I spent quite a lot of time over the holiday season digging into some of my favorite cookbooks. This was sparked on by several things:
- My son, Zach, and I started talking about what we want to accomplish with The Factory Café in 2016 and got side tracked talking (for a very, very long time) about our very, very all-time favorite cookbooks.
- We finally finished organizing our company library—including the growing cookbook section. (See the P.S. below about our organization system of choice.)
- I read La Mere Brazier—which made me want to get out all my favorite cookbooks and start reading them all over again. (I adored Eugénie Brazier’s story of her childhood and rise to kitchen fame in the introduction.)
- I looked back on all the good work Alabama Chanin has been involved with in 2015. I’m super proud that I (and all of our team) got to work with great chefs like Angie Mosier, Lisa Donovan, Rob McDaniel, and Anne Quatrano (Queen Anne) at The Factory—and also with the likes of Cheetie Kumar, Anne Quatrano (again!), and Gabrielle Hamilton organized by Ashley Christenson for the Southern Foodways Alliance Femme Fatale Dinner at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville. (Yes, 2015 was a great year.)
With these delicious moments and meals in mind, we’re gearing up for our 2016 Friends of the Café Dinner Series. Some details are still being finalized, but there’s no doubt: it’s going to be another fantastic year.
We’re starting out of the gates on March 24th with Frank Stitt (Highlands Bar and Grill, Chez Fon Fon, Bottega, and Bottega Café in Birmingham, Alabama) and the famous (and infamous) barbecue pit master, Rodney Scott of Hemingway, South Carolina. This promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Frank has already sent along some menu ideas that include not only the gorgeously roasted meats from Rodney, but also foraged specialties like dandelion, henbit, asparagus shoots, and chickweed.
After that we’re hosting our first-ever Spring Harvest Dinner on May 21st, featuring local and regional harvests from farmers and purveyors alike—curated by our chef (and my son) Zach and our amazing team at The Factory Café.
In August (date TBD—most likely the second or third Thursday), our (now annual) Shindig Dinner—in conjunction with Billy Reid’s Shindig—features Shoals-native, Atlanta-based chef Adam Evans (formerly of The Optimist, now with Brezza Cucina in the Ponce City Market). This dinner becomes more popular every year, so be on the lookout for the event announcement.
Sean Brock (McCrady’s in Charleston, Husk in Charleston and Nashville, and Minero in Atlanta and Charleston) will be joining us for a Fall dinner on October 8th. Details will unfold as the season rolls into focus.
See you here. See you there. Happy 2016 from all of us @ The Factory and Alabama Chanin
P.S.: To organize our growing library, we wound up using Libib—one of the apps we originally investigated. It was one of the highlights of 2015 to see our library come to life, beautifully displayed in the design studio, organized perfectly by theme, with books standing straight and tall like little soldiers, ready to go out and change the world.