Spoonfed (Atlanta)

Mark Petko photographs Atlanta's culinary scene.

MF Buckhead | Atlanta

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We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com

 

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Spicy Tuna Tar-Tar wrapped w/ Avocado topped with Caviar Mousse

MF Buckhead

3280 Peachtree Rd. Ste. 110

Atlanta, GA 30305

404.841.1192

www.mfbuckhead.com (link)

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Seared Toro w/ Daikon & Purple Potato

Greeting me with a glad hand after passing the bar and into the main dining room of MF Buckhead was Chris Kinjo, co-owner/chef and “Magic Fingers” namesake to this restaurant, as well as its counterpart, MF Sushi. So much emphasis has been placed on those grapplers of the raw that as we shook, I couldn’t help but wonder if Chris has an aversion to such an act?  Not only culturally, with maybe a Japanese ‘bowing’ preference but also in the way that a brain surgeon may refrain from excessive high-fives, pouring scalding hot coffee or waiting another moment… until the cookies cool.  Those tattooed mitts are the tools with which Chris has gained artistic repute and I want to respect them.  These tools alongside a pinstripe suit and designer eye-wear complete the renown that Chris radiates.  When looking upon him, in the surround of his restaurant, there is a relationship that is on display and it becomes obvious that with every breath, he lives in a balance between Art, luxury, sushi and style.  It was just after 2:oo pm and I was told that he usually wasn’t in the restaurant that early due to the late night nature of the restaurant business.  I felt privileged that he took the time for me, but then shortly came to realize, it wasn’t for me, but for the sake of his art.  As I prepped my equipment he took to the kitchen, still in suit, still in style, and began manipulating ingredients with the guardianship and attentiveness one may expect from a master.  The dance begins.  With precision, he embarks on a routine that percolates in repetition.  One can imagine that muscle memory and years of practice are taking the lead and the swaying swagger of these sushi-making induced movements places Chris in a meditative state of sorts. One, with fervor, an open vessel of creation.  Catch some vids of this (here) and (here).

MF Buckhead is yet another venture created by Chris with his brother Alex.  It takes the usual sushi experience to a heightened level, harmonizing Japanese heritage, luxurious atmosphere, and the art of sushi collectively.  Located in the Terminus Building in Buckhead, MF Buckhead caters to all sushi purists but especially to those without monetary restraints.  Thinning the herd and placing a select few above the main dining room into the Omakase Room, Chris takes those privileged participants on an experience in sushi dining, consisting of 16-20 courses designed around ingredients flown in from Japanese markets, paired with sake and taking place as the hours pass with no holds barred, for a mere $250 per diner.  The room seats 8 and the Omakase Room dinning happens twice a month.  Jimmy gets privileged (here)

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Nigiri Sushi: Madai, Chu, Toro, Ttoro, Wild Buri

Aji Sashimi w/ Grated Ginger & Scallions

Kohada pressed with Kazunoko

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Blanched Ika w/ Shiso & Goma

Tuna Tataki wrapped around Kaiware w/ thinly sliced Yuzu & Ikura

Uni Sashimi

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com


MF Buckhead on Urbanspoon

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Written by Mark Petko

November 2nd, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Anis Cafe and Bistro | Buckhead

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We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com

 

All content © Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Carpaccio de Poulpes-thinly sliced octopus, avocado, lime, extra virgin olive oil, baby herbs

Anis Cafe & Bistro

2974 Grandview Ave.

Atlanta, GA 30305

404.233.9889

www.anisbistro.com (link)

Truite Meuniere-pan roasted trout, wilted greens, marinated artichokes, capers, lemon browned butter

With my guard down, I’ll have to admit to liking some reality TV.  I am fairly closeted about liking such blatant swill but in true interstate wreck form, I can’t help sometimes to peer upon these spectacles and find myself engaged, if only in small doses.  Although, for the life of me I cannot bring myself to quell my gag reflex when seeing any of Bravo’s ‘Housewives’ series.  Especially the ‘Atlanta Housewives’.  I find it enraging.  Maybe it’s due to the ‘too close to home’ nature but them crazies seem a waste of godsbreath (I don’t think this is a real word, but I’m using it…intentionally with a lower case “g”, screw Webster’s, the meaning is in the context).  I am shamed that this is the slice of life in Atlanta that gets airtime in front of the rest of the world.  Wherein I feel apologies are necessary when out of town acquaintances comment on the show and inquire if Atlanta is truly like that.  I think it safe to assume (which Grandma told me never to do) that any of the ‘Housewives’ shows are far from true representations of any of the cities represented and the obvious low-brow antics to cast such society in broadcast light is pandering to today’s America.  These ladies, to me, seem to symbolize everything I think of when I generalize that which is ‘Buckhead’.  I haven’t even watched the show enough to know if the cast frequents the ‘Buckhead’ area and I realize I’m showing my ignorance card but my mind immediately draws a correlation between what is seen and how I feel about the area.  I’ve been in Atlanta for a considerably short amount of time, approximately 8 years, and there may have been a time, before mine, when “Buckhead” wasn’t what “Buckhead” is (or what I consider it to be), and if that is the case I am sad for not knowing it’s former glorious self.  I can’t help myself for cringing slightly when hearing ‘Buckhead’ and I realize I could be alone in this thought process.  Atlanta has a seedy underbelly, dotted with McMansions, plastic surgery, designer t-shirst and superficiality.  The Housewives and Buckhead, to me, are the town criers for this ideal…(or maybe I’m just grumpy this morning).

Now putting my small thought and obvious ignorance aside, and before receiving multiple comments,  I’m sure there remain some redeeming qualities that ‘Buckhead’ has to offer and since starting this blog I have come to know some of them.  There are still plenty of shops and restaurants, galleries and local spots to be had in the area that replenish the ick-factor to a suitable level and my recent visit to Anis Cafe & Bistro is an example of one of these spots. Located in the backwoods of Buckhead, Anis Cafe & Bistro sits as a renovated bungalow that soft pedals itself compared to the usual glitz found on the nearby streets and avenues.  A much discussed and loved covered patio with hand painted tables sits in front and awaits those possibly wanting to be temporarily removed from the South and transported to Southeastern France.  Up a few stairs from the patio opens a pair of doors (French no less), into the indoor dining room with softer, neutral tones that carries a less aloof attitude than the patio but still has enough decor to exude a kitschy, quaint, elegance.  The small adjoining bar seals the homey feel with enough room for a few tables, where it seems easy to be within earshot of those speaking French, lending some authentic allure to Anis.  For the past 16 years Anis Cafe & Bistro has been providing a menu “deeply rooted in the ingredients and aromas that give dishes from the french Mediterranean region their unique flavors” (from their website)  with the kitchen currently being lead by Chef Jeff Gomez.  They are currently serving a Sunday Brunch from 11:30-2:30 and invite you to join their Facebook page to keep you informed of other specials and happenings.

All content © Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Butternut Squash Soup-garnished w/Coles Lake Dairy Chevre and radicchio

Moules Marinieres-mussels, white wine, garlic, parsley, cream

Shrimp a l'Anis- Gulf shrimp w/rice, asparagus, escarole, tomatoes and Pastis shallot vinaigrette

All content © Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Coquilles St. Jacques-roasted Maine scallops, sweet corn, Vidalia onions and truffle honey

Nutella Crepes- buttery crepes filled with bananas, Nutella and toasted almonds

All content © Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com



Anis Cafe & Bistro on Urbanspoon

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Written by Mark Petko

October 27th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Spice Market | W Atlanta Midtown

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We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com

 

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Spiced Chicken Samosas, Cilantro Yogurt

Spice Market

W Atlanta Midtown

188 14th St. NE Atlanta, GA 30361

404.724.2550

www.spicemarketatlanta.com (link)

What’s in a name really?  I’m just the son of an electrician, so for those (like me) who have nary an inkling who Jean-Georges Vongerichten is, then all one need to do is check out the most reliable source for factual biographies and information…wikipedia.  Ok, that may be a stretch but really, it’s as good a place as any to gain some ground in your Jean-Georges knowledge building.  Here’s the gist:  He is big-time. French chef, studied at the Auberge de l’ill under yadda, yadda, opened this restaurant and that restaurant, teamed with so and so to write this book and that book, touted by bliggity-blah as the “sha-bang-shazam, bomb-diggity.”  The list goes on and on about his ventures across the globe, partnering and teaming with many, to position his knowledge, influence, culinary proficiency, and name to (it may seem) as many outlets as he can.  His reach is vast as it spans the globe.  And yet I wonder…How does a man, whose name covers a Brobdingnagian jurisdiction rest assured knowing that the quality of product is living up to that name?  And is it possible to spread yourself so thin and to have your name so used that it dilutes into just a phrasing, stripped of clout, countering all that was once worked for?  I don’t know.  What do you think Wolfgang?

Spice Market has the honor of being connected with the original offering, Jean-Georges’ New York restaurant.  It is based on influences of Asian street food yet the luxury and style of the restaurant, smack-dab in the middle of a W Hotel mind you, has little reminiscence to anything ‘street’.  The space is impressive and tasteful with Asian accents but still obviously upscale.  Upon mentioning my recent shoot here at Spice Market, my sister-in-law and her soon to be husband mentioned having dined here and raved about the Samosas (pictured above), seconded by Meridith Ford’s review from just after it’s opening.  Check out some more recent reviews (here) and (here).

View more recent work from Mark Petko Photography

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Black Pepper Shrimp, Sun Dried Pineapple

Ginger Fried Rice

Sauteed Snapper, Asparagus and Shitake Mushrooms, Sesame Vinaigrette

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Grilled Strip Steak, Garlic, Coriander and Sesame

Ovaltine Kulfi, Caramelized Banana, Spiced Milk Chocolate Sauce

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com


Spice Market (W Atlanta Midtown) on Urbanspoon

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Written by Mark Petko

October 8th, 2010 at 8:19 am

Davio’s | Buckhead | Phipps Plaza

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We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com

 

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Georgia Mountain Rainbow Trout, Summer Vegetables, Little Clam Herb Broth

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

3500 Peachtree Rd. NE (Phipps Plaza)

Atlanta, GA 30326

404.844.4810

www.davios.com (link)

I get by with a little help from my friends.  I’ll admit it.  I’m easy.  I’ll jump into the sack with anyone willing to show me a good time…(when speaking of photography for this blog).  Some of the restaurants showcased here on Spoonfed have been introduced to me through connections with PR firms.  I see this as a win/win scenario.  Dividing my time between two cities and trying to find paying work has tested my time management skills enough so if I receive notice from anyone willing to make an introduction between me and a restaurant, then by all means, hook it up.  This connection provides me with a place to practice my photography and also benefits the restaurant with some extra exposure.

One of the PR firms that I have worked with in the past and has also introduced me to Davio’s is Melissa Libby & Associates specializing in the restaurant/food industry.  One of the many ways Melissa and her team do a great job representing their clients is through their blog Atlanta Dish and also through their social media accounts such as twitter (@MelissaL).  Always on the cusp with new information, Melissa Libby is a great source for ‘what’s the what’ in Atlanta cuisine.  On this particular shoot I was visited by team members Meryl Arnett and Tuan Huynh.  Even though it was nice to have company while I shot, I fear I may have bored them a bit.  First off, not that I’m a chatty fellow to begin with but especially when in the zone of shooting, I’m fairly quiet while involved in work.  Second, food photography is a fairly dull process if you are not directly involved in the capture.  Don’t get the wrong impression, I’m having fun but for those in the dugout, it may not be as exciting as a fashion shoot or celebrity portrait session.  Setting up a shot, finding an angle, and tweaking lights in between captures, I’m sure, is not fun to watch from a close distance.  They were troopers and hung in until the end, another testament to their professionalism and dedication to their clients.  Thanks y’all.

Davio’s is the latest addition to a small chain started in Boston by Steve DiFillippo.  ”The idea behind Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse was simple, regional Italian foods with a focus on the grill” (from their site).  How spring rolls fit into the scheme? I’m not sure but anyhoo…that’s how they roll.  (Sorry, shameless pun).  Along with the appeal of their menu is the ability to sidle up to the bar facing into the open kitchen to enjoy not only the eating of a meal but the visual of watching it being created.  The Atlanta location, fixed at Phipps Plaza, is led by executive chef Bennett Hollberg.

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Carni- 14 oz Prime Natural Aged New York Sirloin

Seared Organic Salmon, Sundried Tomato-Mascarpone Orzo, Charred Tomato Battuto

Davio's Steak House Burger, Crispy Onion Rings, Manchego, Brioche Roll

Macedonia of Fresh Fruit, Citrus Broth, Mini Sweet Ricotta Cannoli

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Here are some other firms that have helped me connect with Atlanta restaurants: (if I have forgotten you, sorry, let me know…)

The Reynolds Group, Inc.

Karen Canavan PR

Deborah Evans- demarketing@bellsouth.net

Green Olive Media (Haven’t worked with them but they do their own cool stuff, worth a look-see)

We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com




Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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Written by Mark Petko

September 30th, 2010 at 9:12 am