato cart at the corner of Seventh and Main on Thursdays. Follow @proofgelato to see what they’re scooping–the cart’s first flavors included a blueberry-lemon sorbet.
5. Knoxville Film & Music Festival. The two-week festival kicked off on Saturday with a full week filled with jazz, rock, and hip-hop concerts at venues all around town. The film week runs June 10-15 and features horror flicks, a short-film competition, and music-themed movies. Our pick is Big Easy Express, a rocking documentary featuring three of our favorite bands, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mumford & Sons, and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, on a cross-country train ride from California to New Orleans.
5 1/2. Southern chefs in the Big Apple. We’ve already shared our favorite spots for getting sweet tea, fried chicken, and other Southern staples in New York City. This week, the South truly takes over the city with three big dinners at the James Beard House and the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. If you’re in town early, Chris Hastings and other Alabama chefs will be cooking dinner at the Beard House on Wednesday. (On Thursday, chef Sean O’Connell prepares a Virginia-sourced meal while on Saturday night, a slew of chefs from Jackson, Mississippi, put on a “Southern Comfort Redux” dinner.) And finally, pitmasters and chefs from around the region and members of the SL staff descend upon Madison Square Park for the main event. ‘Cue fans can look forward to demos, live music, oysters from Wintzell’s Oyster House, and of course, plenty of pork.