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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.

Linton Hopkins and crew to open food market in 2011

Here’s something to dream on until next year: Linton and Gina Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House are planning to open a progressive, multifaceted food market in April 2011.

Restaurant Eugene

Among the forty-four dishes listed on an April menu at Restaurant Eugene, my eyes came to rest on a description that roused my curiosity: "Roasted shad roe, onion puree, lime pickle butter.” An uninitiated tablemate cocked his head quizzically when this plate arrived at the table. No way around it: Shad roe is one of nature’s uglier handiworks. A lobe of tiny eggs from the notoriously bony shad fish that runs briefly through the mid-Atlantic rivers in spring, the roe looks like a bloody horror-flick prop when raw and turns an unappealing gray when cooked. Yet this fleeting prize is sublime in flavor, offering a mild but hardscrabble pungency that suggests freezing water, upstream struggle, and the funkier nuances of caviar. Matching it with lime pickle butter tamed its feral qualities and evoked two distinct cuisines: Pickles are a staple in the South, but the triple hit of brine, heat, and citrus tasted undeniably of an Indian condiment. What an ingenious collaboration.

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