Last week, Atlanta's Share Our Strength celebrated the twenty-fourth anniversary of their Taste of the Nation event. Fifty local top chefs donated their time and talents to help raise funds to end childhood hunger. This year they were joined by superstar chef Floyd Cardoz, who flew in from New York to assist in making the evening a truly stellar affair. Cardoz is executive chef of North End Grill, the latest restaurant from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Cardoz is best known for his groundbreaking modern Indian cuisine restaurant, Tabla, however, he has an equally strong commitment to social responsibility.
In 2007, Cardoz received the “Humanitarian of the Year” award from Share Our Strength and in 2011, he designated his $100,000 grand prize from winning the Top Chef Masters to the Young Scientist Cancer Research Fund at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Prior to the Taste of the Nation event, the dynamic Bombay native chatted with me about his desire to give back, how he became involved in Share Our Strength, and why he chose to participate in Atlanta's benefit.
Q: Where did your sense of social responsibility come from?
FC: My father. He instilled a strong sense of social responsibility in our family with his deeds around Bombay. I remember one Christmas when I was a very young boy, he brought some homeless children into our home and served them dinner before our family had eaten. Over the years I also realized that giving is much better than receiving.
Q: When did you first become involved with Share Our Strength?
FC: In 1997, just after I had opened Tabla. I was asked to participate in Taste of the Nation NY. I didn't know anything about the cause. After working with them over the years I did some research and I have been involved ever since after seeing what they did. I also realized the issues we have with childhood hunger in the United States.
Q: What motivated you to participate in the Atlanta event?
FC: Atlanta is a great food city and I was honored to work with some of the great chefs here. I also heard that the Taste of The Nation in Atlanta was one of the best in the country and raised the most money.
Q: Is this your first visit to Atlanta and where have you eaten here?
FC: This is my third visit. I first came here in 1987 and I was here last year at a cooking demo in Alpharetta. I have eaten at Empire State South and Southern Art. I had the best Tandoori chicken I have ever had at Zaika in Decatur.
NEWS AND NOTES:
The Dekalb Farmer’s Market wants to add 518,000 square feet of retail space to its 140,000-square-foot spot at 3000 Ponce de Leon Ave, as well as a new 718,367-square-foot warehouse and 2,637 new parking spaces by October 2013, according to a report in the Skylineviews real estate blog.
Metro Atlanta’s five Corner Tavern locations are partnering with the King of Pops to offer a summer treat called Poptails. Beginning on Friday, April 20, patrons can enjoy chilled libations such as the Loaded Arnold Palmer, the Bourbon Cowboy, and Chocolate Sea Salt.
Five Atlanta restos were named among the Top 25 Restaurants in the Southeast by a national online survey, Opinionated About Dining: Restaurant Eugene (4), Quinones Room at Bacchanalia (6), Bacchanalia (17), Woodfire Grill (21), and Abattoir (24).
Atlantic Station. Thrillist previews the opening of Yard House, slated for Sunday, April 22. The piece describes how the huge beer inventory is delivered in a variety of ways, yet stays temperature controlled.
Buckhead. What Now Atlanta reports that the second location of DTox Juice Bar is slated to open at 3210 Roswell Road this May.
Johns Creek. Meat and Potato Kitchen and Bar is opening this spring at 5710 State Bridge Road.
Midtown. The Friends of Dogwood Pavilion tasting event will be held during the Dogwood Festival, April 20–21, in Piedmont Park’s Greystone event facility overlooking Lake Clara Meer. The Friends of Dogwood Pavilion offers tastes from several Atlanta restaurants — plus sangria, beer, and wine – all included in admission.
Smyrna. The Corner Taqueria is opening at 2860 Atlanta Road.
Westside. Bake Magazine named Sublime Doughnuts as America’s Best Bakery of 2012. Owner-baker Kamal Grant will be featured in the publication's May issue.
Question of the Week: What national culinary Internet magazine will host an awards event recognizing the young vanguards of Atlanta’s restaurant scene this June?
P.S. The answer to the previous QOTW—What soon-to-open OTP Mexican restaurant is promising to bring a completely different type of Mexican cuisine to Atlanta?— is BOCA Mexican Grill in Smyrna, which will feature a menu based on the Michoacan region.