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At 58, she's at an age when many of us would start slowing down. Instead, Quatrano owns and runs Star Provisions and its sandwich shop; Floataway Cafe; and W.H. Stiles Fish Camp. “There is a lot of overthinking of food now, and I’m not interested in that.”
This Sunday, 25 of Atlanta’s best chefs—including Steven Satterfield, Anne Quatrano, Billy Allin, and Ryan Smith—will band together to for a "Supper at the Farm," a potluck-style dinner benefiting Chefs Collaborative.
The nominations for the annual "Oscars of dining" are in, and three Atlanta chefs and two restaurants have been named as 2017 James Beard Award finalists.
Atlanta is a city that looks outward far more than inward, or even nearby. Outward, say, to the Lower East Side (the General Muir’s pastrami), or to China (Gu’s Dumplings), or to France (Bread & Butterfly’s tender, airy omelets). With the glorious exception of Ryan Smith at Staplehouse, I didn’t find a posse of young, or youngish, chefs all cooking as much for each other as for the public. The priority in Atlanta is less innovation based on local ingredients, as at Staplehouse, than finding a formula that works and then pumping out food to fit it. This makes for generous, untweezed food. But it also means food that, once successful, can become rote.
“This isn’t about abandoning anything but about embracing something new—something we haven’t been able to put as much time and effort into,” says founder Jen Hidinger. “It’s an opportunity for us to strengthen what we’ve created.”
Rusty Bowers wants to help showcase local farmers on a larger platform. “Now that we both have wonderful infrastructure in place, the next step was opening a high-end store that people can come to from all over Atlanta,” he says. “We want it to be a little culinary, meat driven mecca.”
Staplehouse's Jen Hidinger discusses Grant Park, working with family, and when she started cooking.
Staplehouse is the rare—and I mean really rare—restaurant where the menu devised by the chef, Ryan Smith, served with the balance and in the order he wants, provides a dining experience subtler and more seductive than what you could create for yourself from the a la carte menu.