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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.
Tickets are now on sale for the Giving Kitchen's fifth annual Team Hidi fundraiser, which features tastings and drinks from 50 local restaurants. Leah Melnick, who manages TGK’s grant applications, shares some of the nonprofit's success stories from the past year.
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.
After naming Staplehouse as a finalist for the country's best new restaurant in 2016, Bon Appétit magazine announced today that the Old Fourth Ward restaurant has been crowned number one on their annual top 10 list.
“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.”
The accolades keep rolling in for two popular Atlanta restaurants. Bon Appétit has named both Staplehouse and Bread & Butterfly to its 2016 list of 50 Best New Restaurants in America.
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.”
In cities like New York and Los Angeles, I’ve found municipal water is great right out of the tap. But in Atlanta? I can’t stand the foul flavor of our water, which restaurants often pour straight over a fistful of ice cubes.