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Situated on the coastal border between Georgia and Florida, Cumberland Island isn't an easily accessible place for Atlantans to dine, especially since the only way to enjoy the cooking of Whitney Otawka is to stay at Cumberland's exclusive Greyfield Inn. Regardless of whether you're able to get to the Greyfield itself (an experience I highly recommend if you've got the bucks), Otawka is worth keeping your eye on. This girl is going places.
Before decamping to the remote, barely inhabited Cumberland to work as the Greyfield's chef, Otawka worked in Athens with Hugh Acheson at Five and Ten, and also at Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch. In fact, for some time she worked all of these jobs, commuting back and forth between the cities. Otawka is obsessed with her craft, and it shows. At a recent stay on Cumberland, I was blown away by the care and precision of Otawka's cooking — perfectly crafted gnocchi with brown butter and sage; deep, fragrant pheasant with truffle.
It wouldn't be surprising if, after a decent stint on Cumberland, Otawka returns to the Atlanta area and blows us all away.
Greyfield Inn, Cumberland Island. 866-401-8581. www.greyfieldinn.com.
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