Jennifer Hill Booker’s apple galette

Overcooked turkeys and prickly relatives can put a holiday dinner on edge, but nothing comforts a crowd like a warm pie. If you don’t have time to deal with a lattice top or crimped edges, Booker has a solution in this elegant, free-form tart adapted from one in her book, Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, which came out in September.

Suzanne Vizethann’s corn fritters

Suzanne Vizethann was practically raised on creamed corn in her childhood home in Buckhead, just five miles from her breakfast and lunch restaurant, Buttermilk Kitchen. The canned variety served as the base for the corn fritters her dad would fry up for family dinners.

Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor’s Korean Wedding Soup: Janchi Guksu

She was a Korean pop singer. He majored in biology and psychology at Georgia Southern. Today, Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor own Heirloom Market BBQ and Sobban, two restaurants where Far East flavors frequently...

David Roberts’ gingered peach cobbler with Mom’s streusel topping

Long before Roberts learned how to toy with foie gras under Guenter Seeger, another mentor showed him moves in the kitchen: his mom, Jean Roberts. Today, some of her best creations—like her creamy macaroni and cheese—are signatures at Community Q.

Marie Nygren’s chicken paillards with tomatoes, peach, Vidalia onion, and mint

Nygren entered the kitchen almost as soon as she was born. Her mother, Margaret Lupo, became pregnant with her in 1959, three years after Lupo opened her first restaurant, Margaret’s Tray Shop, in downtown Atlanta. In 1962 Lupo became the proprietress of Mary Mac’s Tea Room, and over the next couple of decades she turned the meat-and-three restaurant into an Atlanta icon.

Joseph Ward’s Modernist applesauce cake

Among the kitchen crew at Kevin Gillespie’s Glenwood Park restaurant, Ward is the modernist—the one who likes to take recipes that are part of American pop culture (beef Wellington, ranch dressing, cheeseburgers) and reimagine them.

Cathy Conway’s collards with smoked tomatoes

The Baltimore native’s love for vegetables began on summer vacations to her grandparents’ tiny farmhouse deep in North Carolina tobacco country. On the linen-covered dinner table, collards typically shared space with just-picked corn, tomatoes, and the beans and peas she and her siblings had shelled and snapped that morning. Meat, other than as seasoning, was often absent, and rarely missed.

Cathy Conway’s cornmeal dumplings

If you enjoyed the Avalon Catering chef's collards with smoked tomatoes, try adding these dumplings for extra flair.

Adam Evans’ North Alabama Chicken Stew

A native of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Evans moved to Atlanta to helm the kitchen at Buckhead’s now-defunct Craftbar. His focus at the Optimist is seafood, but he still craves the earthier Southern comfort foods of home: his mom’s biscuits and gravy, his grandmother’s chicken and dumplings, and most of all, North Alabama chicken stew.

Kathryn King’s coconut custard with blood orange sauce

s a child, King’s military family was always on the move. But wherever they lived—Virginia, Missouri, Hawaii—her grandmother, Mildred King, came for extended visits, bringing the flavors of Georgia with her. “Ganky” (as King called her) was revered for her layer cakes and pecan tassies. But the dessert that King most remembers is a simple, delicate coconut custard.

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