Fly on the Wall: 2012 Atlanta Rising Stars Honorees Dinner

by Katherine Sacks
Shannon Sturgis
July 2012


Summerland Farms
Cartersville, GA

Honorees Dinner Menu

Iberico Ham and Garlic-rubbed Toast

Chef Anne Quatrano of Summerland Farms – Cartersville, GA

Pairing: Cava, Mercat, Brut, Spain, NV; Cava, Mont Marcal, Rosado, NV

On the Bar

Sketches of Spain: Ransom Old Tom Gin, Amaro CioCiaro, Manzanilla Sherry, Martini Bianco, and Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters

Skinny Legs and All: Mint- and Tarragon-Infused Gin, Dry Vermouth, Jasmine Tea, Lime, Oleo Saccharum, Perrier Rose, and Mint

Mixologist Eric Simpkins of The Lawrence – Atlanta, GA

Sommelier Vajra Stratigos of Fifth Group Restaurants – Atlanta, GA

Fresh Origins Crudités and Anchovy Aïoli

Wood Oven-roasted Octopus, New Potatoes, and Olives

Farm Egg Tortilla, Summer Squash, Squash Blossoms, and Sweet Onion

Cervena Loin Carpaccio

Pairing: Godello, Val de Sil, Valdeorras, Spain, 2010; Treixadura, San Clodio, Ribeiro, Spain, 2009

Chef Anne Quatrano of Summerland Farms – Cartersville, GA

Paella-style Smoked Calasparra Rice

Local Sapelo Island Clams, Shrimp, and Berkshire Chorizo

Stuffed Shrimp Heads, Mar y Tierra Broth, and Green Garlic Aioli

Pairing: Tempranillo Blend, Cune, Gran Reserva, “Vina Real,” Rioja, Spain, 2004; Albarino, Pazo de Senorans, Rias Baixas, Spain, 2010

Chef Hector Santiago of Pura Vida– Atlanta, GA

Australian Wagyu Strip Loin and Sheep’s Head Mushrooms

Smoked Johnston Family Farm’s Ricotta, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Tomato Toast

Pairing: Tempranillo, Bodegas Condado de Haza, Tinto, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2007

Chef Ford Fry of JCT. Kitchen & Bar – Atlanta, GA

Roasted Blueberry Tart, Brown Sugar Streusel, Orange-scented Clotted Cream, Tangerine Lace, and Crystallized Fresh Origins Micro Basil

Pastry Chefs Chad Guay of White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails – Atlanta, GA

Sourdough Beignets and Coffee Semifreddo

Pastry Chef Carla Tomasko of Bacchanalia – Atlanta, GA

Pairing: Pineau de Charentes, Maison Prunier, France, NV


2012 Atlanta Rising Stars Honorees Dinner

A special thanks to Steelite International for providing all plateware and glassware for the evening, as well as to Quality Wine and Spirits for providing wine and beer pairings.

Imagine bucolic fields and a sprawling garden plot, not to mention horses, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and a pantry of tools. It's a chef's dream, and for 2007 Atlanta Rising Star Mentor Chef Anne Quatrano it's home. Luckily for the latest class of Rising Stars, Quatrano opened her Summerland Farms property up to the Atlanta crew for an evening of cocktails, wine, brews, and tapas set against the setting sun.

Getting to Quatrano's home was another matter, with Summerland Farms a good 45 miles from Atlanta proper, stuck snugly in Cartersville, Georgia. But where there's a will­—and a few bottles of Mercat Cavaalong for the bus ride—there is always a way. And it was certainly worth the trip. When the group of 19 Rising Stars (plus their loved ones, friends, and our favorite bunch of local brewers and baristas) arrived, they found what can only be described as a fairy tale dinner, a garden party not to be forgotten.

As Quatrano and her troupe of host chefs—2007 Rising Star Chefs Ford Fry, Hector Santiago, and Chad Guay—finished preparations, the group sipped on drinks from 2007 Rising Star Mixologist Eric Simpkins (two boozy and delicious punch bowl concoctions) and 2007 Rising Star Sommelier Varja Stratigos' wine picks.

Digging into the amuse of Iberico Ham and Garlic-rubbed Toast, 2007 Rising Star Mihoko Obunai celebrated with Guy Wong, while former co-workers Taria Camerino and Chrysta Poulus caught up. David Carson celebrated with the whole Carson clan­­—his parents drove up from Florida and his sisters arrived from Philadelphia. Mentor Chef Guenter Seeger flew in all the way from New York to celebrate what he called the "new level of Atlanta" alongside former protégés Todd Immel, Aaron Russell, and Robert Phalen. Roberto Caporuscio also came in from NYC, joining Restaurateur Brian Lewis' side for the evening's festivities.

2012 Atlanta Rising Stars Honorees Dinner at Summerland Farms - Cartersville, GA

2012 Atlanta Rising Stars Honorees Dinner at Summerland Farms - Cartersville, GA

When the group moved into the tented table area for the seated dinner, the party really got under way. Quatrano's Cervena Loin Carpaccio and Fresh Origins Crudités with Anchovy Aïoli and Santiago's Paella Marinera were served as CEO and Editor-in-Chief Antoinette Bruno and Managing Editor Will Blunt began the Honorees Ceremony. And while Bruno and Blunt paid due homage to the group, nothing could top the mentor chefs' collective paternal pride.

Hugh Acheson spoke warmly on behalf of his lively bunch—Peter Dale, Whitney Otawka, and Ryan Smith—explaining their common goal for growth in the Athens and Atlanta communities, and gently excusing Smith's absence (he was "in the weeds" back at Empire State South). Acheson also accepted his Mentor Chef award—a new Vitamix blender. The words flowed easily from Quatrano for Carson and Tyler Williams, as she gently (and jokingly) requested the duo into the kitchen to help with the dinner's responsibilities. And Fry ran from the grill at the last moment, caught up in serving his Australian Wagyu Strip Loin and Sheep's Head Mushrooms, to speak glowingly on behalf of Adam Evans (described as "almost as good as me"), and his newest hire, Camerino ("she blew us away").

After the sweet words, the group finished off the evening with Guay's elegant Roasted Blueberry Tart with Crystallized Micro Basil. Representing Carson's Bacchanalia team, Pastry Chef Carla Tomaska served her signature Sourdough Beignets and Coffee Semifreddo. And with a few snacks and sips packed for the road, the crew got back on the bus for the long, sleepy ride back to town.