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The best carrot I ever ate wasn’t charred, blistered, sous-vided, dusted with ashes, or suffering any of the indignities chefs now routinely submit our vegetables to. The best carrot I ever ate came right out of the ground.
Why are chefs milling their own flour, fermenting yogurt, and churning butter as if they lived in a little house on the prairie? Butter is easy to make—but hard to make well. Chefs shouldn’t waste their energy playing dairymaid.
I can probably name 15 Atlanta bartenders who can create and pour artisanal cocktails worth drinking. But no more. Plus: The restaurant you should recommend to your out-of-town friends seeking Southern fare is Kevin Gillespie’s Revival.
The Christiane Chronicles: A love-hate relationship with barstools and a healthy appreciation for gravy
It doesn’t matter if there’s an upholstered seat on your farm-style or artsy modern stools; I need something with armrests and a comfortable back. Plus, my favorite kinds of gravy and where to indulge on them in Atlanta.
People sneeze on laminated menus. They handle them with greasy paws. What I want on my table is a clean sheet of paper (no need for fancy stock) printed fresh every day. Plus: why I'm in love with finishing salts.
Some people have season tickets to the ballet; others follow sports. The spectacle I’m addicted to, every bit as physical in its own way but more quotidian, is the artistry of the short-order cook.
I hate hovering servers, but I also don’t want to be completely ignored. One easy way to negotiate the right level of service is the buzzer common in Korean restaurants. Picture a red button mounted next to your table. Push it, and a server materializes, ready to turn down the flame below your sizzling meat, refill your kimchi bowl, or bring you more barley tea.
I have lived in the United States for decades, but the monumental size of everything still shocks me. The Frenchwoman in me yearns for reasonable dimensions: skinny baguettes rather than ones as fat as my arm; one-bite chocolate bonbons making up in intensity what they lack in bulk.
Bowls have their place when serving food, but please, don't put toast in a bowl ever again. Plus, nut milk from Virginia-Highland's Press & Grind has made me a convert.
Champagnes and other sparkling wines are fragile! Swirl them and they’ll go flat, which means you lose the aromatics that the bubbles are meant to deliver.