BATON - the mostly-monthly supper series started by Deerhunter drummer Moses Archuleta and wife Bryson Tedford - has brought impressive food talent from around the world to Atlanta in the past year. Most recently, 2012 James Beard Rising Star chef Christina Tosi of New York City's Momofuku Milk Bar, graced August's two-night affair. As an added surprise, Mission Chinese's Danny Bowien returned to lend a hand (he created January's menu as well).
The pop-up event arose from fortuitous encounters in the fall of 2011, and was given a wide berth to evolve over time without restrictions. "We went back and forth on [our goals for BATON] a lot, and we've tried to define it for ourselves," Archuleta tells Creative Loafing of the series' early days. "It didn't really develop with a goal. We didn't have a plan. It was almost a self-fulfilling prophecy of allowing it to happen. And then it happened, and we continued with that."
After "allowing it to happen" for a year now, plans for the final BATON dinners have begun to materialize. A 10-or-so-course "greatest hits" BATON is in the works and, as usual, the only way to secure your spot is by subscribing to the email list at baton-limited.com. [Editor's note: The original event was scheduled for Sept. 17-18, but as of press time has been postponed. Official dates TBA.] BATON's finale will feature myriad ATL talent: James Ellington (Holeman & Finch/The Spence/Bacchanalia), Allen Suh (One Flew South/Heirloom Market BBQ), Nicholas Stinson (Gato Bizco), and others. "It's mostly comprised of chefs who have been integral in various ways to our being able to do BATON over the past year, and this is a way of giving them a platform and voice to do a menu," Archuleta explains.
But this doesn't mean BATON is finished for good. "We're going to stop doing it as we've done it thus far," Tedford says. "You do something for a year and you get a pretty good idea of how it's going to run. We're going to conclude it in this incarnation [this fall]. We're thinking about what would be a new twist, and also waiting to see if anything makes itself known. You don't want to force anything."
Archuleta and Tedford say they've got a lot of ideas on the table, but are reluctant to announce anything just yet. In true BATON fashion, the pair prefers to let things develop organically, and if something jumps out at them, that'll be the next notion they run with. In the meantime, adventurous Atlanta food lovers will just have to keep an eye on their inbox to see what's next. "It always sells out now, and every month is increasingly difficult," Archuleta says. "It's growing, and it's not like we're trying to be exclusionary or elitist. If it keeps growing at the pace that it is, it's going to get harder and harder for us to do it while maintaining what works so well about it. It just seems like the time's right. It's been a year. It's time for us to step back and kind of think about things instead of just trucking along."