Did you know that there is a rum distillery in Georgia? Or that pecan oil from South Georgia can rival the taste of olive oil in cooking?
When you think of food processors, the first thing that comes to your mind may be Kraft or Nabisco. But think outside the box (literally) and imagine a small smokehouse in Sandy Springs where Diana Fitzgerald smokes Norwegian salmon and Blue Ridge trout, or a Shared Kitchen space where Sona Sukumaran cans Indian-inspired chutneys.
Thanks to programs like “The Flavor of Georgia” food product contest, these local entrepreneurs have the opportunity to get their products in front of food brokers and retailers. The annual contest, now in its eighth year, is sponsored by The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. It has drawn 35 finalists in 12 product categories, ranging from jams and jellies to snacks.
“The idea started because we worked with a lot of Georgians interested in food processing,” said Dr.
A few years back, that great Clermont Lounge goer and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack fan Anthony Bourdain called the James Beard Awards a “self congratulatory goat rodeo/awards ceremony/chef shakedown.”
Whatever your opinion of the “Oscars of Food” you must admire the PR prowess of the Foundation in creating two drum roll announcements before the winners are finally, really, ultimately revealed.
In 2014, we got the semifinalists on Feb. 14. And in case you forgot by now, it was a pretty good showing of chefs, restaurants and bars from Atlanta and Athens, including:
* Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia for Outstanding Chef.
* Bacchanalia and One Flew South for Outstanding Service.
* Billy Allin of Cakes & Ale, Todd Ginsberg of The General Muir and Steven Satterfield of Miller Union for Best Chef Southeast.
* Ford Fry of The Optimist, JCT Kitchen, No. 246, King & Duke and St. Cecilia and Mike Klank and Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol for Outstanding Restaurateur.
* Kimball House
Fresh off Ireland’s most recognized holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, we thought you might want to know a little more about one of Atlanta’s authentic Irish Pubs. The Marlay House in Decatur is owned by Darren, Jennifer and Colin; three siblings that were born and raised in Rathfarnham, Ireland. Here Darren shares the four factors that make The Marlay House an authentic Dublin Pub: the food, the beer, the atmosphere and the name.
1. The Food
Locally grown and organic vegetables had always been the norm in Ireland, but people don’t expect that. Now pubs are slowly shifting to a focus on kitchen and food instead of just beer.
We had to choose what we imported from Ireland because of costs, and what was most important to us was using Kerrygold
Ration and Dram, the new family-friendly neighborhood spot from former Holeman & Finch partner and barkeep Andy Minchow, is set to open at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. But according to its Facebook page, it will be BYOB with no corkage fee for at least the first week or so.
While the liquor license is pending and fans of Minchow’s cocktails are counting the days, you can still check out the multilevel Arizona Lofts space, which includes two patios and two bars.
From the kitchen, look for local veggie tempura, patty melt sliders, whole roasted snapper, steak frites, and an extensive brunch menu.
130 Arizona Ave., Atlanta. 678-974-8380, rationanddram.com.
— By Bob Townsend, AJC Food and More blog
Well, since it’s St.Patrick’s Day and everyone is talking about beer, we are going to be different and talk VINO.
There we sat, with five glasses of wine in front of each diner’s plate. The slim glass of Prosecco was still bubbling. It was hard to tell the difference between the Merlot and the Rosso di Toscana, for they both were half full and set to the side. The Chardonnay had a mere sip but was otherwise untouched. But for me, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano was loosely grasped in my hand, as I found sips between each bite of food.
We were at a wine dinner at Veni Vidi Vici “celebrating” the biodynamic wines of Avignonesi, an Italian winery in the Southeastern Tuscany town of Montepulciano. But was it more just about eating good food and drinking good wine, or were we learning about wine in a beneficial hands-on method?
Biodynamic wines are gaining traction because they preserve the viticulture of the wines. Nothing is brought onto the vineyard from outside the
Atlanta consultant and cookbook author Shirley O. Corriher won the lifetime achievement award this weekend at the meeting of the International Association of Cooking Professionals. Corriher has long been the go-to for many chefs and food writers who want to better understand the chemistry of cooking. Her cookbooks, which include “Bakewise” and “Cookwise,” illustrate science in action with recipes that improve by an understanding of how a fat matrix is formed or the role of a reducing sugar in the Maillard Reaction. (Such as mayonnaise and burnished roast chicken, respectively.)
The IACP primarily awards cookbook authors and food writers but also gives out select honors to industry leaders in other fields. Atlantan Alton Brown won for his podcast, The Alton Browncast. Moving a little further afield, Matt Lee and Ted Lee won in the American Cookbook category for “The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen.”
Who looks forward to Mondays? Well, next week we have an excuse to have a “sip” of green beer here, an Irish car bomb there because its St. Paddy’s Day! The 17th is not just a big party, but an Irish religious and cultural celebration that has been going on for more than 1,000 years.
Now some of us have to be productive Monday, but luck o’ the Irish has events going on at pubs and restaurants all weekend long. Regardless of whether you are 100 percent Irish or .01 percent, St. Patrick’s Day calls for a little celebration. We know we didn’t get them all, but here are a few picks.
Corner Café and Buckhead Bread Company
3070 Piedmont Road, Atlanta
Take home Irish soda bread, St. Paddy’s Day cut out cookies, Bailey’s Irish cream cupcakes and more. You can pre-order or try your luck when you walk in as items are available on a first-come first-serve basis.
In tomorrow’s AJC I have a review of Roswell’s Osteria Mattone, the sister restaurant to Table & Main. I gave it a grade of 2 stars.
The puzzle is beginning to come together at Osteria Mattone, an Italian osteria-trattoria hybrid. Each member of the assembled team brings a unique set of strengths to this restaurant.
Owner Ryan Pernice masterfully manages the dining experience while Chef and co-owner Ted Lahey brings relatable cooking that has a polished simplicity and the potential to ascend from goodness to greatness. The restaurant also benefits from Dan Pernice’s well-considered beverage program and pastry chef Micki Kimberly’s inherent understanding of the dessert experience. These key players make Osteria Mattone the most likely of the two sister restaurants to become the destination where Roswellians have to compete with outsiders for a coveted table.
Lahey makes a mean mess of sausage and peppers ($12), a perfectly rustic
Part trade show, part tasting and part educational event, the Southeast Oyster Symposium on Sunday at Kimball House was another sign that Atlanta is officially crazy for oysters right now.
In fact, if Dr. Bill Walton is right, Atlanta is perfectly positioned to be the geographic and culinary oyster capital of the Southeast.
Walton, who is an assistant professor and marine fisheries extension specialist at Auburn University, has been working with oyster farmers around the Atlantic and Gulf coasts using off-bottom farming practices to produce premium oysters for places like Kimball House and chef Donald Link’s Peche Seafood Grill in New Orleans.
Seven of the farmers were at the symposium, explaining the techniques they use and shucking samples of their products for local media, chefs and oyster aficionados, including food blogger Ted Golden and Kimball House’s resident oyster expert Bryan Rackley, who hosted and helped organize the event.
Rackley, who has developed a
Did you know that Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute offers weekend cooking classes for those aspiring cooks that want to bring their skills to the next level? I recently checked out one of the Bleu Ribbon Kitchen courses, “Market Seafood,” and learned how to make crab cakes, steamed mussels, grilled calamari and shrimp scampi with homemade pasta. As a lover of seafood, and especially with warm weather on the horizon, I have a grasp on how to make my own nautical dishes.
Each class is taught by a chef from the Culinary Institute. This week, we had Chef Marshall Welsh, a former Atlanta Fish Market chef, who not only provided our small class with hands-on cooking guidance, but also gave us tips on seafood prep. Note- do not eat mussels with closed shells, they are bad!
For this recipe, our arms certainly got tired from whisking up the aioli, but it was much worth the effort. The smoky taste complimented the salty and slightly crusty crab cakes. Chef had us use lump blue