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Friday, February 18, 2011

Gravy Train: Local chefs nominated for James Beard Awards

Chef Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene is among those being recognized by the James Beard Foundation
  • James Camp
  • Chef Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene is among those being recognized by the James Beard Foundation
Semifinalists for this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards were announced this week. Atlanta area restaurants and chefs getting nods are: Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill, Linton Hopkins and Aaron Russell of Restaurant Eugene, Hector Santiago of Pura Vida, Mike Klank and Eddie Hernandez of Taqueria del Sol, Billy Allin and Cynthia Wong of Cakes & Ale, and Hugh Acheson and Steven Grubbs of Five and Ten in Athens. The semifinalists will be reviewed and narrowed down to a shortlist of finalists, to be announced on March 21.

White Oak Pastures, a popular Georgia-based provider of grass-fed beef, recently broke ground on a new USDA inspected poultry abattoir, which will be the only poultry plant that processes free range poultry in Georgia, Florida or Alabama. The Bluffton farm will begin selling chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese after August 2011.

Pablo Henderson has joined the W Atlanta Downtown as Manager of Bar Happenings. Henderson, a leader in the Atlanta nightlife scene, will oversee bar programming at DRINKSHOP, Living Room and WETBAR.

David Sturgis has joined Muss & Turners as Chef de Cuisine. It's a bit of a flashback for Sturgis, who served as the restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine when they opened six years ago, before moving on to helm Farm 255 in Athens.

Our eyes on the street snapped a shot of a new spot being developed on Pryor Street. Le Restaurant Criole and Nite Club looks to be setting up shop in the former Tringali's location near Underground Atlanta.

MetroFresh announced an opening date of March 1 for their second location, a cafe within the grounds of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. They will offer indoor and alfresco dining, snacks to go, food carts, and catering services. MetroFresh also plans to incorporate educational materials on nutrition and green living topics.

Thrillist reports that Pura Vida spawn Super Pan is now offering french toast served on the sidewalk outside the restaurant from 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Saturday mornings.

The long-awaited neon spectacular that is Decatur Diner is finally open for business. Decatur Metro has some photos from the first patrons.

Speaking of long-awaited, it was way back in 2009 when we first started hearing rumblings that Tomo Sushi would be opening a Buckhead location in the Ritz-Carlton Residences. We’ve received word from Restaurants Consulting Group that the project should be completed by late spring.

Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint is set to open their downtown location tonight. They are pitching it as an “eatertainment” experience, since there will be live music daily. The restaurant is located at 200 Peachtree in the former Macy’s building. Executive Chef Jackson Loos will lead the kitchen.

Cru Urban Lounge on Glen Iris has added food back into the mix, bringing on chef Melissa Bukovinac to revamp the menu. The kitchen will open Wednesday - Saturday from 6 p.m. - midnight and offers small plates for sharing along with a few entrees.

Cafe di Sol is re-branding as Cafe 640. They openly admit that the popularity of another spot in down with a similar name has caused some brand confusion.

Cliff reported earlier this week that Sugar-Coated Radical is expanding the current shop and also, beginning in March, will be adding pastries to the menu on “Bakery Sunday.”

Three on the Tree is planning to open two more locations of their froyo shop this year. The shop features a rotating selection of six flavors and the popular self-serve model that’s all the rage with yogurt fans these days.

The AJC mentions a few openings: Sonny’s Place Mediterranean and Vegetarian Cuisine in Decatur and Royal Indian Cuisine in Duluth.

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