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Zeb Stevenson to leave Parish, heads to Watershed on Peachtree

Looks like more changes are in the works for Parish. Zeb Stevenson, the chef who launched a new menu and even changed the name of Parish to The Brasserie and Neighborhood Café at Parish, is leaving the Concentrics restaurant group and Inman Park on January 11.

Joe Truex and Asha Gomez to represent Atlanta at Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field, an organization that coordinates on-farm dinners using local chefs and often on-site ingredients, recently released its 2014 schedule and will begin selling tickets to its events March 20. The Atlanta events will be held September 27-28 at Love is Love Farm in Decatur. Joe Truex, executive chef and owner of Watershed on Peachtree, and Asha Gomez, of Cardamom Hill, will headline.

Watershed on Peachtree to serve its famous fried chicken for lunch on Wednesdays

Today at 11:30 a.m., Watershed on Peachtree will serve its lauded fried chicken to a lunch crowd for the first time. The saltwater and buttermilk-brined bird has previously only been available on Wednesdays at dinner, often selling out before 7:30 p.m. Now, executive chef Joe Truex is broadening this window to include Wednesday lunch service.

Joe Truex’s Maque Choux with Buttery Herbed Shrimp

Joe Truex, the executive chef at Watershed on Peachtree, hails from Mansura, Louisiana—the heart of food-obsessed, French-speaking Cajun country. The youngest of seven kids in a Catholic family, Truex was weaned on crawfish bisque, coush-coush, and gumbo served alongside a baked sweet potato.

This month’s review: Watershed on Peachtree

Watershed on Peachtree opened at the end of May. Why did I wait so long to review it? I wanted to give the restaurant time to properly settle. We ran a re-review of Watershed in Decatur in February 2011, when the menu transition between new executive chef Joe Truex and his predecessor, Scott Peacock, still felt schizophrenic. And a lunch after Watershed on Peacthree first opened in Buckhead didn’t wow (messy, jumbled vegetable plate; crabby shrimp burger with the squidgy texture of overcooked egg whites). I decided to give it some time, and I’m glad I did. Now that the kitchen has found its rhythms, Truex’s unorthodox but smart approach to Southern cooking has synchronized—the food bounces between tradition and modernism but the quality is consistent.

Watershed on Peachtree

At 5:50 p.m. on a Wednesday, I've sidled up to the four-sided bar at Watershed on Peachtree to wait for a plate of fried chicken. Several couples and solo diners already have the once-a-week special in front of them: We know to arrive early before the chicken runs out (usually long before eight o’clock). Many of us mastered this routine at the original Decatur Watershed, which closed last August after a thirteen-year run. There the chicken, which earned so much press it practically needed its own agent, was served on Tuesday evenings.

Its mystique endures at the restaurant’s new south Buckhead location, at the base of the Brookwood Condominium building. But don’t expect nostalgic allusions to the old spot. The move is part of a deliberate reboot of the Watershed brand.

Watershed

Note: This location is now closed and has reopened in Buckhead as Watershed on Peachtree.

If we were to play a restaurant version of word association, what would come to mind if someone shouted "Decatur"? My instant response is "Watershed." It has stood solid for twelve years, becoming an anchor of the community as condo buildings materialized along West Ponce de Leon Avenue and Decatur’s dining scene found its burger-and-craft-beer-loving soul.

Atlanta chef Joe Truex dishes about his plans for Watershed, the future of Repast

In the end, it was a mix of mama and a day spent with the legendary Alice Waters in his hometown of Mansura, Louisana this spring that led Joe Truex to Decatur's Watershed restaurant.

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