Savory Soiree: Fried Chicken Festival

Great fried chicken-making chefs make for Chinatown.

If you pride yourself on your fried chicken, how does it start? After, that is, you have a chicken?

Perhaps you go with some basic bread crumbs, in a pan. Or in a bag. Or in a pan with some paprika. Or in a bowl with grown almonds, a hint of garlic, lemon, and flour. Or a secret spice you stash at the back of the pantry, the one that lends tangy zip.

It's a comfort food staple that can arrive in many ways, and several of those variations will get the chefly love in Chinatown on Sunday, Aug. 17. It's the Food GPS Fried Chicken Festival, and, like the rib festival from the same group a few weeks back, a rainbow of one particular dish will be on full and vibrant display.

Well, not just display. People will be snacking on the fried-chickenage, too, majorly, so picture yourself sampling the Crispy Honey Sriracha Tender with Vinegar Chile Coleslaw from Jesse Furman of Free Range LA or the Fried Chicken with Pimento Cheese Grits with Maple and Scallions from James Beard "Rising Star Award" nominee Kris Morningstar.

With maple and scallions. If ever two disparate ingredients trumpted fried chicken's sweet-to-hot versality, it would be those two. Or honey and onions. Or sugar and hot sauce. The different duos are plentiful.

And, of course, the day will yield some twists, like tenders and patties. It won't be all straight-up traditional fried chicken. It won't also all be fried chicken: McConnell's Fine Ice Creams and Valerie Confections (which is showing with the perfect sweet complement: Stone Fruit Crisp) are two of the desserteries that'll be nearby. Cocktails, beer, and other goodies await.

Price? It's $65 general. Time of year for fried chicken and stone fruit crisp and ice cream? Just about perfect, right? The middle of August is all about comfort food classics that evoke summery times and warm weather and a dish that everyone does a little bit differently (and thank goodness for that).

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