Artist, designer, author, columnist, entertainer, humorist, television personality – is a true modern-day Renaissance man if there ever was one. He combines his artistic talent and wonderful sense of humor to entertain audiences at over 100 speaking engagements annually and on television and the internet.
Mark is an artist first. He began studying art at the age of 8 and went on to graduate with honors from the Atlanta College of Art. His paintings hang in private and public collections all over the United States and abroad. In recent years, his paintings have been reproduced as prints, note cards and collectible porcelain plates.
Mark has appeared on regional television stations in Georgia for over 10 years and has been featured on programs on the Travel Channel, the Do-It-Yourself Network and Georgia Public Television. Recently, Mark formed his own production company, Laughing Bees, and has filmed a pilot for a show that is being marketed to national cable networks.
His columns appear weekly in several newspapers and his magazine, Southern Style with Mark Ballard, is featured in those newspapers quarterly. His videos can be viewed 24-hours-a-day at www.macon.com and on his own YouTube Channel. Mark has published 6 books – 4 cookbooks, a short story book which is also available as an audio book and a compilation of his newspaper columns.
Mark also puts in numerous hours every year to benefit local art, charity and community organizations. He and wife, Debra, have been married for 29 years and have two adult children, Courtney and Blake. They share their home in Macon with Georgie, a Chihuahua who thinks he’s a Rottweiler! And, as Debra always says, there is NEVER a dull moment!
From his beautiful Red Coat, to the shine on his boots, to his beautiful White Beard! Everyone notices when the “Real Santa” enters. Santa Claus will be at Mistletoe Market on Sunday, November 20, 2011, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. He will visit with children of all ages! Get your letter to Santa ready and hand-deliver it to him at Mistletoe Market!
James Farmer’s Georgia upbringing has steeped him in a bath of all things Southern, a culture heavily influenced by gardening and the land. Hailing from the peach-laden fields and muddy rivers of Middle Georgia, James Farmer brings a unique blend of passion to cooking, gardening, design and architecture.
James was raised “organic” where “farm to table” was a lifestyle before they became popular notions. He was taught how to pull things from the family farm and garden to provide much of the food, décor, and flavor in his home growing up. As a young boy, James became interested in traditional Southern cooking and heirloom recipes by cooking at the side of his grandmother who always cooked from a kitchen garden. Through the years James has revitalized old recipes to make them relevant and healthier for contemporary tastes and entertaining. As gardening, entertaining, decorating and cooking join hand in hand to create the perfect event, James has been well versed in all categories. Not all gardeners are cooks and not all cooks are gardeners, but both lifestyles can be melded into one, themed by the garden.
James’ greatest aspiration is to combine his farm education and academic education with his love for cooking and entertaining to be THE young spokesperson for the elegant garden life and how to achieve it whether you live in the country, suburbs or city. He wants to pass along the idea of harkening back to simpler times, and how to use what you have (old recipes, family heirlooms, etc) and what is locally available with which to cook and decorate your table. Living the garden life can be done on a grand scale or on a modest budget, whether it’s planning a formal dinner for fifty using local foods and flowers, or showing a young couple how to entertain beautifully on a budget using their garden, James feels passionately about a “farm to table” lifestyle.
James is a regular contributor for Southern Living Magazine and this year his first book, A Time to Plant, which takes you from gardening to entertaining, will be available in bookstores this September, published by Gibbs Smith Publishing.
The secret to the best barbecue from the man who barbecues the best: Keep it simple!
In the world of competitive barbecue, nobody’s won more prize money, more trophies, or more adulation than Myron Mixon. And he comes by it honestly: From the time he was old enough to stoke a pit, Mixon learned the art of barbecue at his father’s side. He grew up to expand his parent’s sauce business, Jack’s Old South, and in the process became the leader of the winningest team in competitive barbecue. It’s Mixon’s combination of killer instinct and killer recipes that has led him to three world championships and more than 180 grand championships and made him the breakout star of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters.
Now, for the first time, Mixon’s stepping out from behind his rig to teach you how he does it. Rule number one: People always try to overthink barbecue and make it complicated. Don’t do it! Mixon will show you how you can apply his “keep it simple” mantra in your own backyard. He’ll take you to the front lines of barbecue and teach you how to turn out ’cue like a seasoned pro. You’ll learn to cook like Mixon does when he’s on the road competing and when he’s at home, with great tips on
• the basics, from choosing the right wood to getting the best smoker or grill
• the formulas for the marinades, rubs, injections, and sauces you’ll need
• the perfect ways to cook up hog, ribs, brisket, and chicken, including Mixon’s famous Cupcake Chicken
Mixon shares more than 75 of his award-winning recipes—including one for the most sinful burger you’ll ever eat—and advice that will end any anxiety over cooking times and temps and change your backyard barbecues forever. He also fills you in on how he rose to the top of the competitive barbecue universe and his secrets for succulent success. Complete with mouth-watering photos, Smokin’ with Myron Mixon will fire you up for a tasty time.