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. Pat Green releases Home after three-year hiatus. San Antonio native and country singer Pat Green releases his 10th studio album, Home, August 14. Green’s newest record–his first in three years–features Lyle Lovett, Sheryl Crow, and Lee Roy Parnell. The album focuses on familial love with songs like “While I Was Away,” which is about the memory of leaving his newborn child while touring at the beginning of his career.
2. Caribbean flavor in Atlanta. On August 11, Kevin Gillespie, chef/owner of the restaurant Gunshow will showcase Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson as part of Gillespie’s Hired Guns series, in which chefs from around the nation are invited to showcase their signature flavors alongside the Gunshow’s weekly featured items. Johnson specializes in blending Caribbean cuisine and West African flavor at The Cecil, where you can enjoy dishes like little neck clams with white hominy stew and coconut corn mash.
3. Kick back and relax at Arrington Vineyards. Enjoy live music, wine, and food during the Arrington Vineyards Harvest Party on August 15. Country singer Kix Brooks headlines the festival. Sip wine and dine on meals like orzo salad and pasta primavera, available from gourmet food shop Simple Living Life. Admission is free, and proceeds from the wine tastings and food sales benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.
4. Grandma’s Cookin’ in New Orleans. Willa Jean, the brain child of Besh Group pastry chefs Lisa White and Kelly Fields, opened its doors August 6. Named after Kelly Fields’s grandmother, the restaurant and pastry shop takes a page out of the traditional Southern playbook while adding modern, local twists. Start the day with biscuits topped with jalapeño relish and chicken sausage. For lunch or dinner, try one of the tartines or sandwiches, such as grilled figs with goat cheese and Poiriers cane syrup. For dessert, warm chocolate pudding with coconut and pecan is even better when accompanied by one of the inventive tea- or coffee-based cocktails–think Intelligentsia coffee, Licor 43, and Tito’s.
5. American History at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. On loan from George Washington’s Mount Vernon are two paintings by Metropolitan Museum of Art co-founder Eastman Johnson. Eastman’s work depicts the first home of George Washington under the care of Washington’s great grandnephew, John Augustine Washington in 1857. The paintings show the looming presence of the once lavish estate that from afar still looks pristine, but further investigation reveals the slow disintegration of the house and its occupants. You can view this little part of history until February 2016.