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by Sarah Matalone Celebrating summer's most coveted fruit, the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival returns to Atlanta on July 17 for the third year in a row. Since its inception, the festival has drawn a variety of the Southeast's best chefs, farmers and mixologists. JCT. Kitchen & Bar, an Atlanta-based restaurant whose specialty is what Chef/Owner Ford Fry calls "Southern farmstead cooking" -  think buttermilk-brined fried chicken, fried apple pie, chopped salad and a citified version of chicken and dumplings - plays host for the tomatoey shindig. When I talked with Chef Fry, he explained what led to the creation of such a killer event. "Georgia has amazing tomatoes in the summertime, from heirlooms to little cherries and sungolds," he says. "Typically in late July, our local farmers have tons of tomatoes and need to sell them. And, I've always wanted to hold a crazy fun food event at JCT. and our surrounding property." In addition to showcasing the state's bounty of tomatoes, the festival pits chef against chef, mixologist against mixologist, in a competition for the best recipe. Chefs pair up with local farmers to create unique, tomato-based dishes for festival goers to sample, while mixologists fashion some accompanying tomato-based cocktails. After the slicing,

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