Interview with 2012 Atlanta Rising Star Chef David Carson

June 2012

Katherine Sacks: What got you interested in cooking?

David Carson: It was actually an older friend of the family. He was a chef, and I started working for him in high school. It clicked; he showed me about the art and science of a daily progression, that’s it’s a never ending learning experience.

KS: Who are your mentors?
DC:
Anne Quatrano. She’s taught me the importance of local, the importance of using every product, every ingredient, the whole animal.

KS: What is you style as a chef?

DC: It’s kind of a simple, modern approach towards southern ingredients. I do use many modern techniques in the kitchen but that’s not something the guest would ever know coming in here. We don't tell them we cook sous vide or use modified starches; we stay true to heart of the ingredients. It’s ingredient driven cuisine and an ingredient-dictated menu.

KS: Do you recommend culinary school?

DC: I went to Johnson & Wales in Charleston. That's a hard question, I want to say no. To be honest, I would say if a student wanted to go to culinary school, they should find a company like this were they can learn from a baker, from a chef, a number of pastry chefs. That is as much experience, if not more, than going to culinary school. You are also getting paid to do it.

KS: Where will we find you in five years?

DC: I don't know how to answer that question; probably working in the kitchen or on a beach somewhere.