Art Smith has a pretty busy week ahead of him. The Table 52 chef is in Atlanta today, but heads to Charlotte tomorrow to host a pop-up restaurant with Miami chef Lorena Garcia called Chick a Boom Boom during the Democratic National Convention.
The event, taking place Sept. 5 starting at 10 p.m. at Crave Dessert Bar (500 W. 5th Street) just a few blocks from the convention center, is an attempt to show that "fried chicken takes no sides" and a response to the recent Chick-fil-A controversy, for which Smith has written a couple of editorials.
Chick a Boom Boom will kick off following former President Bill Clinton's speech at the convention. Each chef is preparing a number of dishes. Smith will serve Mabel's angel biscuits with sassy fried chicken and homemade bread and butter pickles ("My answer to Chick-fil-A, but homemade and kinder," Smith told Eater), wild shrimp Georgia pea succotash, artisan country ham bar where they'll serve bourbon shots, homemade barbecue potato chips with sweet grass dairy blue cheese, and for dessert he'll have bourbon red velvet cake balls, coke marshmallows and peanut brittle.
Garcia's menu will consist of mojito-marinated char-grilled cauliflower with herb sofrito, sweet corn barbecue chicken tacos and creme de papaya mousse shooters. The pop-up will be cash only and will go on until they run out of food. Music will be delivered by DJ Arrick. "President Obama supports the LGBT community and gay marriage," Smith said. "Lorena Garcia and I are very close and this is one of many events we will do to support the president throughout the election."
The following night, Smith will travel up to Washington to host the Beer, Bourbon and Boudin Louisiana Shrimp Boil at his restaurant, Art and Soul, with all proceeds from the $55 ticket going to benefit Hurricane Isaac Disaster Relief.
Then on Sept. 7, Smith was invited to take part in a special launch event for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership being held in connection with the James Beard Foundation in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department.
The event will feature four large tables each with four chefs creating about 300 bites for the invited dignitaries, mostly chefs and culinary leaders, with food donated by local farms. Smith will cook at the "grains" table alongside chefs Bryan Voltaggio, Mary Sue Milliken and Amanda Freitag. His menu includes Anson Mills farro salad with Virginia Eastern Green Market vegetables, line-caught pecan-wood-smoked local swordfish and green tomato vinaigrette.
The purpose of the dinner, which will feature about 20 chefs including Jose Andres, Rick Bayless, April Bloomfield and Top Chef's Mike Isabella (apparently the rest will be revealed on Sept. 7), is to help foster diplomacy and cultivate better cultural understanding by showcasing elevated local food by renowned chefs. And what's on tap for your week?
· Chefs Are the New Diplomats [Washington Post via Eater DC]
· All Art Smith Coverage in Eater Chicago