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Take a moment to imagine yourself behind the wheel of your car (probably named Bud, Big Bertha or more simply, Baby). The windows are rolled down, the wind is whipping through the strands of your hair and your favorite pair of sunglasses sit perched on your nose. You’re probably listening to your favorite high school throwback and although you’re messing up every other word, you’re still singing your heart out.

It’s these simple moments in life that are often the most taken for granted. Driving your car is a luxury, but in today’s world it’s often undervalued. Lee Epting believes in always taking full advantage of every opportunity, even if it’s simply taking his Model-A for a joy ride.

Now Lee doesn’t hUnknown-7ave much hair for the wind to whip through, but he does enjoy riding around town while reminiscing about how he and his friend, Bob Shields stumbled across the Model-A back in 2000. This diamond in the rough was found buried in an old barn and Lee had a gut feeling that this car could be something special. Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?

With that, Lee purchased the car, put in a new battery and a tank of gas; it cranked right up! Fast forward to 2001, Lee married the beautiful Jerry Kinnebrew Scruggs and the Model-A was featured in its first wedding.

After its debut the car was an automatic crowd favorite. “This car has been lettin’ folks get away ever since,” says Lee. The Model-A became somewhat of a celebrity and was featured in Not Since You, a movie produced by our own Ashley Epting. This romantic drama takes place at The Hill and follows a group of college friends who reunite at a wedding in Georgia after years apart.

The getaway car can now be found on the Epting’s new television series, Black Tie & BBQ, presented by Comcast XFINITY’s Video on Demand (VOD) platform. This behind-the-scenes event and travel show documents the adventures of Lee, Ashley and Daniel as well as the entire Epting Events crew. Viewers can watch as Lee hightails it down the road, not unlike his granddaddy, who ran whiskey in the North Georgia mountains.

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To this day Lee swears there’s nothing better than taking a drive in his cherished Model-A Ford and now, others can understand why Lee loves this car so much. Epting Events has made this 1927 Model-A Ford available for weddings. Couples can now wave their final goodbyes from the Rumble seat while being whisked away in a truly unforgettable vehicle. Several brides have opted for a different approach and decided to feature the Model-A in their photos. Either way, Epting Events can’t wait to let this classic automobile add the perfect touch to any wedding day.

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Cat 1Each member of the Epting Events team is crucial to our planning process and unique in their own way. In fact, would you believe that one of our in-house accountants is skilled in the art of karate?! Meet Cat Warner, an avid outdoorswoman and a beloved member of our team at Epting Events. This inspiring woman even competed in The Battle of Chattanooga, where she sparred with other trained karate experts. Additionally, in 2010 Cat completed the Eric Shanteau Swim For Your Life race, an open swim in Lake Lanier for a total distance of about one mile! Cat also recently purchased her first canoe and enjoys hiking in her spare time.

 

Cat is “truly a product of the Southeast,” spending portions of her life in several different     states, including South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. Cat fell in love with the new emerging field of software and computers while working in Tennessee during the 80’s. For Software sales and support perfectly married her love of numbers, passion for solving problems and desire to learn different businesses. She also enjoyed the fact that she was able to meet new people almost daily.

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After Tennessee, Cat made her way to Alabama alongside her husband, Tom, and her daughter. During her time there, Cat served as the Accounting Department Coordinator for a large privately-held manufacturing firm. Her first order of business? Standardizing accounting software at more than 20 different corporations! Needless to say, Cat is one smart cookie. “[It] sounds really boring to most, but I loved it,” she explains.

In 2008, Cat became a resident of The Classic City. And a year later, she walked through the front doors of Epting Events and never looked back– we recently celebrated her fifth anniversary!

Triple chocolate chip cookies, the pool on a warm summer day, hot coffee and, of course, Epting Events’ famous cheese biscuits are among some of Cat’s favorite things. On the other hand, drivers who forget to use turn signals along with the final days of summer typically send Cat into a bit of a tizzy. All in all, we are so proud to have such an accomplished and adventurous woman as a member of our team and are so excited that you were each given a chance to meet her!

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThere is nothing quite like dozens of people gathering around a dinner table for a good cause. Last Sunday was truly a magical night as Athenians joined together for the fourth annual Autumn Harvest Feast at The Hill. Gorgeous weather and the charm of hanging tree lights provided the backdrop for the night. The event was presented by the Athens Farmers Market and Epting Events, along with Wholesome Wave Georgia.

Attendees were treated to a family-style dinner comprised of dishes from over 20 of Athens best chefs, including Jason Zygmont from Five & Ten and Matthew Palmerlee from The Branded Butcher. The Athens Farmers Market generously provided all the chefs with locally produced ingredients to make the meal. The night was perfectly topped with live music from String Theory that helped to foster a down-home feel. All the proceeds from the ticket sales and a silent auction benefit Wholesome Wave Georgia, which aids the farmers in their SNAP initiative, leading to a double in the value of food stamps.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMichel Nischan, the founder of Wholesome Wave was the special guest for the night and spoke about the initiatives of the organization and the importance of community.

Lee was also given the privilege of being a guest speaker. It was obvious for all to see that Lee was in his element throughout the night. In addition to being a guest speaker, he served up some mouth-watering brisket and mingled for hours with old pals and new faces. As always, the conversations were kept lively with his vivid storytelling and rich recollections about the history of The Hill.

It seemed like everyone who attended the event echoed the same sentiment: It is amazing to see how a delicious meal and some friendly folks help to strengthen the bond of our great community.

Writer: Kristin Jones

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Grit Tree Productions, helmed by Epting Event’s own Ashley Epting and his producing partner Scott Meier, have teamed up with Comcast to present Black Tie & BBQ for Comcast Xfinity Video on Demand (VOD). The show features a behind-the-scenes window into the breakneck pace of life for this venerable Georgia catering family and their crew. Each episode leads up to an event of some magnitude and complexity. Patriarch Lee Epting’s ingenuity and his staff’s ability to pull together the seemingly impossible on a tight timeframe provide a backdrop for all the drama that is life on The Hill.

Black Tie & BBQ recently wrapped 3 days of filming for their first few episodes. Grit Tree partnered with Joseph Stunzi, Society South, and food stylist Gena Berry. The filming featured Georgia’s own Epting Events, Harry’s Barbecue, and even The Hill. The pictures below are a little behind-the-scenes look at what’s coming to a television screen near you!

BELOW left to right: Scott Meier, executive producer; Ashley Epting, executive producer; Joseph Stunzi,  and others from the Society South team kick off Day One of filming.
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BELOW: The set up at Harry’s Barbeque. Light boxes and screens are set up in the Harry’s dining room to provide just the right light and ambience for Black Tie & BBQ. Our staff always looks marvelous, but now they are ready for their close- ups.

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BELOW: Epting Events’ event coordinators, Brittany and Bethany, enjoy Harry’s Barbeque popcorn during a break from filming.

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BELOW: A customer’s photograph of Harry’s famous pulled pork sliders, slaw and mac n’ cheese taken in the midst of filming. Take a look at those yummy nachos in the middle as well.

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BELOW: Daniel, Lee, and Ashley Epting climbing to the top of Harry’s Barbeque. Notice the storm rolling in — just a day in the life for the Epting clan. 

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BELOW: Day Two in the massive kitchen of the Epting Events operations center.

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BELOW: Day Three featured The Hill and food stylist Gena Berry’s artful take on presentation.

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BELOW: Lee sneaking a taste of his scrumptious grits and short rib recipe. YUM!

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BELOW: Ashley jumping in to help the production team catch an aerial shot of Lee’s homemade sausage biscuits. Now that’s an action shot!

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BELOW: Lee, Scott, Gena, and Ashley getting an ice block ready for Lee to demolish. Check out the full video on the Epting Events Instagram!

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We had a fantastic time working with Society South, Gena Berry and Grit Tree Productions. For more information on Black Tie & BBQ, presented by Xfinity, visit here.

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Writer: Desiree Sullivan

Brittany - Sales ManagerHave you ever wondered what it would be like to compete in an Iron Chef challenge? Our very own Sales Manager, Brittany Gunter, had the opportunity to take part in an Iron Chef competition, and her team won first place! The event was part of the September meeting of the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) and was held at the King Plow Arts Center. Brittany loves to cook in her free time and host dinner parties for her friends, so she was the perfect competitor from our crew!

64 participants were divided into nine randomly selected groups. Each team was responsible for creating a menu structured around salad greens, filet of beef and grouper. With 5 minutes to plan and only an hour to prepare 10 salads and 10 mains, the teams were submerged into the fast paced world of competitive cooking within an instant.

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Brittany’s team’s menu consisted of a wedge salad using crisp butter lettuce topped with applewood smoked bacon, fresh roasted sweet corn, slivered red onions and heirloom tomatoes — all garnished with a creamy homemade blue cheese dressing. The main course consisted of a pan-seared filet glazed with a Sweetwater 420 and fig sauce, coupled with a grouper filet in a white wine citrus reduction. The proteins were placed on top of toasted yellow grit cakes and were complemented with steamed, honey glazed carrots and asparagus spears.

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Brittany described the whirlwind hour of chopping, sauteing and plating dishes by saying, “I knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t know I’d get a huge rush out of it.”  When the panel of judges announced that her team won, the members burst into screams of excitement.  Brittany explained, “I love the fact that my job encourages me to dabble outside the event coordination realm that I live in day to day and try my hand on a competitive level at one of my personal passions: cooking” . For more information about NACE (and more photos from this event) check out their website! http://www.atlantanace.com/

ironchef4Writer: Kristin Jones

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The entrance to Harry’s BBQ got a “bling my ramp” makeover on September 18 in honor of Darius Weems, an Athens native affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy who triumphantly just celebrated his 25th birthday. Daniel Epting starred in the documentary “Darius Goes West” (DGW) as the driver.  Daniel has been a long-time friend of Darius and continues to be involved with promotional and fundraising activities for the DGW movement that has raised over $2.2 million to date.

The documentary followed Darius, Logan Smally and crew as they spent the summer of 2005 on a 7,000 mile road trip across the United States to promote awareness and raise money for muscular dystrophy research.

The wheelchair ramp at Harry’s was painted with an image modeled after Darius, complete with the hat and chain that he frequently wears. The Darius-style ramp commemorates the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the documentary and will further help to raise awareness of the disease.

“I hope that schools and folks everywhere will Bling their Ramps too, and raise awareness for MD and handicap accessibility all over,” said Weems at the event.

In case you missed the event, don’t worry! The “ramp blinging” was filmed and will appear on an upcoming episode of Black Tie & BBQ, presented by Comcast Xfinity’s Video on Demand (VOD) platform.  Check out www.blacktieandbbq.com for more info on how to see the show and exclusive videos.

ramp2Writer: Kristin Jones

 

For those of you who love Epting Events’ catering, we have made it easy for you to enjoy mouthwatering barbecue! Harry’s BBQ is also owned by the Eptings and has been open since 2009.

harrysJust as you would expect, the quality and dedication that Epting Events is known for has been passed to the restaurant as well. Harry’s BBQ was voted Athens’ Favorite BBQ in 2012 and Athens Banner-Herald Best BBQ in 2011 and 2012 (named runner up in 2013) . Harry’s serves up some killer fried green tomatoes and succulent pulled pork sliders. And for all those vegetarians, Harry’s has options for you too; the menu offers tofu sliders that are to-die-for!

Harry’s is great especially for fall, because it provides an awesome environment for watching the Bulldogs on Saturdays. There is a TV, so you can watch an away game while enjoying some BBQ and a beer. And of course, no southern Saturday would be complete without a few rounds of cornhole, so we made sure to get our very own Harrys’ cornhole boards.

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And don’t forget that Harry’s can cater and drop off food for your next tailgate! Who doesn’t love some good ol’ comfort food before the Georgia football game? Check out our menu and please call us for any catering questions.

Harry’s BBQ is located in the Homewood Hills Shopping Center, just outside the loop on Prince Ave / Jefferson Rd. Their phone number is 706-353-7895 and they are open Monday- Saturday 11am- 9pm and Sunday 11am-3pm

Check out Harry’s BBQ  on upcoming episodes of Black Tie & BBQ, presented by Comcast Xfinity’s Video on Demond (VOD) platform. Check out www.blacktieandbbq.com for more information on how to see the show and exclusive  videos.

Writer: Kristin Jones

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On August 22, Epting Events travelled to Cashiers, North Carolina to cater and provide decorations at the 17th Annual Cashiers Designer Showhouse. For the past decade, Epting Events has placed their mark on the event, and this year was no exception with Bethany as the event coordinator.

During cocktail hour, the 350 guests were treated to refreshing vodka thyme lemonade, while waiters passed ham stuffed biscuits and doglick soup shooters.

For dinner, people ventured to the various stations serving mountain trout and venison sliders. The hands-down favorite of the night were the fried oyster po’ boys served with a spicy cajun sauce!

The showhouse event featured interior designers from around the southeast and was held at the Hillard House in Cashiers, North Carolina. This year there were 25 boutiques and shops that offered food, crafts, clothing and accessories. It was a beautiful event and we had a blast!

 

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Writer: Kristin Jones

Suite 220

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What was once an unused floor in the Athens Banner-Herald building is now a modern and industrial venue. Located on the border of downtown Athens, Suite 220 is a 4,000 square foot room with exposed concrete ceilings and huge windows. With its large floorplan, Suite 220 can hold more than 400 people. The space is ideal for seated dinners and cocktail parties, and it provides ample room for a dance floor and band.

 

A few weeks ago we hosted an event at Suite 220 for the UGA Panhellenic Council. Women representing the 17 sorority chapters discussed important matters while enjoying our red quinoa salad and cucumber, watermelon and pineapple salad. Our floral department decorated the space with chandeliers, draping lights, and a purple-lit accent wall.

 

At Epting Events, our venue finder will assist you in finding the perfect venue for any event. It helps to narrow down dozens of venue possibilities to only the ones that fit your specific desires. You can search venues based off location, style, capacity etc. We recently updated the information on the site to include more pictures, a complete list of the special features and recent news about the venue. Suite 220 is on the site, so check out the venue finder to get more details about the venue!

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Writer: Kristin Jones

Here at Epting Events, we are still trying to figure out where the summer months went. It seems like one day we were dreaming of refreshing summer cocktails and the next we are preparing for fall. Before we make that transition, we wanted to ask one of our day-of coordinators to give us her highlights of the past few months and help us get excited for what’s to come! Check out what Emily had to say:

 

0234581What were the main trends you saw during the summer?

“During the summer we see a lot of folks that want specialty drinks accented with festive glassware, paper umbrellas, colorful straws and unique ingredients that gave their guests a refreshing and exciting treat!”

 

Was there a “wow” moment at one of your events, and if so, what was it?

“One of my favorite events this summer was up in South Carolina, the couple was young and fun and along with the traditional bouquet toss, cake cutting etc., they also had a DJ-ing competition! It was so great to see a couple enjoying themselves and keeping the party going in a new fun way.”

 

What are you most looking forward to for the fall events?

“This is the time of year where the temperature cools and we heat up the Cider Stations! Its always exciting to mix traditional fall colors and themes in with annual corporate events or weddings. We really get to see our team stretch their creativity in floral, decor and of course– Food!”

 

What trends can we expect coming up?

“I think going into fall we are seeing many “family style” menus encouraging guests to gather around a warm meal together. It gives the feeling of a harvest feast to even the most basic menu and adding our custom sized Lazy Susans to your tables will add an element of fun and action to the table and experience. This style is also great in the yard-to-table trend that is so popular right now.”
Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to see pictures of our events through the season. We are so thankful for all your support!

 

Writer: Kristin Jones

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