Everybody Eats: A food conversation with Gary Reedy

Gary Reedy

For the past year, the Everybody Eats interview series has discussed food with citizens of Atlanta who are prominent for non-food-related reasons. This allowed readers to get to know some of our high-profile residents a little more personally. This series is coming to an end, but something new is coming very soon. For the final installment, I spoke to Gary Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society.

How do you like your eggs cooked?
Fortunately, I love eggs and the various ways they are cooked. However, I usually have them “over easy” or scrambled, depending on my mood.

What are your two favorite things to put in mac and cheese, other than the mac and the cheese?  As a purist, I prefer traditional mac and cheese, but if additions were made it would be bacon.

What are some of your favorite spots for brunch?
Brunch is one of the meals I enjoy most with my family and close friends.  We typically enjoy Rise n’ Dine at Emory Village or Highland Bakery in the Old 4th Ward.  My “go to” dish at Highland is the Fried Chicken Benedict.

The American Cancer Society Center is headquartered in downtown, near Centennial Olympic Park. What’s the best place to walk to for a meal?
Typically I am on the run and will grab a quick salad in the cafe located in our building.  Ruth’s Chris and Legal Seafood are convenient for dinner meetings.

Are you any good at gardening?
I enjoy gardening and I’ve had some success.  Growing up in Virginia with four siblings, we managed household expenses by growing all our vegetables.  So, as a teenager, I took what I learned as a kid and started working for a landscaping company and paid my way through college.

Wine and beer, or the hard stuff, or none at all?
I’m classic with my beverages too. . . give me a good Malbec or Cabernet and I am good to go.

What is your guilty pleasure snack food? Favorite food for a tailgate?
Doritos are my guilty pleasure.  It’s something about the crunch of the chips along with the overpowering nacho cheese flavor that puts a smile on my face.  Tailgate food is a love as well.  On the rare occasions when I get to indulge at a tailgate, I love the normal fare—sliders, wings, loaded hot dogs and pretzels with mustard.

Fried Chicken Benedict at Highland Bakery

What are your feelings about red velvet cake?
Over the years, I’ve heard many debates about the quality of the actual cake in red velvet cake.  Honestly, I prefer German Chocolate Cake, so I will leave red velvet for others to enjoy.

Is there any food so disgusting to you that you just won’t eat it?
I just can’t stomach tartar sauce.  I like mayonnaise and I like pickles, but for some reason, I can’t get past the texture of tartar sauce.

Who does most of the cooking in your house? Who cooked while you were growing up?
My wife is a great cook and handles the cooking for our house. Now that we are empty-nesters, she has become a wiz at ordering out.  On the weekends I love to grill out while watching sports on television. Growing up, my mother did the cooking.  She was an amazing cook and made the best fresh-baked breads and fried chicken.

Seems like every day there’s a new scientific study or social trend regarding cancer-fighting foods. What information should people truly be considering if they want to eat in a way that may strengthen immunity?
I strive to abide by the American Cancer Society’s dietary guidelines.  Adhering to a diet that consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish or poultry and fewer red and/or processed meats has been shown to help reduce cancer risk along with living a healthy lifestyle overall.


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