Q&A with East Lake Golf Club’s Michael Deihl

ATL Food Chatter: January 3, 2011
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East Lake Golf Club executive chef Michael Deihl recently announced that he has accepted the nomination to run for the prestigious American Culinary Federation’s 2011 Southeast Regional Vice Presidency. I sat down with Deihl, who has a strong commitment to community service, to find out more about the ACF, his vision for the organization, and what his election would mean for Atlanta.

Q: What does the American Culinary Federation do and how long have you been involved with it?

MD: The ACF [founded in 1929] is the cooking authority in America. Through seminars, competitions, accreditation, certification, we are the go-to professional chef organization in the country. I have been involved for over 30 years now.

Q: How would your election to the Southeastern chapter affect Atlanta?
MD: Having the Southeastern Vice President reside in Atlanta will create a new synergy with all of the chefs in the Southeast. We will have more chef-to-chef events combining non-ACF and ACF chefs. It would give Atlanta more exposure in general among the professional food and beverage industry.

Q: What is your vision for the organization, if elected?
MD: I think it important to raise the level of consciousness among professional and non-professional chefs about the opportunities and responsibilities of being a professional chef throughout the entire Southeast, which is one of the country’s steadily growing regions in the food and beverage industry. Opening doors so all our chefs can see what the ACF is all about will be the priority on my agenda.

Q: What drives your passion for service?

MD: I believe my passion for helping others came from my parents, especially my mother. No matter how much we had or did not have, Mom was always there to help someone who really needed help. It just seems very natural to me to extend a helping hand to those in need.

Q: Where do you dine in town when you get the opportunity to get out of your kitchen at East Lake?
MD: Depending on my mood at the time, I really like Six Feet Under on Memorial, Rathbun’s Steak, Nan Thai Fine Dining, and Universal Joint. My favorite place to dine in Atlanta is Tomo.

Melissa Libby’s Atlanta Dish blog reveals that the name of Kevin Gillespie’s barbecue joint (which Gillespie vows to open as part of his “New Year’s resolutions”) will be Terminus City.

Robert Gerstenecker, executive chef of Park 75 restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, Hotel has announced the creation of Hotel Restaurant Week, a citywide event Saturday April 2 through Sunday, April 9, in which hotel restaurants are offering a three-course dinner for just $25. The website lists Park 75 as the only participating restaurant at the moment, but we’ll keep you posted on other hotels on-board as the event nears.

Alpharetta. The Red Hen has closed.

Buckhead. Former One Flew South chef Todd Richards has joined the Ritz Carlton Buckhead team as cafe chef.
Downtown. Thrillist is reporting that Cafe Hortensia, featuring a homestyle breakfast and lunch menu, has opened at 57 Forsyth Street.

What Now Atlanta
broke the story that Goodfella’s Pizza and Wings downtown location has abruptly shuttered.

East Atlanta
. Creative Loafing broke the news that the MJQ team is planning to open a “Brooklyn inspired gastropub” in the East Atlanta Village by September 2011.

Grant Park. What Now Atlanta is reporting that Cupcake Lounge has opened at 415 Memorial Drive.

Kirkwood. Kirkwood Public House has closed, according to What Now Atlanta.

Marietta. Curry Curry Thai has opened at 4724 Lower Roswell Road.

Tomorrow’s News Today reports that Nashville based cupcake chain Gigi’s is planning to open its’ third Atlanta location in the Merchants Walk shopping center soon.

Vinings. According to Creative Loafing, The Vinings Fish Company, an upscale seafood restaurant, is thought to be taking over the location of The Burger Club in January.

Question of the Week: What intown Mexican resto recently started a new weekend lunch menu?

PS. The answer to last week’s QOTW—What ATL resto’s dessert was named one of the top ten dishes of 2010 by Bon Appetit’s Andrew Knowlton?—is Miller Union’s butterscotch marshmallow ice cream sandwich