Atlanta Restaurant Scene

Find out how to meet a Food Network star in Marietta and Buford

Want to rub elbows -- and eat food with -- a Food Network celebrity?

'Iron Chef America' judge and Italian culinary expert Mario Rizzotti is bringing his "4 the Love of Italian Food" tour to Sperata in Buford on Wednesday, Feb. 22 and Sage Social Kitchen & Bar in Marietta on Thursday, Feb. 23.

The tour, which was designed to "show Americans how to eat themselves healthy through authentic, Italian cuisine," according to a statement, visits four restaurants in a different state every month. The tour will also stop at eateries in Augusta and Athens.

Rizotti, along with Adam Weisell, owner of Aurelia Osteria in Chicago, will pair with the chef at each restaurant to prepare a dinner featuring Italian dishes themed around a food product, such as extra virgin olive oil. During the dinner, Rizzotti educates guests on how to distinguish authentic, Italian products from fake, and how incorporating these ingredients into their diet can improve their health.

Rizzotti, a native of Rome, Italy, has been an "Iron Chef America" judge since 2005. He became an "Italian Culinary Expert" in 2002 after partnering with Academia Barilla.

4 the Love of Italian Food Tour

Sperata, 5:30 p.m. meet and greet with Mario, 6:30 p.m. dinner, Wednesday, Feb. 22. $135 per person, $25 for meet and greet. 9 E. Main St., Buford. 678-765-7911,

Sage Social Kitchen, 5:30 p.m. meet and greet with Mario, 6:30 p.m. dinner, Thursday, Feb. 23. $125 per person. 1401 Johnson Ferry Road #334, Marietta. 770-874-8330,


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