Over fried chicken, biscuits, sausage gravy, grits, and a half-order of blueberry waffles at One Eared Stag yesterday, I caught up with blogger extraordinaire Adam Roberts, the Amateur Gourmet. We first met early last year when Roberts was in town researching his new book, Secrets of the Best Chefs—though Roberts started his blogging career in Atlanta in 2004. His book’s official release date is November 13, but Roberts was in town this past weekend for Taste of Atlanta, and tonight Empire State South is hosting a four-course dinner for Roberts that includes a copy of the book.
Best Chefs documents Roberts’ travels over a year, cooking with chefs and accomplished home cooks, not only collecting recipes but also learning their techniques and translating their culinary personalities in ways that help the reader gain confidence in the kitchen. Five cooks represent Atlanta: ESS’s Hugh Acheson (including a recipe for the restaurant’s famed pork belly over kimchi grits), Restaurant Eugene’s Linton Hopkins (pickled black radishes and Vidalia onions, braised winter greens), Bacchanalia’s Anne Quatrano (herb-cured duck breast, baba au rhum with crème fraiche and grapes that I can’t wait to make), pre-Cardamom Hill Asha Gomez (beef curry, yogurt rice, vegetable stir-fry with coconut), and Gomez’s now-chef de cuisine Omar Powell (chicken and squash soup with Jamaican “spinners,” or dumplings, and the best rum cake I’ve ever tasted).
The menu was still being finalized for ESS’s dinner tonight, but count on pork belly. Cost is $70 and includes wine pairings and a copy of the book; call for reservations at 404-541-1105.