ABG launches Well Seasoned Chef series


ATL Food Chatter: June 1, 2010
(To receive the Chatter and other culinary tidbits directly in your inbox, sign up for our weekly dining newsletter)

The Atlanta Botanical Garden kicked off its sold-out Well Seasoned Chef series last week with Linton Hopkins preparing a four-course tasting menu using from foods freshly harvested from the site’s edible garden. The series has transformed a former parking lot into a cornucopia of Southern fruits, vegetables, and herbs where the Edible Garden’s twenty-seat outdoor kitchen allows guests to enjoy a twist of the farm-to-table concept: garden-to-table educational dining in a bucolic setting.
ABG’s new series, inspired in part the sustainable seafood initiatives at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, is only the country’s second dining experience set in a public garden, according to Tracy McClendon, the Botanical Garden’s education director. The New York Botanical Garden’s Edible Garden program began last.
The goal is to teach and inspire the public about quality produce—locally, seasonally grown—enticingly prepared by the best Atlanta chefs. The series, which will feature chefs Steven Satterfield, Scott Serpas, Virginia Willis, Kevin Rathbun and Anne Quatrano, will take place every third Thursday from May until September. While the current series is sold out, McClendon says that planning has already begun for the next program. Classes and other events are being planned for the fall, with another round of the Well Seasoned Chef series planned for next spring.

Speaking of the garden to table movement, the Four Seasons Atlanta Hotel’s Park 75 restaurant has created a new version of their famed brunch menu that features produce grown on their 5th floor terrace garden. The new menu features dishes developed by Chef Robert Gerstenecker such as chicken and waffles with glaze made from honey produced in one the restaurant’s two hives; a tempura squash blossom filled with herbs and veggies cultivated on the terrace and a wood-grilled waygu skirt steak accompanied by a blue cheese potato salad made from potatoes grown on the terrace.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that two of the Atlanta restaurant industry’s heaviest hitters, Ron Wolf—founder and former CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association—and Michael Gainsley—former Burger King, Royal Crown Cola and Arby’s Restaurant Group senior executive—have formed a foodservice consulting business named Restaurant Operation Services Experts (ROSE) LLC.
Brookhaven. Tomorrow’s News Today got the scoop that chef Joey Riley is leaving Buckhead Diner to open his own place, Kaleidoscope Bar & Bistro, at 1410 Dresden Avenue.
Buckhead. Tomorrow’s News Today first reported that The American Café at Phipps Plaza has closed.
Tomorrow’s News Today also noted that the Buckhead Bar & Grill, located at 3176 Peachtree Road that opened last June in the former Locos Grill & Pub space has closed but is slated to reopen this June as…Locos Grill & Pub.
College Park. Thrillist is reporting that Pizza Mia has opened at 5290 Riverdale Road.
Marietta. Tomorrow’s News Today mentioned that The Flying Biscuit at 1084 Johnson Ferry Road has closed.
Roswell. Roux on Canton, a seafood and oyster bar, has opened at 946 Canton Street.
Sandy Springs. What Now Atlanta is reporting that Charlie Mopps Pub has closed. 
Virginia Highland.  The Taco Mac at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Highland celebrates its 31st anniversary this month.
Question of the Week: What ATL chef recently received an award for Sustainable Fish Advocacy from the Monterey Bay Aquarium?
PS.  The answer to last week’s QOTW—What ATL beef purveyor is dry-aging Niman Ranch beef for a major Dallas steakhouse?—is Halpern’s, for Al Beirnat’s in Dallas’ Highland Park