Southern Inspired Culinary Classes at the Ritz Carlton Atlanta (Downtown)

If your are in or near Atlanta this week, check this out at the Ritz Carlton Atlanta! Explore regional southern cooking in all its diversity and eccentricity with Brian Jones, chef de cuisine of Atlanta Grill, as he presents a series of demonstration-style culinary classes this fall at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta. Chef Jones will sprinkle an entertaining dose of southern lore with the preparation of regional specialties in a casual setting beginning September 20th with “Low Country Deconstructed”.  I want to go!

“History, culture and foods from low-elevation land and the seacoast are the cornerstones of Low Country cuisine,” said Chef Jones. “We’ll think about the origins of the ingredients and flavors, the revival of heritage grains today, then bring it all together in great regional dishes that guests can easily make at home for friends and family.”

Guests will taste small plates from a three-course menu paired with traditional cocktails and selections from regional wineries and breweries.  The Downtown hotel Sommelier Brian White hosts special guest Brian “Spike” Buckowski, brewmaster and co-founder of Athens, GA-based Terrapin Beer Company, who will bring six craft beers to sample with Chef Jones’ menu. Yum!!

Low Country Deconstructed


St. Cecelia Punch or Plantation Punch


Pâté of the South: Pimento Cheese Three Ways, Cheese Straws, Pickled Shrimp

Terrapin Golden Ale, Rye Pale Ale and All American Pilsner

Main Course

Savannah-style Purloo, Carolina Gold Rice and Coastal Seafood  (pictured above)

Cracklin’ Cornbread

Terrapin Hopsecutioner, Monk’s Revenge and Pumpkin Fest


Muscadine and Port Syllabub, Benne Seed Cookies

Classes are $75 per person inclusive of taxes and gratuities (what a deal!).
“Low Country Deconstructed” is presented on September 20 followed by Foraging through the Great Smoky Mountains on October 18 and Holiday Dining at Chef Brian’s House on November 15. All classes start at 6 p.m. and are limited to 16 guests. Early reservations are encouraged and may be made by calling Atlanta Grill at (404) 221-6550 or visiting and typing “Cooking Class” in the comments section of the reservation form.


About Chef Brian Jones

Chef Brian Jones’ obsession for regional ingredients and their origins is based in strong Southern roots. A native of Chamblee, GA, Chef Jones grew up cooking alongside his grandmother and aunts, appreciating authentic Southern dishes made from daily harvests of the family gardens. He brings that wonderful heritage to his menus at Atlanta Grill, which brim with plentiful varieties of local and regional produce.

National Pie Day: Chocolate Chess Pie

I’m celebrating National Pie Day with this fantastic Chocolate Chess Pie. If you haven’t heard, the 2011 hot food trend is pie, and pie is also the “new cupcake”. I tasted some great pies this weekend at Food Blog South’s first ever conference in Birmingham, Alabama. The pies were served during a conference break from the incredible Pie Lab located in Greensboro Alabama. This conference was beyond amazing. I am so honored to have been a Speaker (along with Virginia Willis) on the topic of Recipe Development. We had great feedback and a very large attendance in our session so thank you to everyone involved. The conference (which was sold out), was a huge success raising money for the Dessert Island Supply Company and another charity benefiting the gulf. It was one of the best blog conferences I have attended where I met some of the nicest, most sincere and talented writers, bloggers, photographers, stylists, marketing representatives and passionate people.

To celebrate the south, I am so proud to feature this southern pie recipe. I grew up eating chess pie, and many northern and western friends ask me, “What is chess pie?” According to James Beard’s American Cookery, chess pie was brought from England originally and was found in New England as well as Virginia. What sets chess pie apart from many other custard type pies is the addition of cornmeal. I love it flavored with chocolate for extra sweet touch. Enjoy with (or without) whipped cream or powdered sugar.

Alison Lewis and Paula Deen In Chicago at International Housewares Show

I had so much fun in Chicago over the past few days at the Chicago Housewares Show. I saw so many new kitchen gadget items that I can’t wait to share with you in my blog and store on this site.  While in Chicago, I had the opportunity to meet Paula Deen, who was so friendly and sweet. I thought I would share one of my favorite candy recipes of hers that my kids love, and who wouldn’t?