Monday, June 17, 2013

16 June 2013 – Fathers Day

Like Mother's Day, Father's Day is always bittersweet for me. While I miss my parents on a daily basis, I appreciate taking the day to remember and honor their memories. I have so many amazing memories of my dad. From his time in service to our country to his great food and gentle spirit. Looking at old photos of him, I'm also reminded that he was one handsome man and a great dresser! One of the last things he told me before passing was that he liked the shirt I was wearing. We had a unique and special bond, and it took both of us to keep up with my mother. So, here's to you dad!

Most of the weekend was spent recovering from my week in Chicago at NeoCon 2013. The show was very successful for our clients, and our hard work was appreciated by everyone. However, the very long days spent in the Merchandise Mart were exhausting for me and my colleague, Matt DeFrain. This was my actual 29th NeoCon, and they take a bigger toll with each and every year. Even with all of the work, we managed to sneak in a couple of great dinners at Nightwood and BellyQ – both chefs of these restaurants were just recognized in the current issue of Food and Wine magazine as Best New Chefs of 2013. I had read about the awards a couple of months ago and booked early! Most of the remaining time was spent in the Chicago Merchandise Mart as we prepared our clients for the world's largest commercial furnishings trade show. They estimated over 40,000 attendees visited the Mart, and we appreciate the business and positive feedback from our clients: Invision, Kinetex, CF Stinson and the Association for Contract Textiles. I am especially thankful for the support of my team: Matt DeFrain, Elizabeth Seidle and Kurt Seidle. Their stellar work makes Grant Design Collaborative look great at NeoCon and throughout the year.

On Saturday and Sunday, we tried to spend as much time as possible in the "cement pond," the Pool at One Britt. It is over 60 years old and was built by Dr. Johnson many years ago. Unfortunately, his Mid-Century Modern pool house did not survive, but we have some great photos and a newspaper clipping of the space, courtesy of the Cherokee Historical Society. After last week's tornados, we had a lot of cleaning up to do, but it was worth it to be able to float peacefully for a couple of hours. Before pool time on Sunday, we visited Cherokee Market Farm Fresh Produce on Highway 20 at Union Hill Road. Lisa Meyer purveys the freshest local produce, breads, grass fed beef and heritage pork in the area. She does a great job, and it is always fun to see what the store has to offer. While you are there, make sure you check out the Scott Boys BBQ food truck! Their BBQ is divine, and it's a great setting with a picnic table and even great jazz music!

At the market, I picked up some of my dad's favorite ingredients for tonight's Sunday Supper. I made nests of country ham with peach, mango and jalapeño chutney. For the sides, I roasted some brussel sprouts and baby yellow squash. Our friend Cory Wilson foraged the gardens to create a beautiful table setting on the Side Porch, and we enjoyed a relaxing meal. In the same issue of Food and Wine, they also included some of their Best New Chef All Stars from over the years. One was my friend and chef/owner of Bacchanalia in Atlanta, Anne Quatrano, and they included a recipe for her Olive Oil Cake. I had tried this recipe years ago but decided to bake it again tonight for dessert. This cake is heavenly and so simple, but you must use the best extra virgin olive oil possible. I topped the cake with some local macerated strawberries and whipped cream. This is a great cake to top with whatever local fruits that are in season, and it is good enough to also serve plain.

So cheers to all the great fathers, living and passed, that have inspired us to be thoughtful, responsible, resourceful and accepting of others. Next stop, Summer 2013!

The Menu:

- Georgia Country Ham with Coca-Cola and Bourbon
"Brown Eye" Gravy

- Georgia Peach, Mango and Jalapeño Chutney

- Roasted Local Brussel Sprouts

- Baked Baby Yellow Squash with Parmesan Reggiano

- Anne Quatrano's Olive Oil Cake with Georgia
Strawberries and Whipped Cream

The Recipe – Anne Quatrano's Olive Oil Cake


- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons or tangerines


- Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan.

- Into a medium bowl, sift together the 1 3/4 cups of flour,
baking powder and salt.

- In another medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the
olive oil and milk.

- In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar
and citrus zest until pale and thickened, about 3 minutes.
Alternately beat in the dry and wet ingredients, starting
and ending with the dry ingredients.

- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, until
the cake is golden brown and the side pulls away from the pan.
Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool before serving.

- Serve plain or top with seasonal fresh fruit or berries
and whipped cream.

NOTES: Anne suggests Ligurian olive oil for this lovely, light cake, because it’s more delicate and buttery than many other Italian oils. I used Luciano Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Publix, and it turned out great! Make Ahead The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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