Food Forethought: An interview with Anne Quatrano

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Restaurateur and chef Anne Quatrano established her international reputation with Bacchanalia and Star Provisions, but her love of all kinds of food has seen her branch out with W.H. Stiles Fish Camp and, most recently, Pancake Social at Ponce City Market.

What is your favorite breakfast spot in Atlanta?
Buttermilk Kitchen.

You designed the menu for Pancake Social, but how often will you be hands-on there? Is it pretty convenient since you also have W.H. Stiles Fish Camp right there?
I try to go by daily to check on the team and operations.

Do you have pretty good people-watching opportunities inside Ponce City Market?
The best!

Of all the talent you’ve worked with at Star Provisions, what makes Evelyn Ling the right executive chef for Pancake Social?
Evelyn has an excellent palate as well as an attention to detail that was needed to start a new concept. Her calm and controlled nature is also a plus when slinging pancakes.

Kitchens are an intense atmosphere. What do your kitchens sound like? Is it deadly silent, does somebody pick a radio station or playlist, or do you just fling witty banter?
No music, but the dining room music wafts in from time to time. We like kitchens that are focused and controlled.

What’s the difference between how you cook at home versus at work? Do you use your own kitchen as a lab, or save experiments for the professional kitchens?
I did a lot of testing of pancakes at home for Pancake Social. Typically most of our food testing happens in our professional kitchens.

You’ve done a variety of concepts from white tablecloth to fast casual. Is there any food you make at home that would surprise your customers?
My go to comfort food is red sauce. We do not really have a red sauce restaurant in our stable.

You’re one of the most widely respected chefs in Atlanta. If you could change anything about our dining culture or food scene, what would it be?
I would like to see the front-of-house or servers and managers earn more respect and accolades. I have the utmost respect for what they do and tolerate, and do not believe they are as fully celebrated as they should be.

 

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