Jim R. Miller Park, Marietta, GA

March 21- 24, 2024

Sponsored by Atlanta News First

Sunday ~ March 24, 2024

• 12:00 - 5:00 pm

Official Automotive:

A fantastic festival finale sponsored by Atlanta News First, with live music and a variety of delectable restaurants, farmers, artisans, and food trucks. There will be a variety of beverages for purchase, stroll the Georgia Grown Member Village, check out the Audi Marietta display, see what’s cooking on the Georgia Grown and Celebrity Chef stages AND the Georgia’s Best Whiskey Cocktail Challenge! A family friendly event with something for everybody in the family, including a free Kids Zone. There will be a variety of adult beverages available for purchase, including beer, wine and cocktails. Adult tickets also include 10 tasting credits (5 Tokens).

The Silent Auction, benefitting SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, will continue through Sunday, so make sure to check it out!

Tickets per person: $25 March/Gate
Children 12 and Under Free
Event Type: Indoor/Outdoor, Rain or shine.
Attire & Info: Casual attire, family friendly.

Free kids’ zone courtesy of Fun-Fare

Georgia’s Best Whiskey Cocktail Challenge
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Eight of the area’s best bartenders and mixologists will be competing for the title of “Georgia’s Best Whiskey Cocktail!” Chosen bartenders must create a signature cocktail featuring either Basil Hayden, Jim Beam Black or Knob Creek/Knob Creek Rye as the primary spirit ingredient, and no other whiskey brand. Participants will be provided with product to create their beverage.

Eight (8) contestants will be selected and notified via email. The competition will be professionally judged.

Grand Prize: The Grand Prize will be $1,500 plus a golden ticket to compete in the World Food Championships.

World Food Championship & Chef Jernard Wells will be presenting a Golden Ticket to the winner of the Best Whiskey cocktail challenge winner at the Georgia Food & Wine Festival for a chance to compete at the 2024 World Food Championship’s 2nd Annual World Mixology Championship, where leading spirits and mixology professionals will shake, rattle and stir their way through one of the event’s most interesting attractions for a chance to win $5,000 In Indianapolis, Indiana Nov 8th-12th 2024.

*We will pay up to $750.00 for transportation costs directly to the airline of your choice (This portion of the prize money can only be claimed if the winner participates in the World Food Championship.  The money will be paid directly to the airline of your choice)

2nd Place: $500

3rd Place: Prize Package                                                                                           



Meet the Judges

Garn McCown, 2022 Whiskey Cocktail Challenge Winner: Born and raised in Atlanta, Garn McCown worked his way through high school and college at Georgia Tech in restaurants and bars as early as 14-years-old. He began his spirits career in small restaurants, dive bars, and clubs, where he continually strived to learn and grow. This fueled his passion for craft cocktails, quality spirits, ingredients, and cutting-edge techniques. Garn truly began his craft cocktail endeavors at Bluepointe in the Buckhead Financial District of Atlanta, continuing to grow and learn at both high-volume and craft programs with Kimpton Hotels, Seed Kitchen and Bar, Marriott Hotels, The Pool Hall, The Aviary, and Gypsy Kitchen & The Southern Gentleman.

Keyatta Mincey Parker,  Executive Director, A Sip of Paradise Garden: Thrillist named Mincey-Parker one of the city’s female bartenders you “MUST KNOW”, along with Tastemakers making her one of the Top 50 Bartenders in the
South, and she has been featured in Forbes, Food and Wine, The AJC, and countless other publications.
You can find Mincey-Parker partnering with some of the country’s most influential spirit brands, chefs,
home bartenders, and farmers to realize her goal of creating picture-perfect cocktails.

Matty McKniff, 2023 Whiskey Cocktail Challenge Winner With a passion for crafting exceptional cocktails, Matty McKniff has honed their craft in diverse cities, including Atlanta, Denver, Charleston, and most recently Louisville. Beyond mixing drinks, he is a dedicated leader, known for his ability to inspire and elevate teams. Matty is committed to fostering stronger bartending communities, driven by a desire to share knowledge and promote excellence in the field. 


Master of Ceremonies: Beth Burrows, American Whiskey Ambassador for Beam Suntory

“Georgia Celebrity Chef Stage”

Sponsored by Publix

Georgia’s most celebrated chefs will present cooking demonstrations throughout the day, with demo recipe tasting bites for the first 50 people in attendance.

Chef/Authors will be immediately signing their cookbooks at the adjacent, Celebrity Author’s Signing Table 


1:00 ~ Chef Nick Leahy/Publix

 2:15 ~ Chef Jernard Wells

3:30-4:15pm ~ Chef Piero Premoli, Executive Chef, Pricci

Georgia Grown Member Demo Stage

12:15 ~ Randy Michael, Evergreen & Market                                                  Born in Ansbach, Germany, Randy’s culinary journey took root amidst the vibrant streets of Savannah, GA. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts from Armstrong Atlantic State University and a Masters of Business from South University, his passion for food blossomed during his college years as he managed restaurants in downtown Savannah. In 2020, Randy embarked on a flavorful venture as a co-founder of Evergreen and Market alongside his partner. Together, they cultivated the beloved Pickles business, offering over 35 seasonal flavors to tantalize taste buds. Randy played an integral role in shaping the brand’s identity and vision, aiming to heal “pickle trauma” and spread the joy of pickles far and wide. Their standout creation, “The Banana Pickle,” propelled the brand to the finals of the Flavor of Georgia competition in 2024, a testament to their dedication to culinary excellence and innovation.

1:30 ~ Chef Jared Hucks, Executive Chef/ Owner, The Alden                                                                A very long and colorful road led Chef Jared Hucks to open his namesake restaurant just a few short miles from where he grew up.  Not only did that road wind through all corners of the globe – from across the States to South America, New Zealand to Australia, Southeast Asia to Africa and Western Europe to Scandinavia– but the cultures and culinary training he was exposed to along the way, gave him the next level culinary sensibility he showcases nightly at his restaurant, The Alden.

2:45 ~ Thomas Jacobs Executive Chef, the Partridge Inn                                                                            As a child growing up in Augusta, Thomas would ride his bike by The Partridge Inn and imagine what it would be like to be a chef there. He set his sights on that goal and earned a degree in culinary arts from the Art Institute of Atlanta. After 15 years of homing his craft as a chef for other restaurants, he became Executive Chef of The Partridge in 2018. That passion and determination are now focused on creating the most savory Southern cuisine in Augusta.

4:00 ~ Chef Stuart Rogers, Your 3rd Spot               Chef Stuart is the Director of Culinary Innovation for Your 3rd Spot as it launches its first and flagship location at The Works in Atlanta’s Upper Westside in late 2022. Chef Rogers leads the culinary arm of Your 3rd Spot, an integral component to the company’s mission of connecting people and building community. His menu is constructed of sharable small plates that are big on flavor and give guests something to talk about. 

Live Music Stage Presented by
Superior Plumbing and Superior Cooling & Heating

Main Stage, 12:00 – 2:00  Acoustic, J. Scott Thompson

J. Scott Thompson is an audience favorite endearing himself to crowds nationwide (and quite a few in England!) with his warm, easy going personality, powerful voice, and fresh style of Americana songwriting. Pulling from his Southern roots, Thompson writes from the heart and speaks to the soul with songs influenced by his Dad’s record collection of James Brown, Sam Cooke, The Beatles, and Otis Redding. A prolific songwriter and captivating performer, Thompson combines a southerner’s knack for storytelling with a dose of southern charm making lifelong friends and loyal fans wherever he goes.

Official Grocer


(Our featured participants are being finalized and will be updated as they confirm their participation)

Food Truck Participants:

Beverage Participants

(Our featured participants are being finalized and will be updated as they confirm their participation)

Sunday/Funday will feature several Cash Bars and The Sunday/Funday Lounge.

Official Bourbon
Official Wine
Official Sparkling
Official Vodka
Official Beer
Official Tequila
Official Scotch
Official Gin