Sunday, November 1, 2015

Food for Thought: Sunday Supper South

(c) Amy Sinclair
Today is a great day for a leisurely Sunday supper. It's a rainy, chilly afternoon, and there's no better way to spend it than by eating warm, tasty food prepared by some of the best chefs in the city in a festive, Halloween/Day-of-the-Dead-inspired setting.
(c) Amy Sinclair
Such is the case for Sunday Supper South, the Atlanta portion of Sunday Supper, James Beard Foundation's revered benefit dinner.
Ponce City Market (c) Sarah Dorio

This year's event takes place at Ponce City Market and is hosted by two of Atlanta's most celebrated chef-owners, Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. A number of chefs from around the city will be presenting their dishes as part of a family-style meal, including chef Adam Evans of Brezza Cucina, a lovely Italian eatery at PCM.
Chef Adam Evans (c) Andrew Thomas Lee

Since Sunday Supper South "honors the simple cooking philosophy and inspired flavors of the South" and benefits a number of local and national nonprofits focused on nutrition education, including the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Fund, I asked Evans where he gets his culinary inspiration from and how he wants to inspire others.

Belly of the Feast: What are you looking forward to the most about Sunday Supper South? 
Adam Evans: The opportunity to cook alongside some of the best chefs across the southeast. Sunday Supper South is a great opportunity to network, learn, and be inspired by many of my colleagues.

BOTF: The event celebrates a simple cooking philosophy. How do you apply that to your own kitchen, either at Brezza or at home? 
Evans: Our menu at Brezza lives by that same philosophy and really is the foundation of how I learned to cook. I feel like it is more challenging and rewarding to execute and perfectly cooked, simple meal.

BOTF: It also celebrates inspired flavors of the South. What are your favorite southern flavors to incorporate into meals? 
Evans: I grew up in the South and had amazing cooks (mom, grandmothers, etc.) teaching me southern flavors from the start. I think it goes further than just flavors -- it's more of a mindset that you can apply to different flavor combinations.

BOTF: The event supports nutrition education -- what do you think is the best way for people to learn about healthy ingredients and interesting ways to cook them at home? 
Evans: I think it starts with people being education on what healthy food means. If you understand nutritional value of food, you can learn how to better fuel your body. With so much great produce from farms near Atlanta, we all have access to beautiful organic produce and properly raised protein. I think about nutrition a lot and continue to educate myself on this topic, so I can apply it when cooking, whether at Brezza or at home.

BOTF: You have an impressive resume! From Tom Colicchio to Ford Fry to now Jonathan Waxman, what's the one lesson you've learned from such well-known restauranteurs? 
Evans: I've learned that every day is an opportunity to get better at what I do.