A GrantMeFood Dinner with the "1912 Paris" Theme

Last weekend, I attended a GrantMeFood dinner with the theme of 1912 Paris. It was my second GrantMeFood dinner (I blogged about my first experience here), and it was, again, fantastic. Chef Grant and his wife Ria made everyone feel welcome and did an amazing job preparing, cooking, plating, and hosting.

On the menu this time:

Course 1: Gougères au foie gras with blackberry gel & hazelnut

Course 2: Beef tenderloin with dill crème fraîche, horseradish, capers & zest

Course 3: Celery velouté with celery leaves, smoked morels, and lemon oil

Course 4: Summer vegetable tarte (a play on ratatouille) with eggplant, zucchini, squash, roquefort, truffle, tarragon & red pepper pureé

Course 5: Duck (72 hour prep) with caramelized onion broth, field pea & mint pistou, earl grey ash, and pea shoots

Course 6: Chocolate soufflé with basil sabayon

Some photos I captured at this dinner are below.

Ria serving the beef tenderloin with dill crème fraîche, horseradish, capers & zest.

Detail of the beef tenderloin.

Celery velouté with celery leaves, smoked morels, and lemon oil

Ria serving the summer vegetable tarte (a play on ratatouille) with eggplant, zucchini, squash, roquefort, truffle, tarragon & red pepper pureé.

Ria serving the summer vegetable tarte.

Detail of the summer vegetable tarte. So yummy!

Prepping the plates.

Grant and Ria plating the tarte.

The tarte is ready to be served.

The tarte is served.

Another angle of the vegetable tarte.

Serving of the duck (72 hour prep) with caramelized onion broth, field pea & mint pistou, earl grey ash, and pea shoots.

Another view of the final serving of the duck.

The duck was the star of the evening.

Getting ready to put the chocolate soufflé into the oven.

Chocolate soufflé out of the oven.

Grant and Ria putting the final touches on the chocolate soufflé.

Grant and Ria putting the final touches on the chocolate soufflé.

Chocolate soufflé with basil sabayon ready to eat.

If you are interested in tasting incredible food in a warm, friendly atmosphere (and don't mind the serendipity that's involved with interacting with other strangers/like-minded foodies around Atlanta), I highly suggest checking out the GrantMeFood website and signing up for his mailing list (some dinners sell out very quickly as there are only eight spots at the table), following the @GrantMeFood Instagram account, and liking/following the page on Facebook.

Photos from the 2018 Doggie Daze Festival at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve

On July 14, 2018, I attended the annual Doggie Daze festival at my local Atlanta park, Blue Heron Nature Preserve

Among dog-related vendors/charities present at the event were:

I captured the vendor booth photos as part of my volunteer efforts that day, but in this post, I wanted to highlight photos of the dogs (and their human owners) that showed up to the event. If you recognize any of the dogs (or owners) featured below, please leave a comment!

Earth Day Celebration at Blue Heron Nature Preserve

This past Saturday, Blue Heron Nature Preserve held its annual Earth Day Celebration. I've been coming to the Blue Heron both as a local resident (I come to BHNP by myself or with my dog) and as a volunteer for a couple of years—I've done volunteering both in terms of tree plantings, weed removal, and most often, photography.

This was the schedule of events for the 2018 Earth Day Celebration:

9 am - 10 am           Outdoor Yoga with Ronald Dill
10 am - 11 am           Volunteer Planting Event
10 am - 11 am           Children’s Camp Open House
10 am - 11 am           Forest Walk with with EcoAddendum
10 am - 2 pm           Local Artist Market
11 am - 2 pm            Native Plant Sale / Environmental Exhibits / Student Art Show
11 am - 12 pm          Bird Walk with Atlanta Audubon Society
11 am - 12 pm          Vamos Chicos Art Bus Demonstration*
12 pm - 3 pm           Neighborhood Block Party with Music, Food, and Activities
12 pm - 1 pm            Green Theater Performance
12 pm - 1 pm            Mini-Hive Inspection with Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association
12 pm - 12:30 pm     Turtle Sanctuary Dedication
12:30 pm - 1 pm       Art of Nature Opening
1 pm - 2 pm              Mini Critter Camp with The Amphibian Foundation
1 pm - 1:30 pm          Blueway Trail Groundbreaking Ceremony & Tour
1:30pm - 2:00pm      Farmer D Organics Gardening Talk 
2:00 pm - 2:30 pm    Blueway Trail Tour

While I didn't make all of the activities above, I captured photos of the outdoor yoga, volunteer planting event, the local artist market, the bird walk with the Atlanta Audobon Society, the turtle sanctuary dedication, and the Blueway Trail groundbreaking. 

Below are some photos from the 2018 Earth Day celebration!

If you're a local Atlanta resident, I highly recommend checking the urban oasis that is the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. There are a wonderful series of trails in the 30-acre park. Additionally, there are plenty of events that occur throughout the year, such as the Moonlight hikes, planting/weeding volunteering, and much more. Just check the calendar if you're looking for more information.

The 2017 Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival

Today I attended the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival, held in Blackburn Park in Brookhaven, GA. I came with my puppy, Penny, who received a lot of compliments herself.

The festival featured a number of food trucks, arts & crafts booths, and live music. I stayed around for the dog parade & costume contest, which had the following categories in 2017:

  • Artsy Bark (stepping outside the box, creative)
  • Cherry Blossom Awesome (your finest in pink)
  • Doggie Diva (sophisticated, stylish)
  • Super Hero Swag (need we say more)
  • #SquadGoals (Pet+Pet or Pet+Human Combos)¹
  • Best in Show (All will bone down to you if you win)

There were a number of creative costumes this year! Below, a gallery from the images I captured during the event.

If you attended, what was your favorite part of the festival?

____

¹ The #SquadGoals category was won by "The Three Amigos," my personal favorite from the day.

The 2016 Atlanta Dogwood Festival

This weekend I attended the Atlanta Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park. On Saturday, I participated in the Mimosa 5K race with a few friends. It was a lot of fun—and my first time drinking mimosas after a race.

On Sunday, I came back to stroll around the park, see the artist/vendor booths, and watch the dog frisbee competition. Below, a few photos from the 2016 Dogwood Festival.

 

The 2015 Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade

This Saturday, I went to see the Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade. Having gone last year (but without my dSLR), I thought I would capture a few photos of the festivities. There was great music, food trucks, and hundreds of people (and some of their pets) either carrying lanterns or wearing them. Overall, more than 20,000 spectators came out to see the event.

The parade went through various historic districts of Atlanta along the BeltLine: Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, and Virginia Highlands. I stood near the intersection of Monroe Drive and 10th Street (where the conclusion of the parade took place) to capture some of the photos: