Saturday, February 27, 2010

The National: OPEN for BRUNCH

The National is now open for brunch on Sunday. Come one, come all!
Here is the first look at the new menu.

Agua Fresca
Morning spritzer
OJ & Grapefruit juice
Lemonade, Cherry-limeade
Counter Culture coffee
Rishi teas
fresh Moroccan mint tea

Small Plates
Housemade almond-sticky bun

Today’s scone with honey-butter

Goat cheese with lavender-honey and toast

Muesli with milk, skim milk, soy milk or Greek yogurt

Butter lettuce salad: hearts of palm, marinated onion, peanuts, green goddess dressing

Empanada: Benton’s country ham, fontina, scallion & salsa verde (make it an entree: two empanadas, green salad, creme fraiche)

Big Plates
The National: two fried or scrambled local eggs, bacon or lamb sausage, polenta or roasted potatoes, toast

Brioche French toast: Ruskin Powell’s cane syrup, whipped cream, orange marmalade

Frittata: potato, caramelized spring Vidalias, thyme, smoked San Simon cheese, sweet pepper dressing, green salad

Iron-skillet eggs: fixins topped with two broiled local eggs
• saucey red beans: peppers and onions, crema, tomatillo salsa fresca, side of fried corn tortillas
• smoked trout-potato hash: dill crème fraiche, asparagus salad, toast Shrimp Roll: GA shrimp, lemon-mayo, butter lettuce, fries

Cheeseburger: our special grind of C.A.B. chuck and brisket, brioche bun, white cheddar, shaved red onion, butter lettuce, “special sauce”, fries

Chicken sandwich: just like the cheeseburger but with a marinated Springer Mountain chicken thigh

Veggie National: saucey red beans with peppers and onions, green salad, asparagus, roasted tomato, olive oil toast

Berkshire bacon
Lamb merguez sausage
Red Mule polenta
Roasted red potatoes
Seasonal fruit
Luna whole wheat toast
Luna raisin toast

chocolate pot de creme with cocoa nibs
Georgia baklava with pecans and honey syrup
... or another round of almond-sticky buns

Friday, February 26, 2010

Georgia Organics Farmers Feast

I would like to give a big shout out to all of the Chefs who participated in the Georgia Organics Farmers Feast last Saturday Night. It was an event of gargantuan proportion. 890 guests, 250 jars of pickled items, 100 cakes, 28 different local dishes, 27 chefs and 1 Italian. The array of dishes at the Farmers Feast goes to show you that even in the wintertime there is an abundance of fresh, local and sustainable food just around the corner.

Thanks to the many talented chefs who made this event possible.

Chef Cathy Conway, Avalon Catering, Atlanta, GA

Chef Peter Dale, The National, Athens, GA

Chef Michael Deihl, East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, GA

Chef Shaun Doty, Shaun's, Atlanta, GA

Chef Ron Eyester, Rosebud, Atlanta, GA

Chef Ford Fry, JCT Kitchen & Bar, Atlanta, GA

Chef Alex Gallis, Cypress on the Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Chef Patrick Gebrayel, Dunwoody Country Club, Dunwoody, GA

Chef Kevin Gillespie, Woodfire Grill, Atlanta, GA

Chef Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta, GA

Chef Bruce Logue, La Pietra Cucina, Atlanta, GA

Chef Kevin Maxey, Craft, Atlanta, GA

Chef Chris McCook, Athens Country Club, Athens, GA

Chef Louis Osteen, Lake Rabun Hotel, Lakemont, GA

Chef Matt Palmerlee, Farm 255, Athens GA

Chef Anne Quatrano, Bacchanalia, Floataway Cafe, Abattoir, Atlanta, GA

Chef Butch Raphael, Whole Foods, Atlanta, GA

Chef Chuck Ramsey, Five & Ten, Athens, GA

Chef Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC

Chef Todd Richards, One Flew South, Atlanta, GA

Chef Dave Roberts, Community Q, Atlanta, GA

Chef Edward Russell, Farm 255, Athens GA

Chef Michael Shetterley, Center Stage Catering, Athens, GA

Chef Marc Sommers, Parsley Catering, Atlanta, GA

Chef Joe Truex, Repast, Atlanta, GA

Chef Drew Van Leuvan, One Midtown Kitchen, Atlanta, GA

Chef Mark Williams, Corporate Executive Chef, Brown-Forman, Louisville, KY

Chef Janice Witcher, Epting Events, Athens, GA

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cook for a Cause

My dance partner Natalie Cox and I will be hosting a series of cooking classes benefitting Project Safe. As you might already know we are competing in Athens Dancing with the Stars, a fundraiser for Project Safe. If you aren't familiar with Project Safe please check out their website.

To kick off our series, I will be teaching the first class at my home, 628 Boulevard, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm on Thursday February 11th. Come on over and learn how to make my Frogmore stew and a tasty carrot, beet and feta salad with a cumin vinaigrette. With Valentine's Day around the corner, give the gift of gourmet food and culinary knowledge. Not only is this going to be a delicious good time, it will benefit a great organization.

The second of the four classes will be taught Chef/Partner of The National, Peter Dale. Peter's menu will be Latin-themed, with Ecuadorian-style shrimp ceviche, fried green plantains and crispy braised pork with aji sauce. Shake things up and join Peter at my house on Thursday February 18th at 6:00 pm.

Five & Ten’s very talented pastry chef, Shae Rehmel, will take on the next class. She will teach her students how to make three different types of French macaroons, a buttercream filling and a ganache filling. Shae is really rocking the macaroons right now and she might even let you spray luster duster your creations. This class will be held at Angela Meltzer's house 117 Westview Drive (Five Points) on Sunday February 28th at 2:00 pm.

Last but certainly not least, Angela Meltzer, local CPA best known for cooking and crunching numbers, will be conducting a class at her house, Sunday March 7th at 2:00 pm. Angela will be teaching a class titled " A Chinese Banquet in Your Own Kitchen," featuring soups, appetizers, main course and dessert. Learn how to impress your guests with a satisfying and unique spread.

There is no minimum cost for these events, Natalie and I ask for a donation to Project Safe, which will be collected at the end of each class. Space is limited so please reserve your spot by emailing

MARK your calendars and RESERVE your spots.

Thursday, February 11th, 6:00 pm at Hugh's house, 628 Boulevard.

Thursday, February 18th, 6:00 pm at Hugh's House

Sunday, February 28th, 2:00 pm at Angela Meltzer's house, 117 Westview Drive, Athens (Five Points)

Sunday, March 7th, 2:00 pm at Angela Meltzer's house, 117 Westview Drive, Athens (Five Points)


Vote Team # 7

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Culinary Artistry

Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page is a great cookbook for everyone but a revolutionary one for professional chefs.

This is a book that teaches the foundational knowledge of flavor pairings every cook should learn, how to develop your own ideas with the resources you have and understanding the creative components of cooking. For example, if you have venison loin, Dornenburg and Page explain that it often served in the fall with apples, cherries, red currants, juniper berries, or mushrooms and that it would be smart to grill, braise, roast or sauté it. I can't even fathom how long it took them to think the whole book through; it's so thorough. So when I walk through the fridges early tomorrow morning and say, "Geez, what should I do with all that swiss chard and that case of local eggs?" Culinary Artistry is the inspirational guide that can show me the way! After almost 15 years of having my dog-eared copy I still use it to spark my creativity.

This is another core book in any cooks kitchen.
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