CIPapproved Archives - The Chef In Pearls

A Love Story…They Cook You Eat

A Love Story…They Cook You Eat

Kevin and Brooke Stovall recently celebrated 3 years of marriage. To some not a big deal, for them a milestone achieved after a two year, long distance courtship. They were separated by more than 700 miles. How did they make it work? They would try to visit each other bi-monthly. During the times they couldn’t see each other, they would meet up virtually. They dated via FaceTime, spending time cooking together. Technology helped to sustain the relationship while the couple communicated through food. Fast forward to the present and their love story has birthed another relationship, coauthors to a cookbook, He Cooks She Eats. It will be the story of their courtship alongside recipes. Pretty cool if you ask me. A love story. Over Food. Yes!

On November 3rd they hosted the inaugural meal for They Cook You Eat. It is their foray into the world of supper clubs. An opportunity to share their love story while highlighting up and coming chefs in the Atlanta area. Guess who was the chef they chose to roll it all out with? That’s right your girl, The Chef In Pearls. Of course I was more than honored to have this opportunity. It was an honor because I would be the chef making the first impression for their guests. I could have taken it on as a lot of pressure but instead I chose to see it as a challenge. How would I leave their guests wanting to attend future events while also setting the standard for the chefs to come? I believe I accomplished just that with this meal. With constant communication and open minds, the three of us came to an agreement on a menu. A menu that I felt would woo the guests. A menu that I hoped would create a new love story between guests and They Cook You Eat.

We started with a welcoming drink of Spike Horchata, a rice & almond milk drink spiked with tequila. The starter for the meal was a Tlacoyo. Traditionally a breakfast dish in Mexico, we filled the masa dough with lump crabmeat, roasted poblano peppers and oaxaca cheese. It was plated with an avocado crema and fresh corn salsa. The accompanying drink was a jalapeno- cucumber margarita. The second course was Pozole, which means hominy, a key ingredient to this soup. We kept it vegetarian, garnishing the soup with sliced radishes, minced cilantro, and pan seared shrimp. The accompanying drink was a grapefruit margarita with flamed rosemary. The entree was Red Snapper Veracruz, snapper fillets baked with a sauce of fresh tomatoes, capers, olives, onions and garlic, served atop lime-cilantro rice. The accompanying drink was a perfect Manhattan made with tequila. We finished the meal with a Mexican take on affogato, which is traditionally an Italian dessert of coffee and ice cream. We brewed our version of cafe olla using orange zest, anise and clove, topped a shot of Kahlua and a scoop of vanilla ice cream with it. I overheard it described as eating clouds. That put a big smile on my face. As usual, I’ll let the pictures speak to you.

This event was truly a love story.  I fell in love with my hosts, the Stovalls, and all the memories we created for ourselves and our guests. I hope that you will consider enjoying a night out at a They Cook You Eat event in 2019.  I am excited to see who the reigns get handed over to in the kitchen. Come out and help make some new memories for everyone involved.

Until next time….

~The Chef In Pearls

Photo Credit to Michelle Turner of Excited to Feast, Kamiliah Edwards and Michelle Munroe…thankful for you ladies because it sure is hard to cook and take pictures

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

For the Taataas…Breast Cancer Awareness

For the Taataas…Breast Cancer Awareness

I did this shoot for the taataas. Truth be told I did this shoot because I wanted to honor those I know who fought the horrible fight against breast cancer. The ones who won and the ones who didn’t. I did this shoot to honor them. To honor the bravery they had to fight such a fight.  I had to be brave too. I never show this much skin. Plus size woman aren’t supposed to.  But I did it for the taataas.  I did it so that we recall our fallen sistas ( and brothas). I did it for the ones who feel less than because they lost what they thought made them whole (mastectomies can be hard not just on the physical but the mental as well). I did it so we remember our monthly breasts exams. One arm behind your head while checking feverishly in a circular motion with the other hand. So we are the first to notice when something isn’t quite right. I did it for my friend, Sandra Hutchinson, who survived breast cancer but still passed on.  I did it for Michelle Munroe who won that fight and continues to be a support for others ( I see you girl). I did it because I needed you to see this 46-year-old mom who breast-fed children. That these taataas were more than something to just look at. I needed you to see that they don’t stand up like 20 years ago. Nothing a good bra can’t fix. I did it because it was freeing. I did it because of the memories I created and will be able to share. I did it because I want you to be aware that we are nowhere near where we need to be in fighting this fight against breast cancer. I did this for… the TAATAAS!

Embroidered Mesh Top: Lane Bryant

Pink Hooded Jacket: JC Penney

Pink Shorts: JC Penney

Shades: Versona

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Practice What You Preach…It’s About Time.

Practice What You Preach…It’s About Time.

How can I tell people they need to stop “trying” and do and I wasn’t doing the same. I was letting my need to get it just right stand in the way of all that I know I needed to accomplish. I created not one but two different series that I needed to bring to life in front of the camera. They would help me connect even further with followers. Introduce them to new people and places. I had people willing to work with me. I asked everyone and anyone that I thought was interesting if they’d be interested in being a part. And they all said “Yes”. I never received a “No”. So what was my hold up. I could list all the excuses I gave myself but the reality was I was letting fear of not being perfect, not having the “right” equipment, not being able to edit like others hold me back.  It was time for me to practice what I preach.

Well today I give you the first interview in my series “Conversations with The Chef In Pearls”. I will say that this interview didn’t go quite as  planned.  Footage got cut off, I lost my editing twice, spent time uploading the wrong version once edited. The bottom line is I did it. With every hiccup I was improving my abilities. I tell people constantly, “We are a people that do, not try, whether we fail or succeed. We do!”  So today I do! I present to you “Conversations with The Chef In Pearls featuring Dr. Leni Sorensen.”

 

 

After watching this interview  I want you to go and do that thing that you have been wanting to do. Like Nike …Just Do It. You will be amazed at the memories you will create from just doing. So glad to say that I do now. I am no longer a hypocrite because I practice what I preach. Now go forward and make some memories of you doing.

Until next time…

~The Chef In Pearls

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

August Recap…

August Recap…


I know we are in a whole new month, September. But I never got to share all that I did in the month of August. So here’s a recap of all I did.  At the beginning of the month I got to visit a really great spot in the Dunwoody, GA area. It’s called Crafthall Kitchens. They are a 3 in 1 restaurant serving up gluten-free options that are amazingly good. You can read all about them in my next blog post where I’ll go a little more into detail. Just know that if you happen to get there before my post definitely try the fried avocado taco. You won’t regret it.

As always I fit in a trip up I-85 to visit my Dad and my bonus Mom. Once a month I work my way to Winston-Salem to check on the parental units and help them however I can. No big deal just teaching my kids through example. The daughter was in tow. We did get to check out a new to us breakfast place in Winston-Salem named Breakfastime. There were some hits and misses for me. No green tea offering, cold home fries, didn’t try the biscuit because it too came out cold. I did like the omelette I had but not enough to return.  Back down I-85 to Atlanta, GA.

When I returned to Atlanta I had a weekend of unexpected poetry and music. I don’t know if you have ever heard of the talented Mumu Fresh. Well if you haven’t I need you to check out her NPR little desk concert. Now that you have been officially introduced you will understand why I was hell bent on going to see her live at my favorite hole the wall music spot, Apache Cafe. I was so focused on getting to see her live in my neck of the woods that I didn’t even know that she was a part of  an erotic poetry night. Say what? Her friend and hostess for the night was Miss Ingrid B. If you have never been to a show she has put on you are truly missing out. She does a great deal in the Miami area and time to time in Atlanta. Keep an eye out. But back to Mumu she left me wanting for more. her talent is un-ending. I was literally left in awe as I watched her layer different recordings of her vocals to create the music she then sang over. Yeah she is not a part of that auto-tunes era, she is a true musician in every form. Since my life is never as simple as most the following night I was blessed with a ticket to take in “The Red Light Special” hosted by none other than my friend Journee Poetess. Did I mention that I had no clue either of these nights included erotica? Journee showcased some amazing talent from poets, to musicians, to a comedian. It was a hot night not to be forgotten.  Since I am a lover of music her closing act, Cristina Rae, vocalist extraordinaire left me with goosebumps. I am currently working out my schedule so that I am able to catch some more of the music she is serving. Her vocal range will leave you wanting for more.

As if August couldn’t be any better for me, I was back to host the 4th Annual Veggie Connection. I have been with Lateefah Smith since her inception for the event. As always she provided for a really great event. Not only did I host but I also did a demo. I showed attendees how to make an Un-Tuna Salad. I showed them my basic “tuna” salad recipe which includes corn, red onions, bell peppers and a few other things (video & recipe to come). I even gave them a sample of  an Un-tuna salad that had a spicy curry mayo base. Yeah I was doing it like that for the vegetarians and vegans.

I got a chance to visit High Hog Farm, only one of my favorite places in Georgia (even though I have an allergic reaction to their cats and dogs). I was there to help my sister friend Kiesha Cameron with the planning and organizing of a 3 day workshop on Provisioning with Leni Sorensen. Name not familiar to you? She is another person you should Google because the knowledge and history this woman brings to any table is amazing. When I first met her last year at the Food for Thought Conference. I thought this is what a 70 something year old Cass is going to be like. Well versed, opinionated and strong willed. Definitely my kind of woman. Interested in learning more about the workshop then hit the link. What link? This one right here.

What better way to close out the month than with me being the August feature on Flavorful World. Sometimes you think no one is noticing your work and then boom. Would you like to be our feature for August? Heck yeah I do. So I did. You can read my interview right here.

August has come and gone. It was memory filled. And I have seen some good and some bad but I keep moving. Thank you guys who are subscribed and those who dip in and out to see what I have going on. I appreciate the love you all give to The Chef In Pearls. I hope you had some great summer memories because Fall is on its way. Go make some last minute Summer memories before it is all gone.

Until next time…

~The Chef In Pearls

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Prosecco and Filet Mignon…At STK

Prosecco and Filet Mignon…At STK

Monday isn’t just National Prosecco Day, but it is also National Filet Mignon Day. How can you go wrong with a combination like that? The only thing that can make it better would be to enjoy it at STK Atlanta, Midtown’s sexiest steak and seafood house. Known for it’s high-energy atmosphere and its’ exceptional signature and seasonal offerings, STK Atlanta is offering an exclusive special this Monday, August 13th. To celebrate the day, guests are invited to sip in style as they enjoy STK’s Stellina di Notte Prosecco in the lounge and dining room. As an ideal compliment to this favorite bubbly, STK is also offering a brand new, 10 ounce coffee-infused filet mignon just for the occasion. Glazed with black garlic, served over creamy mashed potatoes, topped with wild mushrooms, morels, chanterelles and finished with black truffle butter and summer black truffles.  Is your mouth-watering yet?

I believe every good event starts with bubbly and Prosecco is the perfect bubbly to turn Monday or any day into a great day. Now add a Filet Mignon, also known as the King of Steaks, and you have a mearl that makes any day your personal special event. You can do it to celebrate these national days or create your own reason for heading over to STK Atlanta. How about something like National Let’s Make a Memory Day? Sounds good to me!

For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.stkhouse.com or call 404-793-0144. STK Atlanta is located at 1075 Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta, on the corner of Peachtree and 12th Streets in the 12th & Midtown development. Stay connected on Twitter  and Instagram at @eatstk and  #STKAtlanta. Now go forward and make new memories at STK Atlanta.  I have many memories with the STK team and you need to create some too.

Until next time…

~The Chef In Pearls

stk filet and presecco

 

Photo courtesy of  STK Atlanta

Some copy courtesy of  Caren West PR

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Kennesaw State University …Chef’s Table

Kennesaw State University …Chef’s Table

I was honored to be able to take part in the Chef’s Table at Kennesaw State University’s Continuing Education Culinary Program. Yeah that’s a mouth full. It had taken me back 20+ years ago to when I was in my culinary program back in New York. There’s nothing better than being around that kind of excitement awaiting what’s to come. The students were excited to share what they learned. I was looking forward to tasting their creations.

Prior to the start of dinner, we were given the chance to view the kitchen and the students at work. I was immediately brought back to the quantity kitchen in my school. This was where as students we cooked for the school. We learned front end and back end stuff. It could make or break you from attitude to abilities. So I know first hand some of what they may have been experiencing that night. You definitely learn how to become a team player when you work in a commercial kitchen. Communication is key! You have to be able to convey a great deal from dishes being ready, time constraints, missing items, and more. Every single thing so that service moves without a hitch or at least not letting clients know there was one.

While in the kitchen, I ran into one of the instructors, Chef Robert Gerstenecker. He remembered having met me before, as my face was familiar to him. I wouldn’t say I have a very common look, so he must have met me somewhere. Well once officially introduced, we realized that we met at The Four Seasons in Atlanta. He used to be the executive chef there. I attended an event there on behalf of breast cancer awareness, The Atlanta Food and Lifestyle Bloggers’ Society and MSquared PR Firm. You can read all about my time at the Four Seasons here

The students worked in teams of two, each team preparing a specific dish for the meal. Before I get to the meal, I must mention the special invited guests were asked to speak. Now I never turn down an opportunity to talk to people, but this time I didn’t have any idea what I should talk about. When it was my turn, I shared the fact that I graduated from school during a time when celebrity chefs weren’t a real thing. There weren’t any social media apps to share all things you. Well fast forward 25 years and welcome to this new era. I told the graduates and their family that building their brand and creating a space in this fast-moving world of the internet was key to standing out amongst all the other chefs of the world. It was a way to be seen and also to see what others are doing. These were some of the things I learned and wanted to share with them. I am always representing my brand. There isn’t a time I walk out of my home without at least one pearl on. People often check me when out in public just to see if that’s true.  After our time in the limelight, the students started our meal service of four courses.

We started with our salad course. It was a Mushroom Carpaccio with seared Day Boat Scallops and Truffle Vinaigrette. It was very light, the scallop was perfectly seared and not over cooked. I did wish that the remoulade was lighter because it made the dish a little heavy. Next was our seafood course. It was Oven Roasted Halibut served alongside Spring Vegetable Ragout with a Lemongrass Beurre Blanc. I enjoyed this course very much! I especially loved the fact that the fish was not overcooked.  I have a thing about overcooked fish, well actually I have a thing about overcooked everything. The lemongrass beurre blanc made me want to recreate my own version.

Our third course was Braised Beef Short Rib Bali Maki, English Pea Whipped Potatoes, Ginger BBQ Reduction and topped with Herb Salad. The dish presented very well. I loved the colors. The toppings were a bit much because you lost sight that there was beef under it all. The beef was wonderfully cooked, nice and tender. I did learn about the Bali Maki style of cooking, as one is never too old to learn something new. Our final course was dessert, of course. We had a Buttermilk Panna Cotta with a Fresh Rhubarb Coulis. The Panna Cotta was smooth and velvety. I loved the inclusion of the Meyer lemons in the rhubarb sauce. Overall the students did a wonderful job . I know they will be culinary rock stars when they graduate and enter into the cooking world.

I had a wonderful night at Kennesaw State University’s Continuing Education Chef’s Table. It’s always fun to be around my fellow bloggers. As always I made some wonderful memories. If you ever get a chance to do a Chef’s Table please do it. You can read about one I had last year at Cobb Galleria Center here in Atlanta  The memories you create will be unforgettable. So go forth and make new memories.

Until next time….

~ The Chef In Pearls

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

I’m Not Judging You… A Taste of Conyers

I’m Not Judging You… A Taste of Conyers

May 5, 2018 . . . What a busy Saturday for The Chef In Pearls! I had so many things on my plate. I just prayed I would be able to pull it all off. I was chosen to be a judge for Taste of Conyers. How cool was that? Tré cool, if you ask me. I would get a second chance to find out more about my small town. Excited I was (in my Yoda voice). Then there was the event that was very close to me. My family, along with One Heart Ministries, hosts a community event to bring awareness to cancer in memory of my bonus Dad, Raymond Brown. I was the unofficial official chef for the event. Anything my family does know that there will be food involved.

Game plan. Adorn one of my black aprons and get the food done. Shower, get dressed and head to Olde Town Conyers for Taste of Conyers. Meet up with other bloggers/judges. Meet and judge participants for Taste of Conyers. Discuss and tally vores with fellow bloggers/judges. Leave Taste of Conyers and head to family event. Be present. Participate in games and activities. Go home and rest.

What actually happened. Adorned apron. With the help of a few friends, we were able to knock out over a hundred burgers, 25 lbs. of potato salad, 2 full trays of coleslaw and get 21 whole chickens portioned and cooked. Very tired and rather slowly I got showered, dressed and headed to Olde Town Conyers. Problem. Can’t find any parking. Miss meeting fellow bloggers/judges. Finally find parking. Fellow bloggers/judges are three-quarters of the way thru meeting and judging participants. Teri Haler to the rescue. She provides me judge’s badge and clip board. I look official. After just 5 booths I run into my fellow bloggers/judges. They have judged and tallied their votes. So . . .?

No, Taste of Conyers I am not judging you. How could I? But from what I did see of you I look forward to next year’s invite to judge. The fact that it took me forever to find parking tells me it was well received. And the booths I did get to visit showed that they were in it for the win. The crowds that I passed through tells me that small town Conyers ain’t so small anymore. Everyone is going to want to be in the place to be next year . . . Taste of Conyers.

As for the rest of my day, I had a good time at my family’s community event. I was present and accounted for!  I even tried my hand at a game of trying to get an Oreo cookie in my mouth by using my facial muscles. So much harder than you think, Know that the tired chef didn’t win. Afterwards, I didn’t go home and rest. I ended up at a Cinco de Mayo party. I would find rest on another day.

I still managed to make it a day of memories. Food, Family and friends. How could I not? I hope you’ll consider attending next year’s Taste of Conyers so you can make some wonderful memories of your own. If you don’t know anything about Conyers, check out my post about the tour I took of my new hometown here.

Until next time…

~The Chef In Pearls

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Small Town Love…Conyers, Georgia

Small Town Love…Conyers, Georgia

For the past 2 years, I lived in a town 40 minutes outside of Atlanta.  Conyers is a place most people know of or have least heard of but most can’t say they have been. Until recently, I fit into the live here but do not know of category. Yes I created my own category!  I mean, I would drive down what I considered the main street of Conyers, Highway 138, and wish for more. I often complained that the only way for me to get what I wanted in food and entertainment was to drive into Atlanta. How wrong I was! I signed up to take a tour of Conyers courtesy of the Conyers Tourism Board. And now Conyers is so more to me than the place where Vampire Diaries was filmed.

Before I get started, I want to take time to thank a couple of people. Thank you to Teri Haler of Conyers Convention and Visitors Bureau. Your tour helped to change my mind about the where I now call home. Also thanks to Toby Bloomberg, President of Atlanta Food and Lifestyle Bloggers’ Society, for organizing this wonderful tour. Now to share some of what helped me fall in love with my small town

Have you ever been to a Monastery? Me either! The first stop of our tour took us to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. Sitting on 2,300 acres of land it is nature at it’s best. There are trails for running, walking and biking, a beautiful church with stained glass created by one of their very own monks, a museum where you can learn all about the monastery and all things relating to monasticism. Monasticism or monk hood is a religious way of life in which one renounces worldly pursuits to devote oneself fully to spiritual work. You’re welcome. The property also boasts an all natural burial ground, no chemicals of any sort are used in body preparation and caskets must be of all natural materials. Pretty cool, huh? You can still care for Mother Earth even in death.

The last two places I want to mention are the bakery and the gift shop. They kind of go together. Well at least in my mind. The monks at this monastery make some great treats; fudge, fruitcake and my favorite biscotti. I forgot to mention when we first arrived, we were blessed with coffee and a tray full of biscotti. This was not your ordinary biscotti, the dry, extra crisp kind that you soak in your coffee or tea. This was a moist dense cake filled with nuts and fruits and was very hard to stop eating. It definitely gets #CIPapproved. The important thing is that all of their goods can be purchased in the gift shop. See why they go hand in hand now? You can purchase all their yummy goodness as well as other spiritual and religious items in the gift shop. Check out their website to find out how you can visit them and enjoy all things Monastery of the Holy Spirit.

The second leg of tour took us into Olde Towne Conyers. It’s like the downtown of Conyers. You can find the court and many of the municipalities you need for a small, thriving city. There are even some really cute store fronts, some of which we got to visit during our tour. After a full morning at the monastery we were good and ready for lunch. Our first stop The Tin Plate. This place has become my saving grace. There have been many nights on my way back from Atlanta that I wanted something to eat but would not do fast food. The Tin Plate has come to the rescue because their kitchen doesn’t close until 10pm. Wait I skipped some stuff. The Tin Plate is what I have been hoping for in Conyers. A non chain restaurant offering locally sourced foods with a farm-to-table concept. The food gods answered my prayers.  They source the beef for their burgers from White Oaks Pastures. That name should be familiar to you because I recently wrote a post about them. If it’s not, check them out here.  So we know the burgers are good but did I mention the hand cut fries made on site with the unheard of flavor combinations? Flavors like the Thai Coconut Fries or the “PB&J” (pimento cheese, bacon and pickled jalapeños) and so many more. They even make some pretty amazing salads. You just can’t go wrong with choosing to eat at the Tin Plate. Make sure you visit their website here to read all about them and their menu.

We continued on our tour by taking a stroll across the street to the E-Station. It’s Conyers answer to the ideal work space. You no longer have to fight the noise and bustle of the local Starbucks or Panera Bread to have a meeting or get some work done. You can utilize their open space desks or opt for a private office space with door so you can look really official for your twelve o’clock meeting. There is full A/V equipment as well as printing & copying services too. You can have all this with daily drop in fees or do a monthly membership. After viewing a presentation on Conyers at the E-Station we proceeded to walk around the corner to Beasley’s Pharmacy. This pharmacy is pure nostalgia, like you walked back in time. They have a soda fountain counter. You can get a hand crafted milkshake or ice cream float to name a few of the things offered. Let’s not forget that it is a pharmacy so you can fill your prescriptions there as well. And just like any other drugstore there are knickknacks you can purchase including nostalgic games like pick up sticks and my favorite jacks. Some of you may have to google those games because they are not something you play on a screen. LOL! The best thing about Beasley’s Pharmacy is that it has been family owned for 85 years. You can’t beat that.

From Beasley’s we headed to one of the newer businesses in Olde Town Conyers, Corks and Cuvee. Conyers has it’s very own wine shop. Not a package store but an actual place dedicated to wine, wine lovers and learning about wine. The space is beautiful and inviting. The owner, Regina Jackson, has crafted a place where you aren’t afraid to ask questions about all things wine. She offers daily wine flights, private tastings, wine and wine accoutrements; everything for the wine enthusiast. Check out her site here to learn about all she offers.

Teri was the hostess with the mostess and represented Conyers to the utmost.  As any fine hostess would do, she ended our night with appetizers and cocktails at Las Flores, a Mexican restaurant located in Olde Town Conyers. We had margaritas, on the rocks of course, fresh made salsa with chips, a platter of street tacos and yucca fries. We were a group of happy bloggers. Visit their website to see if they have your favorite Mexican dish here.

This tour helped me to appreciate where I now call home. I got to meet some wonderful new people while hanging out with some old friends. Memories made. So when you get an opportunity, come on out to Conyers so you can make some memories of your own.

Until next time…

~The Chef In Pearls

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

A Lesson In Pie…Crave Pie Studio

A Lesson In Pie…Crave Pie Studio

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Lies I say. Pure unadulterated lies. I went to cooking school over 20 years ago and I am still learning things everyday. I learned a thing or two while at Crave Pie Studio with owner/baker Breana Carson. I feel that as long as you are open to learning there will be growth in all that you do. I definitely grew while at Crave Pie Studio, which helps to make me a better chef.

When Atlanta Food & Lifestyle Bloggers’ Society presented the opportunity to take a pie making class, I hopped at the chance. It was a chance to create food and I am always game for that. Crave Pie Studio is located in downtown Duluth, GA, almost an hour’s drive from my neck of the woods. Upon arrival I knew it would be well worth the drive. It is the cutest shop with hutches stocked with pie related trinkets. Too cute! Her employees were preparing for closing; cleaning and putting away the few unsold pies for the day. What I saw of those pies made it evident why there were only a handful or so left. They looked so yummy! Being a gracious host Breana offered us a choice of savory pies for our dinner. Why thank you! I’ll have the roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Quiche. All I can say was, “Good Choice Cass!” I immediately fell in love with the crust, so flavorful and crisp. It was bound to be a good night.

Breana welcomed us into her kitchen. That in itself was an honor. When someone invites you into the space where they create, you should hold that dear to your heart. They are sharing a part of themself with you. A part that took time for them to feel comfortable enough in themself and their ability to open up and let you in. I took that privilege to heart. It’s like when I share pictures and videos (keep on look out I am about to get back to video creating for my YouTube channel) I am letting you into some of the most intimate parts of my mind, my creativity.

Once in the kitchen, Breana walked us through her recipe for Apple Crumb Pie. As I am not a fan of streusel, I asked if I could do a double crust Apple pie. And as gracious as she, she allowed me. I have to say I was so truly impressed with her recipe. It wasn’t too sweet and the crust was so tasty. I enjoyed the crust so much I have incorporated it into my repertoire. She was a patient teacher as well, which can make a huge difference in learning. While our pies were baking and becoming wonderful, Breana shared samples of the deliciousness she creates at Crave Pie Studio. My favorite?  The Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie because who doesn’t like chocolate and bourbon? Number 2 on my list is the Lemon Cream Pie. It was light, airy, refreshing and tasted like a slice of Spring or Summer just waiting to be eate up.

I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the pies created at Crave Pie. They have a choice of sweet and savory pies available to select from and you can check out their menu on their site. Breana incorporates two ideals that I love. She bakes seasonally using only what is fresh and locally available. The other ideal is she doesn’t allow her bakers to bake pies if they are not in a good mood. Like me she believes happy people make happy food. There is a transfer of energies when you make food for others. I just love it!

When you get that deep down need for pie, please go visit Crave Pie Studio in Duluth.  Make sure you tell them the Chef In Pearls sent you. I have great memories being there,  baking with my fellow bloggers and eating ammazing pie! It will be great place to make awesome memories!

Until next time,

~The Chef In Pearls

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone

Flavors of GA…White Oaks Pastures

I was introduced to White Oaks Pastures a few years ago. A friend asked me to make some finger foods with products from local gardens for a showing of “Food For Thought”. It was after the film, during a panel discussion, that I heard all about White Oaks Pastures. I learned about their sustainable farming practices and became intrigued. You see prior to the film and discussion I was pretty oblivious on farming practices. I knew there were good farm practices and bad farm practices, I just didn’t understand or know what they really were.

Fast forward to today and I can say I have become wiser and smarter. I had the pleasure of being invited to the award ceremony of Flavor of Georgia. Flavor of Georgia is a food product competition put on by the University of Georgia. It “showcases market-ready prototypes or commercially ready food products”. The contest was for producers that used products and flavors that best represented Georgia. There were several categories from beverages, sauces, snacks, meats, seafood and so much more. Who should I see as a finalist in the meat and seafood category? The fine people of White Oaks Pastures. Can I say stoked? I would get an opportunity to taste why they have won so many awards. To see first hand why they were finalist in this competition.

White Oaks Pasture entered their Grassfed Beecon Grind. Grassfed Beecon Grind? Some brilliant mind at the pasture decided to combine their grassfed beef with their naturally smoked Iberico bacon. Yes you read that right. Did they create the ultimate burger blend? If you are anything like me, you get excited when you to see a lit grill with beautiful burgers being cooked. I watched as Ban Stewart cooked up the samples.  And sitting on the side table a toasted bun with a smear of mayo, topped with lettuce and tomato slice waiting patiently for the burgers to be done. I saw how my summer grilling would look. Then I got the chance to taste the Beecon Grind. No salt, no pepper added but yet it was pure deliciousness. A burger couldn’t get any better than that. I knew they would surely win in their category.

It was time for the ceremony to begin. You know this contest was a big deal because, Governor Nathan Deal came out to speak with the finalists and attendees. He spoke proudly of the representation these products bring to Georgia. After his speech it was time for the announcement of the winners in each category. I was on pins and needles when the announcement was to be made for the meat and seafood category. The winner is… Pine Street Market with their Applewood Smoked Bacon. Okay maybe I am a little biased but I felt like White Oaks Pastures should have won. They created burger heaven. All you needed to do, besides cook it, was add a slice of your favorite cheese. And BOOM….Perfect Burger! If you don’t believe me you can order some straight to your doorsteps right here .Then let me know what your thoughts are.

I did eat other things besides White Oaks Beecon Grind. I got to taste quite a few samples from the other finalists including Georgia Fried Peanuts Company Fried Peanuts, Pine Street Market Applewood Smoked Bacon, Pouch Pies The Georgia Pie, Emily G’s Datil Peach Marmalade, Two Fat Chile Cats Jamaica Me Sweat Soppin’ Sauce and so many more. I want to thank the University of Georgia and Atlanta Food and Lifestyle Bloggers Society for inviting me to attend. I had a wonderful time and look forward to next year’s event.

If you know of someone with a great product that represents Georgia send them over to the Flavor of Georgia site to see if they have what it takes to enter the competition. It could be a great way to make new memories. So go forward and make some new memories.

Until next time…

~The Chef In Pearls

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone
The Chef In Pearls

Cassandra Mason is a Lifestyle Chef and Gourmet Cooking Instructor who enjoys demystifying the art of cooking for One. You can catch her live demonstrations across major social media as @TheChefInPearls.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Categories