City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Picks to Watch the Kentucky Derby

a few of Southern Art's bourbon selections

a few of Southern Art's bourbon selections

Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby, known as “the greatest two minutes in sports.” Atlanta restaurants have found a way to round-up the action happening 400 miles away at Churchill Downs by hosting their own derby gatherings, complete with mint juleps. But where did these Southern bourbon and mint cocktails gain their association with the Derby? Since 1938, Churchill Downs has promoted the mint julep, serving more than 120,000 over the two day period. We aren’t sure if any restaurant can top that count, but we can be certain you’ll find plenty of options to imbibe.

South City Kitchen
1675 Cumberland Parkway, Smyrna
Make the gallop OTP and corral in their bar area for the exclusive viewing party. Big hats and seersucker suits are encouraged, and the winners will be rewarded handsomely. Small bites will include Kentucky burgoo croquettes, pickled shrimp and Benedictine profiterole and pimento cheese, plus drink …

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Coffee Pod Watershed

Personal pod stash

Personal pod stash

I don’t know about your office, but let me tell you how coffee works — or, rather, has worked up to now — in my office:

It exists. If I am on deadline and in need of caffeination, then I go to the printer room and help myself to a cup. I would call this coffee just south of likable. If I want a cup of coffee that’s just north of likable, then I walk to the nearest Starbucks-style coffee shop.

Then a Keurig brewer appeared in the building. No pods, just the brewer. It took me a moment for the lightbulb to go off (probably because I hadn’t had enough coffee), but I soon saw what I needed to do. I bought my own pods to keep in my desk. That way I can have a cup of coffee that is north of likable any time I want.

This is the wave of the future, right? We will all soon enough be lazily drinking coffee pods at home, then going to the office to drink more pods.

A few weeks ago I was in Lenox Square when Nespresso had taken over the ground floor with a huge display …

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Chef Asha Gomez on Living Below the Line


Asha Gomez cooking at the Third Space (Brian Feagans)

Think you could feed yourself or the other members of your family on just $1.50 a day?

During the week of April 28th – May 2nd, chef Asha Gomez of Cardamom Hill and the Third Space invited others to join her as she attempted to do just that, essentially living below the extreme poverty line for five days.

Gomez is an ambassador for Atlanta-based CARE and Live Below the Line is an initiative of the Global Poverty Project, a campaign and advocacy organization dedicated to seeing an end to extreme poverty by 2030.

When I talked to Gomez at the start of the week, she’d just launched her personal campaign by cooking a rice and lentil porridge dinner for 30 people, using ingredient that cost just 45 cents per person.

“It tasted pretty good, if you were really hungry,” Gomez said, laughing a little.

Asked how she planned to shop in order to feed herself on a $1.50 a day, Gomez admitted it was a difficult task, especially …

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Happy Birthday to… Turkey Neck Soup?

I know that if I ever have trouble deciding what to eat on my birthday, I can simply turn to the food holiday calendar. What better day to dip strawberries, pretzels and pineapple in bubbling chocolate fountains than on National Chocolate Fondue day, which according to National Day of Some Food is my birthday?

I can’t decide if that is better than wishing my mom had waited one more day to go into labor, when I would’ve been born on National Nutella Day. I guess I was just born to love chocolate (very true.)

Some other notable birthday ideas based on the calendar:

  • February 18: National Drink Wine day- ever wondered why you can kill a bottle on your own?
  • March 28: Something on a Stick day- fair food lovers?
  • April 20: Lima Bean Respect day- now listen to your mama and eat those green gems!
  • July 29: Cheese Sacrifice Purchase day- I don’t even know what this means….
  • October 21: International Day of the Nacho- just one though.

I think I feel most sorry for those born on March 30: …

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Tis the Season…for White Asparagus

“When I start seeing white asparagus cropping up in grocery stores, I know that spring is really here,” chef Philippe Haddad of F & B told me. Late April through May is the prime season for this crop, most popular in France, Belgium and Germany.

white asparagus "Flemish style" at F&B

white asparagus "Flemish style" at F&B

And yet, white asparagus can be hard to find fresh, often appearing on the forgettable canned vegetable aisle, a place that many home cooks eschew. While green asparagus is the skinny, feeble underachieving brother of the spargel family, white asparagus is the prom king, the muscular quarterback. When found fresh, the dense, meatier texture of white asparagus elevates spring dishes to a new level. The thickness almost triples the size of conventional green asparagus, rivaling the diameter of celery stalks.

Where pale color is usually a sign of blandness in vegetables, this is not the case. The lack of color comes from growing the white asparagus in the dark, buried under white sandy soils. …

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Al Clayton, photographer of both hunger and plenty, passes

Al Clayton with daughter Jennie Nedza and a pot of his famous greens in 2001

Al Clayton with daughter Jennie Nedza and a pot of his famous greens in 2001

Al Clayton, a renowned Southern photographer whose work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, passed away over the weekend. He was best known for a series of photographs he took in the 1960s that chronicled hunger and poverty in the rural South. Clayton also famously collaborated with Southern civil rights and food historian John Egerton, providing images for his seminal book “Southern Food.”

I mostly knew him as the husband and sometimes collaborator of Mary Ann Clayton, the great food stylist with whom I sometimes worked in the late 1990s. He was the kind of person who could turn a minute-long phone conversation into a memorable moment.

Here’s a great NPR interview with Al.

And here’s a wonderful 2001 story from our archives that Mary Ann wrote about Al’s New Year’s Day greens and beans:

The other night, at a friend’s 60th birthday party, my husband, Al, and I met up with a couple we …

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Bloody Marys and Chilled Seafood Salad Recipe for Mom

Mother’s Day is a week and a half away, but it isn’t too early to start thinking about what to make. In this weekend’s paper, we’ll have a feature on chef’s tips for cooking with your kids. One of the chefs, MG Farris, invited me into his kitchen to see what he and his 9 year-old son Julian will be cooking for mom.

Chef MG Farris and his son Julian share their Mother's Day breakfast in bed

Chef MG Farris and his son Julian share their Mother's Day breakfast in bed

On the menu:

  • Bloody Mary
  • Chilled Shellfish and Fennel Salad with Rosemary Lemon Dressing
  • Julian’s Sweetened Fruit Salad
  • Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

You know when a kid has a chef for a parent when they have already mastered “the claw,” a knife skills term for curling your fingers into a claw to grasp whatever you are cutting. Farris hummed around his kitchen, frequently peering over Julian’s shoulder to monitor his work- slicing strawberries for the fruit salad. It was easy for Farris to do the hard prep work, like measuring out exact quantities for the shellfish and fennel salad, …

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Lusca Opens For Dinner Tonight


Lusca will open for dinner service tonight at 5:30 p.m. The highly anticipated new restaurant from chefs Angus Brown and Nhan Le of Octopus Bar takes over the Brookwood Hills space once occupied by Bluefin.

“It’s pretty much the dream restaurant for Nhan and me,” Brown said recently. And earlier today Brown confirmed that Lusca would be “all the way open tonight” with full bar service.

CL has a preview of the menu, which includes a raw bar with oysters, live scallops and sea urchin, cured meats and other treats from butcher Jonathan Sellitto, and entrees such as lamb neck and quail. Look for lunch and brunch hours soon.

1829 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta.

— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More.

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Behind the Scenes: Carla Hall on Her New Cookbook

“My fear wasn’t going to Paris at 23 and having one telephone number. My fear wasn’t going to London and not knowing anyone. My fear wasn’t traveling around to these places without knowing the language. My fear was hating my job at 40. I knew that if I said yes to these experiences there is an adventure after the yes.”

4_29carlahallThat was Carla Hall’s mindset that took her from attorney to fashion model in Europe to culinary school in Maryland. A Top Chef alumni, co-host on ABC’s “The Chew” and cookbook author, she shared her inspiration behind her latest cookbook “Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes Around the World.”

When most people think of comfort foods, they tend to think of heavy, Southern fare. But you go with a different approach in this cookbook.

Our view of comfort food is very narrow. I grew up in Nashville, and comfort meant mac n’ cheese and smothered pork chops. So I wanted explore how each culture approaches their own idea of comfort …

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Buckhead Restaurant Week 2014 and more news bits


Buckhead Restaurant Week 2014

More than 30 restaurants will offer reservations for Buckhead Restaurant Week, May 17-25. Chefs will create prix-fixe menus for brunch, lunch and dinner priced at $15, $25 or $35 per person, excluding alcohol, tax and gratuity. Among them, 10 Degrees South, Aria, Atlanta Fish Market,  Bistro Niko, Cook Hall, Del Frisco’s Grille, F&B, FLIP Buckhead, KR SteakBar, Kyma, Ocean Prime, Paul’s, Portofino, Pricci, Saltyard, Southern Art, and Watershed. Menus and info:

Egg Harbor opens in South Buckhead

Egg Harbor Café has opened its newest location on the ground floor of the Brookwood of Atlanta on Peachtree Road. With 18 spots in Illinois, Wisconsin and Georgia, including Sandy Springs and Johns Creek, the casual restaurant specializes in breakfast and lunch fare, with egg specialties, skillets, frittatas, pancakes, sandwiches, soups and salads, plus a children’s menu, daily specials, and gluten free offerings.

Second Church …

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