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. Tomato Festivals. Southern cities celebrate one of our favorite veggies this weekend with cook-offs, cocktails, and concerts. First up: Columbia, South Carolina, holds its annual tomato fest on Saturday featuring bites from 17 local restaurants and bluegrass music all evening long. And on Sunday, an impressive lineup of Atlanta chefs come together to cook at the 5th annual JCT’s Attack of the Killer Tomato. Chefs such as Miller Union’s Steven Satterfield and Cardamom Hill’s Asha Gomez will pair up with a local farmer to each put their twist on a tomato dish.
2. SL Editor-at-Large Opens Shop. Southern Living Editor-at-Large James Farmer could have opened his new home decor shop anywhere, but he chose his hometown of Perry, Georgia (30 minutes south of Macon. We’re looking forward to visiting James’ shop to check out his selection of sofa, side tables, and decorative items that reflect his elegant aesthetic. Grand opening to come in September.
3. Southern-made sheets. Linen company Antage Bleu just launched a line of baby blankets and bedding called Baby Bleu crafted by Southern seamstresses. The Atlanta-headquarted company’s linens are designed to withstand the terrible twos and would made a chic baby shower present. And how’s this for heritage: co-owner Danielle Hosker’s great-grandfather once worked in the mill in North Carolina where the bedding is made.
4. Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. As the birthplace of classic drinks like the Sazerac and the Vieux Carre, it’s only appropriate that the South’s biggest cocktail conference kicks off in the Big Easy on Wednesday. Join bartenders, mixologists, and spirit afieandos for tastings, competitions, dinners, and seminars. Our pick: a Key West-themed dinner at Criollo hosted by DC-based author Philip Greene who recently penned a book on Hemingway and the cocktails in his novels.
5. Arts in Athens. The Athens Institute for Contemporary Art exhibits new art, movie screenings, and talks. Running now through August 25, the main exhibit “ATHICA Emerges 6″ showcases the work of local artists (and UGA grads) including Andy Giannakakis’ paintings and Aja Steele’s clever quilts. After the exhibit, grab a bite at chef Hugh Acheson’s 5 & 10 restaurant which just last week moved closer to campus.