Severs from the Atlanta area lined up outside Le Bilbouquet holding a tray with a glass of water, wine and a small glass of champagne. The servers moved rapidly through a marked course through the shops of Buckhead as attendees and shoppers cheered them on. The final challenge after the course was to open a bottle of champagne as quickly as possible and pour a glass for each of the judges. The panel of six judges included HLN correspondent Lynn Smith, radio host Dana Barrett, Atlanta's dining writer Christiane Lauterbach.
The grand prize for the race was two round-trip tickets to Paris. John Wilkins, waiter from Cafe Lily, was pronounced the winner. After speaking with John, he told me the real prize was raising money for The Giving Kitchen, an organization he is extremely passionate about. "There are so many people in this industry with no health insurance, simply because they cannot afford it. It's nice to give those people an option," said Wilkins after winning the race. Wilkins is taking his girlfriend on his trip to Paris and said she will be thrilled.
After the race, Le Bilbouquet hosted an after party that included live entertainment, a rose bar by Whispering Angel, flower stand and hors d'oeuvres. Moet & Chandon brought festive white and gold glasses for attendees to drink their bubbly variations from.
This will be the first of many of this new event for Atlanta, bringing a long-time tradition to support a great cause.