Friday, January 27

Southern Six-Pack

Happy 4709! It's the Year of the Dragon, a dragon with nine sons. At the risk of picking favorites, we here at SFA are partial to the middle child -- dragon number 5 -- because his domain is quietness, sitting, fire, and smoke. Which sounds exactly like a night spent tending a hog with Rodney Scott or Ed Mitchell or Patrick Martin. In the year we turn our attention to all things barbecue, this is the dragon for us!

This week the six pack is full of Southern ex-pats, Southern wanna-bees, the itinerant Southerner and the sassy Southerner. A fiery mix!

1. Sarah Simmons began her New York exile searching for grits. What she found(ed) is a Southern salon where all are invited to partake in the inherent comfort and camaraderie of (mostly) Southern food.

2. John Folse is a grand master of Cajun and Creole cuisine. His friend and business partner, Chicago restauranteur Rick Tramanto, is a grand master of mediterranean inspired molecular cuisine. Their next venture? Restaurant R'evolution opening in April in the French Quarter.

3. Where in the South is Peter Chang? Virginia, mostly. Soon to be full time. Say, "zai jian," Atlanta.

4. Virginia Willis doesn't brook hypocrisy. Especially when it comes from an institution as beloved as National Geographic. She doesn't suffer in silence either.

5. Kat Kinsman traveled all the way to Illinois to be bathed in the smoke of Southern whole hog barbecue. In case you don't know of a hog cooking in your neighborhood this weekend, we suggest you live vicariously through Ricky Parker and Rodney Scott and Sam Jones. We wish we had smell-o-vision.

6. Celebrate the Lunar New Year with sea and salt deviled eggs. Monique Truong leads the way.

Sometimes on Fridays when John T Edge is out of the office, Justin Bieber shows up. This is one of those days.