IT’S SUMMERTIME AND SOUTHERN FARMS ARE BURSTING WITH PRODUCE. ATLANTA’S CHEF LINTON HOPKINS PICKS SOME LOCAL FAVORITES.
FARM / Crystal Organic Farm / Newborn, GA / Nicolas Donck farms his family’s land and has been a huge part of the farm-to-table scene here in Atlanta. Crystal Organic has really become a leader of small, organic, sustainable farms in Georgia. Donck has trained a lot of farmers around the area and he’s just a really good guy.
FARMERS MARKET / Morningside Farmers Market /Atlanta, GA / This Saturday morning market is one of the best markets in town. Founder Anne Brewer is a friend of mine and was an inspiration to me when we founded the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market. Morningside is the first certified organic market in the state, and you’re buying straight from the producers.
COCKTAIL / Paul Calvert / Paper Plane / Atlanta, GA / Bartender Paul Calvert has a Master’s degree in English literature and is arguably one of Atlanta’s smartest and most innovative young bartenders. In 2011’s Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, Calvert’s La Mancha won top honors with its roasted tomato-agave puree with mezcal and tequila.
FARM / Riverview Farms / Ranger, GA / Wes and Charlotte Swancy were biology majors at UGA and now they work Wes’ dad’s farm. It’s beautiful, in the foothills of the Appalachians in Northwest Georgia. They made it completely organic. They’ve got grass-fed livestock, Berkshire pigs, and a vegetable farm. They mill their corn, they cook down their own sorghum syrup at a neighbor’s place, they make charcuterie. They’re fabulous.
FARMERS MARKET / Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market / Atlanta, GA / I started this market with the Cathedral of St. Philips. Sam Candler is the Dean of the Cathedral and we just had a meeting one day and said let’s put some farms and coffee and bread in the Cathedral parking lot. So within six weeks of that meeting we had a market. So now we’re sixty vendors and the largest producer-only farmer’s market in the state.
COCKTAIL / Greg Best / Holeman and Finch Public House / Atlanta, GA / Don’t call Greg Best a mixologist. He hates the word. Bartender it is. It’s like calling a chef a “culinary excitement director” (chef is just fine!). Best just got nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program, and he was one of the founders of the Atlanta Bartender’s Guild. His Yellow Plush cocktail uses sweet corn milk, Aquavit, lime and chartreuse for a deliciously crafted corn concoction.
DISH / Skillet Corn with Padron Peppers and Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise /
Chef Linton Hopkins / Restaurant Eugene / Atlanta, GA
FARM / Love is Love Farm / Decatur, GA / This is operated by Judith Winfrey and her sweetheart Joseph Reynolds who trained under Nicolas at Crystal Organics. Love is Love Farm is actually a community supported farming co-op, proving that you don’t have to own land to farm. It’s been a great success.
FARMERS MARKET / Grant Park Farmer’s Market / Atlanta, GA / This Sunday market started in 2011, so it’s young. It’s a really good time with live music, kids, dogs, chef demos, a great market for its neighborhood. You can grab our bread (H&F Bread Co.) and treats from friendly vendors and hang out in the shade of the park for a picnic.
COCKTAIL / David Durnell / Bocado / Atlanta, GA / Durnell is a bartender who believes in making everything from scratch and who doesn’t believe that the bar is somehow different from the kitchen. His El Muerto Verde cocktail uses a slightly sweetened cucumber puree with tequila, triple sec, and a kick of jalapeno.
Put Some Pep in your Step
FARM / Le Tre Lune at Glover Family Farm / Douglasville, GA / Tre Lune is about three young farmers coming together to help each other out, and Luca grows beautiful things. It’s also a great example of one farmer hosting other farms. Le Tre Lune is on the Glover Family Farms land, and that’s also where Love is Love Farm started, so it’s really an incubator farm.
FARMERS MARKET / Decatur Organic Farmers Market / Decatur, GA / This is a grass-roots intimate little market on the verge of expansion. Its vendors are typically small-scale but very high quality producers who take risks and grow an amazing variety of produce, not necessarily what everyone else is growing, so you can find unique items.
COCKTAIL / Miles Macquarrie / Kimball House / Atlanta, GA / Macquarrie has been voted Atlanta’s Bartender of the Year twice, and although he’s got some pretty stiff competition (no pun intended), he is indeed a whiz. His El Mirage cocktail uses a jalapeno syrup to kick up a mescal-pineapple-lime drink with a dash of Chartreuse.