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Join Chef Jeffrey Gardner at Georgia’s first annual Smoke a Peach Festival

Addie Broyles / Austin American-Statesman

Chef Jeffrey Gardner will be at Atlanta's Smoke a Peach Festival on June 25, 2017


Join Chef Jeffrey Gardner at Georgia’s first annual Smoke a Peach Festival

Southern Kitchen's Chef Jeffrey Gardner will cook with Executive Chef Jordan Wakefield of Atlanta's Smoke Ring restaurant and Chef Ron Eyester of Atlanta's I Dig Food at Georgia's first annual Smoke a Peach Festival on June 25. Between 2 to 6 p.m., head over to Smoke Ring in Castleberry Hill to join the celebration of the beautiful state and its beloved fruit, farms and famous musicians.


As he proudly represents Southern Kitchen at the first ever Smoke a Peach Festival in Atlanta, Chef Jeffrey will help out as an “extra set of hands” behind the scenes. “I’m looking to just being wherever is needed,” he said.


Chef Jeffrey and his team developed an entire menu of peach-inspired delicacies, from chicken wings to loaded grits. “It’s gonna be in everything,” he said, “darn near in as many dishes as we can.”


Chef Eyester will add matching sides such as peach chow-chow to complement the main attractions. Smoke Ring’s bartender and Chef Wakefield’s wife Erin, also a part-owner of the Castleberry Hill restaurant and its special spin on Southern barbecue, will present refreshing cocktail concoctions, and Shiner Bock will also add some interesting spirits to the festival’s menu to help wash it all down.


And luckily for guests, Chef Jeffrey said vendors will serve carnival-sized portions of the  appetizing selections. “You can actually expect to get fed,” he said.


In support of Georgia merchants, farms and family businesses, the half-food, half-music festival will feature a farmers market of local vendors and their goods and musicians hailing from the city of Atlanta. Live original songs and covers of Allman Brothers hits and more will soundtrack your festival experience as you chow down on classics, like Hunter Cattle’s savory smoked brisket with peach barbecue sauce.


The festival is fit for the whole family but is expected to be kept down to a relatively intimate crowd of about 300-350 peach lovers. Songs for Kids, a nonprofit that harnesses the power of music to inspire children battling sickness, will receive a share of the event’s revenue.


Now is the prime time to purchase your adult and kid tickets through CulinaryLocal and plan a grub- and tune-filled Sunday afternoon feeding your passion for peaches. “We’re not gonna have an incredibly long peach season,” Chef Jeffrey said, “so this is a chance to celebrate what we do have.”


And to keep your peachy senses tingling until the big day, visit the Southern Kitchen recipe database to learn how to make your own menu of peach delights, such as a light grilled shrimp and peach salad or a comforting double crust peach cobbler.

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Daryl Mitchell is a member of Southern Kitchen's digital content team. A student at New York University, she majors in broadcast journalism and international relations, and minors in French studies. She is a Georgia resident, raised on Southern food, family, traditions and values, and she is always ready for a hearty helping of Mom's beloved homemade mac and cheese.