This is what Atlanta looks like from the inside of a convention center. Last week was the biggest bakery tradeshow of the year, IDDBA. Nick brings me along to assist - I do the shopping and make up whatever weird toppings I fancy for his breads and focaccia. This year was all about chocolate almond butter on Power Bread and aged cheddar grilled cheeses with 100% sprouted whole wheat bread. We make a good team, and considering most of what's going on at tradeshows is highly processed low quality crap, the Central Milling booth is pretty popular.
Nick got a wild hair to try something funky. We steeped a big batch of chamomile tea and used it to soak red quinoa overnight. He added that into the sprouted wheat focaccia dough before the bulk fermentation. The flavor of the chamomile didn't stand up during the bake, but the crunch and look of the quinoa was great.
We got some good business out the show...but I can't write about a convention without mentioning how incredibly wasteful they are. Piles of food are left to rot. Furniture broken in shipping is thrown in the dumpster. The trash bins overflow with plastic wrap and tasting cups. This would be a killer industry to break wide open by zero waste folks like Lauren at Trash is for Tossers. We were able to donate most of our leftover food to the local food bank, which is one point for the organizers of this event.
Enough of my soapbox. Atlanta is a great town, much appreciated by a Californian who loves to experience something different. Not a Portland, Boulder, LA kind of different which you have to squint to see, but a hot, humid, hospitable, truly diverse different that makes you feel like the time spent on the plane transported you to another land. I loved it.
If you go to Atlanta eat here:
The Optimist - beautiful glittering seafood restaurant
Twin Smokers BBQ - banging brisket & ribs
Craft Izakaya - kimchi pork belly, intestine yakitori, outkast playing loud!
Cooks & Soldiers - basque tapas - chistorra in a blanket