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November 7, 2012

James Beard Sunday Supper South 2012

Sean Brock, Ashley Poole, Edward Lee and 30 other top toques shared a single kitchen for one epic, epicurean evening

By Nancy Staab

  • Photos by Tim Redman. Additional photos by Our Labour of Love, courtesy of The Reynolds Group Inc.

It was like the Oscars of Southern chefs when Anne Quatrano hosted the region’s top chefs for a Halloween-theme feast at White Provisions with an appropriately spooky Alfred Hitchcock theme.

Scenes from Sunday Supper South 2012 Scenes from Sunday Supper South 2012

With a blustery but clear night, full moon shining, and flocks of (paper) black birds suspended from the ceiling in reference to Alfred Hitchock’s classic flick The Birds, a recent October evening in Westside was set for a phenomenal pre-Halloween feast.

Take 32 premiere chefs from the Southeast (many with James Beard nominations to their name), 13 long tables set for approximately 230 guests, lord knows how many bottle of vino, and about 27 hearty fall dishes and you’ve got a memorable Sunday Supper South event to benefit the James Beard Foundation. Initiated three years ago by master chef and hostess Anne Quatrano (Bacchanalia, Abattoir, Floataway Café, Star Provisions) and the Westside Provisions District, this annual event is always a foodie favorite. In fact several foodie celebs like John T. Edge (founder of Southern Foodways Alliance), Susan Bravman of The Food Network, food photographer/stylist Angie Mosier, Bill Demmond COO of Inland Seafood, and Atlanta Food +Wine Festival founders Dominique Love and Elizabeth Feichter were spotted in the crowd.

Cocktail hour commenced with a lethal “Vertigo” concoction of vodka, crème de violette, pineapple juice, lemon, sinister cubes of black ice and a candy corn garnish. The star chefs mingled with guests, while passing their own delectable hors d’oeuvres such as sweetbread eggrolls from Tyler Williams of Abattoir that had John T. Edge tweeting; sweet potato s’mores from Daniel Parubiansky of Bacchanalia; and Gulf Coast oysters with mint, rye, crouton, coriander-gin whipped cream, citrus from Wesley True of True Midtown Kitchen (Mobile, AL). At dinner time, guests were ushered across the bridge, festooned with a silhouette of Alfred Hitchock and lined with all 32 Southern chefs, to the White Provisions section of Westside. There, rustic, outdoor tables were set for some serious eating. Custom linen napkins decorated with Hitchcock’s silhouette and a souvenir black mask at every table setting reinforced the night’s Halloween theme.

Sean Brock prepares one of his stack cakes Sean Brock prepares one of his stack cakes

As Hitchock flicks were projected on the outdoor brick wall, alfresco diners enjoyed a stunning multi-course meal of 22 dishes, served family-style, beneath warming heat lamps. The capacious kitchen of Abattoir hosted all 32 chefs, who managed to seamlessly produce their rustic and decadent fall dishes, many with a decidedly Southern slant. The full menu and list of participating chefs is listed below, but some personal highlights were grilled Mississippi wild-caught shrimp with roasted squash dhanshak from Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar (Oxford, MS); sweetbreads and dumplings from Kelly English of Restaurant Iris (Memphis); Kielbasa with braised cabbage and Palmetto Creek pork belly, sauced apple sauce and pickled vegetables from Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon (Orlando); ricotta gnudi with Folly River stone crabs by Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh and Oak Steakhouse (Charleston); and a to-die-for smoked beef belly with bread-and-butter roots, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, and a pine-vinegar glaze that John T. Edge declared as “genius,” courtesy of Scott Crawford of Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, N.C.).

Dessert, accompanied by coffee and fortifying shots of whiskey, lived up to the sumptuous, seasonal, homey quality of the rest of the repast. Edward Lee of  610 Magnolia (Louisville ) created a charming dessert board composed of fresh fig kuchen (German cake-like cookies) with buttermilk whipped cream, pumpkin seed oil and inventive little tobacco cookies; Sean Brock, of McCrady’s and Husk (Charleston), presented an old-fashioned heirloom apple and sorghum stack cake; and Carla Tomasko of Bacchanalia and Quinones at Bacchanalia rolled out a divine warm pumpkin flan with liquid caramel and fried dumplings that was the essence of autumn. Though we were too full to linger for the after-party, oh to be a fly on the wall with such chefs as Tyler Brown (Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel, Nashville),  Richard Blais (The Spence) and John Currence (Grocery, Snackbar, and Big Bad Breakfast in Oxford) in the house.

For more info visit: www.sundaysuppersouth.com and www.jamesbeard.org

SEE SLIDESHOW BELOW FOR ALL THE PHOTOS DOCUMENTING SUNDAY SUPPER SOUTH. ALL PHOTOS BY TIM REDMAN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

 

Chefs crossing the White Provisions bridge with Hitchcock theme. Chefs crossing the White Provisions bridge with Hitchcock theme.

THE MENU FOR SUNDAY SUPPER SOUTH 2012

 

First Courses:

White Oak Pastures beef heart besaola, fermented delicate squash, smoked peanut brittle, chicory, bourbon cherries [Ryan Smith, Empire State South]

 

Lardo-and-duck gizzard ballontine, Rabbit Run pink-eye peas, rattlesnake beans [Brandon McGlamery, Luna on Park and Prato]

 

Crudo di pesce, grilled octopus Arnais vinegar, pickled garlic, Calabrese chiles [Ken Vedrinski, Trattoria Lucca]

 

Carrot and dandelion salad [Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale and The Bakery at Cakes & Ale]

Fall vegetable giardiniera, burrata, purslane [Mike Lata, Fig]

 

Spaghetti squash, Righteous Ranch Bresaola, dates, Clemson blue, pumpkin seeds [Craig Deihl, Cypress]

 

Second Courses:

Ricotta gnudi with stone crab by Chef Jeremiah Bacon Ricotta gnudi with stone crab by Chef Jeremiah Bacon

Ricotta gnudi with Folly River stone crabs [Jeremiah Bacon, The MacIntosh, Oak Steakhouse]

 

Grilled Mississippi wild-caught shrimp, roasted squash dhanshak [Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar

 

Whole-roasted bone-in Triggerfish, pumpkin risotto, fried sage, brown butter [Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club]

 

Short rib bone marrow with quail’s egg [Richard Blais, The Spence, Flip Burger, HD1]

 

Farro piccolo, heirloom peppers, pickled peaches, sweet-and-spicy barrel-aged vinegar [Steven Satterfield, Miller Union]

 

Sweetbreads and dumplings [Kelly English, Restaurant Iris]

 

Third Courses:

Smoked beef belly with pine-vinegar glaze by Chef Scott Crawford of Herons Smoked beef belly with pine-vinegar glaze by Chef Scott Crawford of Herons

Smoked beef belly, bread-and-butter roots, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, pine-vinegar glaze [Scott Crawford, Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa]

 

Crispy Border Springs lamb neck, rosemary, white bean puree, preserved lemon, olive, roasted tomato relish [John Currence, Boure, City Grocery, Big Bad Breakfast, Snackbar]

 

Kielbasa with braised cabbage and Palmetto Creek pork belly, sauced apple sauce and pickled vegetables [Kathleen Blake, The Rusty Spoon]

 

Chappepeela duck breast with barley, yams, brown butter, carmelized satsum and sage [Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery]

 

Poblano relleno of rabbit confit, White Acre peas, smoked tomato [Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Downtown Diner, Chuck’s, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Fox Liquor Bar]

 

The Farm at Glen Leven beets, Cruze Dairy Farm ricotta salata, Doe’s green olive vinaigrette, biscuit crumble [Tyler Brown, Capitol Grille at The Hermitage Hotel]

 

Desserts:

Heirloom apple-and-sorghum stack cake and olive and Sinclair chocolate stack cake [Sean Brock, McCrady’s and Husk]

Chef Justin Devillier and pumpkin flan by Chef Carla Tomasko Chef Justin Devillier and pumpkin flan by Chef Carla Tomasko

 

Warm Benne wafer banana pudding [Vivian Howard, Chef & The Farmer]

 

Fresh fig kuchen, buttermilk whipped cream, pumpkin seed oil, little tobacco cookies [Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia]

 

Pumpkin flan, liquid caramel, fried dumpling [Carla Tomasko, Bacchanalia and Quinones at Bacchanalia]

 

SEE SLIDESHOW BELOW FOR ALL THE PHOTOS DOCUMENTING SUNDAY SUPPER SOUTH. ALL PHOTOS BY TIM REDMAN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.