Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Atlanta The New Food Mecca Of The South

Atlanta is known for a variety of different things, mostly business and entertainment. It's never been  known for food, unless you count true Southern cuisine like creamed  grits and collards.However that's all changing. The city's chefs are still retaining the aura but adding new dishes and and livening up palates with exotic meals made with good old fashioned Southern produce and meat

It was the subject of an article written by Kim Severson in today's New York Times Food section. Ms. Severson,a Southerner herself, visited the city , stopping in on some of its' best restaurants and interviewing a variety of different chefs.For a long time Atlanta was in the culinary shadow of Nashville, and Chalreston. That's all changing thanks to the city coming out of the recession. The core of the city, what locals call intown Atlanta . also has contributed thanks to cheaper rents and chefs who are happy  to stay where they are. There is still a Southern vibe but married with an international one. It's locavore cooking , with an emphasis on produce and meats from farms on the city's outskirts.Uni or seas urchin is served with salsa verde and buttered turnips. South Carolina golden rice is transformed into risotto with figs and sunchokes.Revival restaurant's chef  , Kevin Gillespie. has cornbread that 's been baked in a cast iron skillet., fatback fried Silver Queen Corn and catfish smothered in tomato gravy.It's surprising that his menu doesn't include Mason jar sof sweet teas or Dr Pepper (although he does have dessert featuring Dr.Pepper iced cream).

The food scene does have its' problems. Diners order way too many steaks along with judging a restaurant not on its' food or chef but on its' appearance.Food critics worry that the city is more into chasing trends or turning out a peanut hummus (???). There is also the dilemma of Atlanta being a male chef only kind of place with little or none famous female chefs.The fact that it is a big city, and spread out is another headache. There  re divides too, cultural, geographic and even racial that impede an eatery from being a popular one.Most of the city's 5.5 million residents live on the outskirts and stick to their neighborhood places,If you want exotic food such as South Korea, Vietnam and Mexico along with a few other nationalities remain concentrated on the Buford Highway ,a busy highway that stretches into the city's northernmost , and densely populated suburbs.It will take a few years for Atlanta to truly find itself, according to Tami Cook, a culinary producer and recipe developer who used to work for an Atlanta food luminary . Alton Brown.

Atlanta is a city in culinary transformation.It is firmly tied to its' past with local produce and recipes but strives to create a fresh face. Luckily it  has chefs , loyalty and low rents to help it achieve this

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