Our store is a specialty food store that is predominantly farm to table. All of my perishables that I sell, the beef, the pork, the chicken, and the fish are all local. I use a lot of local farmers for proteins as well as vegetables. We have a large sandwich menu as well as pastries.
And you cater also, right?
When I opened that was my predominant focus. I do a lot of catering on the side. There’s a lot of hats I wear right now.
How do you deal with the pressure that comes along with running such a successful business?
I feel like I put the pressure on myself. I don’t feel the pressure from competition. I’m my own competition. I think the standards I hold for myself are so much higher. I’ll never disappoint myself. My expectations and my quality control in what I do is at the highest level you can get and I’ll never change that. I’d rather tell you
It’s hard work, period. They’re mentally tougher. If you’re going to be in the kitchen you’re going to work hard.
I find it interesting that you’ve said you rarely get invited to dine out.
I don’t get invited places because I’m a chef and people don’t want to cook for me. I’d eat a damn hot dog. I don’t even care. When I usually get invited it’s to another chef ’s house. People get really intimidated. It’s pretty rare for me. It’s like a burden. You cook well and then you always have to cook.
You’re doing some amazing cooking for cancer patients.
Yes. The program is called Harvest for Health and it’s prepared food for people go- ing through treatment or wanting to eat a clean diet. It started as program for chemo patients at Emory. I’ve been doing it for about ten months.
I have it on my website and you can order the dishes around your chemo. I have a refrigerated unit down at Winship (Cancer Institute) with a vending machine. I drop it there and when you’re done with your chemo you’ve got dinners for your whole family and you don’t have to cook. I’ve done a lot of my own reading on what works for your body, what takes away inflammation and what fuels your body to get through chemo.
Any plans for Christmas?
I’m probably going to do what I did for Thanksgiving, which was stay in my pajamas, have a mimosa while I watch the parade, casually cook something and just hang at the house with my partner and the dog.
Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
4 butternut squashes roasted and mashed
4 small bunches of greens—kale, collards, spinach or arugula sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil and salted 16 ounces chicken stock 16 ounces heavy cream 8 eggs 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons chives, chopped 2 baguettes, cubed 1 cup cheddar, shredded Combine stock, heavy cream, eggs, honey, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, chives and bread and let soak for 10 minutes.
Layer in sprayed pan:
December 11, 2015