Pin It

Small delights from Inman's Parks 

Kirk Parks, 46, is pastry chef and co-owner of one of the city's hottest restaurants, Rathbun's, which celebrated its first anniversary in May.

Creative Loafing: What's your background?

Parks: I worked in a steel mill out of high school. When the bottom fell out -- I didn't really like steel -- I went to work in kitchens, which I had done in high school. I moved to Houston and walked into Brennan's, with its wallpaper and marble floors. I didn't have enough experience to cook, so I became a food runner. Kevin [Rathbun] was the sous chef. That was 1986. I joined Kevin in Dallas at Baby Routh, where I got into pastry and then I did a stint in Calistoga [Calif.]. From there I went to the Jumby Bay resort in Antigua, before joining Kevin at Nava. I spent nine years there.

Any formal education?

I went to the Art Institute of Atlanta at night after 20 years in the business. Once you get to the point of thinking you can't learn anything, you're done.

Tell us about the petite portion sizes of Rathbun's desserts.

It's a great way to introduce people to different flavors. It's not as filling and it's more satisfying. Dessert is a very important course in the meal, as important as being nicely greeted at the door or having a good cup of coffee.

Favorite ingredients?

Milk chocolate, bananas and peanut butter -- the holy trinity. These are homey ingredients; they make people smile. I want people to remember their childhood and reflect on what Mom or Grandmother made. One of the things we sell is comfort. Our peanut butter cream pie is an icon of Atlanta, I think.

So how many of your customers have dessert?

In most restaurants that serve large desserts, it's 30-35 percent. We serve 80-85 percent of customers. It's just three or four bites and it changes every month, depending on the availability of ingredients.

So Atkins hasn't hurt your dessert orders?

We'll get past that. Diets are fads. Eat more dessert!

Rathbun's, 112 Krog St., Suite R. 404-524-8280.

  • Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Chef's Table

More by Suzanne Wright


Search Events

Recent Comments

  • Re: Restaurant Review: Gunshow

    • First of all...Applebee's...please.... I am not averse to spending the bucks. It's big bucks for…

    • on December 28, 2014
  • Re: Restaurant Review: Gunshow

    • Really surprised to see all the hate for Gunshow. Kevin is a great chef and…

    • on December 27, 2014
  • Re: Restaurant Review: Gunshow

    • Anyone else that has NOT been here care to add their "review"? We had one…

    • on December 27, 2014
  • Re: Restaurant Review: Gunshow

    • Ditto. A hundred bucks to eat at the place in the picture, served and lectured…

    • on December 27, 2014
  • Re: The Atlanta Fried Chicken Smackdown

    • You can only write this because Deacon Burton and his son hung up their skillets…

    • on December 26, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation