The Georgia peanut is one of the state’s leading important crops. Thanks to approximately 4,500 peanut farmers, Georgia produced more than 1.64 million tons of peanuts in 2020, representing more than half of the country’s crop.
Chefs throughout Georgia will present special, peanut-influenced dishes in observation of the first-ever Georgia Peanut Restaurant Week, October 4 through 11. The week celebrates the state’s long-rooted peanut industry, which has grown to currently include 4,500 peanut farmers. Last year, alone, Georgia produced more than 1.64 million tons of peanuts.
These thirteen participating chefs will present the Southern legume with global spins and classic interpretations throughout the week, from foie gras to ice cream. Each will find a way to incorporate raw or roasted peanuts or their byproducts into small plates, mains, and desserts.
Expect inspired dishes, like West African peanut stew, peanut-encrusted schnitzel, and peanut flour rigatoni.
One example comes from Atlanta-based chef Drew Van Leuvan of Ecco Buckhead. His use of the peanut connects to sentimental kitchen memories:
“I was introduced to Georgia peanuts as a child from my Aunt Becky. She used to live part of the year on St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia. She would always have a few bags of boiled Georgia peanuts with her while we were at the beach or just driving around town. I love how sweet they are, even in their raw state. Over the years as my cooking knowledge expanded, I have learned about so many cultures which have developed distinct flavor profiles for the use of peanuts. Now that I live in Georgia I try and use peanuts on several dishes on my menus at all times, attempting to educate the public about our local cash crop.”
During Georgia Peanut Restaurant Week, he’ll be featuring crispy brussels sprouts with toasted peanuts, celery, apple, and peanut salad, along with salted barbecue peanuts.
Georgia Chefs Going (Pea)Nuts
From chef Alex Friedman | Bistro off Broad, Winder, Georgia
From chef Caleb Ayers | Rye + Cotton, Savannah
From chef Nick Leahy | Nick’s Westside, Atlanta
From chef Todd Richards | Lake & Oak, Atlanta
From chef Jessica Rothacker | Heirloom Café, Athens, Georgia.
Along with the above, the Georgia Peanut Restaurant Week will also feature chefs Deborah VanTrece of Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, Chrysta Poulus of Ford Fry Restaurants, Matt Basford of Canoe, Parnass Savang of Talat Market, Danny Mellman of Harvest on Main, Jamie Keating of Epic Restaurant, and Dave Snyder of Halyard’s Restaurant.
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