Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oxford American magazine's Southern food 2010

Posted By on Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 4:28 PM


The Oxford American's 2010 food issue hit newsstands last week. The issue was guest edited by John T. Edge, and there's a lot of Atlanta in these pages.

The AJC's John Kessler has a story about the lack of prominent black chefs in Atlanta.

Mamie Morgan writes a quiet, heartfelt essay about waiting tables - a thinking-woman's reasons for falling into, and loving, the profession. Her essay is also part love letter to Kevin Gillespie - her piece opens with a pilgrimage to the Woodfire Grill, and her obsession with the chef is a theme throughout.

And perhaps strangest of all, D.C. restaurant critic Todd Kliman writes about his obsession with chef Peter Chang, who, as some of you may remember, graced Marietta with his presence for a short period of time in 2006 at Tasty China. It's strange only because the New Yorker also published a story last week about Peter Chang (by Calvin Trillin), and apart from the vastly more personal nature of Kliman's story, the fundamentals are exactly the same: Why is this brilliant chef so elusive? Regardless, I loved Kliman's story, especially the descriptions of Chang's cooking and the drug-addict effect it has on certain among us. I do take issue with one part of the essay though, where he speaks about the reviews Chang received at Tasty China:

I read the reviews over and over again, devouring the words, as if reading were akin to eating, as if the more I read, the more the descriptions would satisfy my desire for the real thing. There was something about these reviews that bothered me, though, and it only occurred to me after a fourth reading. What bothered me was that they were not as approving as my reviews had been, not nearly as comprehensive, not nearly as obsessive in nature, and the thought came to me that he was in the wrong place, that Atlantans did not love him enough, or understand him enough.

He must not have read my Tasty China review, in which I proclaimed myself "just a silly girl in love." Or the Atlanta Cuisine message board raves for that matter. Humph.

Anyway, this is a tiny taste of what the issue has to offer. The magazine is holding a number of events in Atlanta to celebrate the issue - go to food.oxfordamerican.org/atlanta for more info or see the flier below.


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