» Blog » 2011 August

Viewing Archive: August 2011



Chattanooga puts great food together

By Wayne Lazarus on August 30th, 2011

Categories: Linda's Travel Articles

Just in time for harvest, Chattanooga has a festival combining sustainability, protecting wild seafood and creating culinary masterpieces from local-ingredients.

The Tennessee Aquarium has joined with celebrity chef Alton Brown to educate people about over-fished and threatened species of fish – many of which are the most popular are our tables. The Aquarium will include displays about alternatives, many of which are locally available and visitors can obtain special recipes.

The Serve and Protect initiative kicks off September 22 with a demonstration by Brown in the Aquarium’s IMAX Great Hall followed by a meal prepared by chefs from some of Chattanooga’s excellent restaurants. The weekend includes a “dine-around” – meals in which many of the restaurants in town will create and serve special recipes prepared with particularly healthy and sustainable species of fish.

Chattanooga has a vibrant local production and consumption group called Gaining Ground that works to both increase local food availability and let people know where it can be found. The website lists restaurants that offer dishes prepared with locally harvested foods as well as farms, grocers and farmers markets.

The Chattanooga Market is a great example of such a market. Located a large indoor pavilion, the market has entertainment, excellent locally produced arts and crafts and the best of fresh produce, herbs, flowers, meats, jellies, cakes and breads. The market, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, enforces a 100-mile limit for both art and food. You’ll want your cooler.  I came home with locally prepared sausage, goat cheese from North Alabama and fresh salsa from North Georgia.

What has me even now planning a return visit to Chattanooga is the bread that I’m now out of that I picked up at the Market from the Bluff View Bakery. Among their offerings were Ciabatta, sourdough, Challah, croissants, sundried-tomato focaccia, but my favorite was what Chef Alou Niagadou simply calls Healthy Bread – made with all those grains that you know you’re supposed to eat. As dense as banana nut-bread with just a hint of sweetness, it makes fiber and bran a delicious alternative.

The Market is open Sundays from May through December with a smaller version open Saturdays on the plaza at the Tennessee Aquarium. The Serve and Protect program extends to the Market on September 25 when the annual Cast-Iron Cook Off, in which local chefs will compete to create the best meals from the sustainable seafood and produce purchased at the market.

Plan to stay several nights to take advantage of all that Chattanooga has to offer. Get great deals at Chattanooga Hotel Discounts.

Read Full Post     No Comments