Lo­cal Fla­vor:

Cafe 1217

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Contents -

Café 1217 of­fers an eclec­tic Amer­i­can menu that ap­peals to a broad au­di­ence, as well as earn­ing many re­peat cus­tomers. Named for its street ad­dress, owner Diana Brat­ton opened the bistro in 1997. The menus, which change monthly, pay spe­cial at­ten­tion to sea­sonal herbs. The café still has its base of cus­tomer fa­vorites, such as the South­west Cobb Salad, Shrimp and Craw­fish cakes and a wide va­ri­ety of homey desserts all made from scratch.

What in­spired you to be­come a chef: It was al­ways down in my heart that I wanted to be­come a chef. I was not in­spired study­ing in­ter­na­tional busi­ness so I took the plunge and went to cook­ing school my se­nior year in col­lege. My mom was proud of all my en­deav­ors, but when I broke the news to her that I was ditch­ing col­lege for culi­nary school she said, “That is won­der­ful but I want you to fin­ish.” Her words set the gears in mo­tion. I made a com­plete 180 and be­came a Sigma Cum Laude grad­u­ate and stu­dent of the year. Who knew? Les­son learned, al­ways fol­low your heart. Best thing you’ve ever eaten: Truly, and I’m not say­ing this be­cause I’m mar­ried to him, but my hus­band Shane made the most amaz­ing pizza on our Green Egg. A light, thin, whole wheat crust with home­made tur­key sausage, buf­falo moz­zarella, feta, spinach and my home­made tomato sauce. It was the bomb. Best cook­ing ad­vice you’ve ever re­ceived: “If you know how to fla­vor pro­file and pair foods and can cook down from your heart, peo­ple will know it.” That was from my chef/ in­struc­tor Chef Jim Go­er­ing. Fa­vorite in­gre­di­ent: Sur­prise, sur­prise it’s not but­ter but fresh herbs. Any and all. Fa­vorite restau­rant: The Shell in Punta Cana, Do­mini­can Repub­lic. Some­thing few peo­ple know about you: If I ever won the lot­tery I would ren­o­vate the Gar­land County Hu­mane So­ci­ety. I love an­i­mals and have a lot of com­pas­sion to­wards them. Fa­vorite thing about Hot Springs: The view of down­town on my way in from work when there is a slight fog and over­cast.

Most mem­o­rable event you’ve catered: I have been so for­tu­nate to have catered many beau­ti­ful wed­dings, but the most mem­o­rable was for a birth­day party for four peo­ple. The hus­band put in a call to me about cater­ing his wife’s birth­day party one De­cem­ber sev­eral years ago. When I got to the home I was greeted by the hus­band. His wife was in the liv­ing room talk­ing to the other two guests. It wasn’t un­til they sat down to have din­ner that I re­al­ized that she had Alzheimer’s. He said the most beau­ti­ful things about his life with her. I will never for­get that din­ner and de­vo­tion he had to her. What is a dish that is al­ways asked for: 1217 Tomato Soup. Fa­vorite recipe: My mother’s flour tor­tillas – but that’s a fam­ily se­cret.

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