One of my internship clients, Proof and Provision, held an exciting event last week to honor the restaurant and bar’s executive chef, Zeb Stevenson, or “Chef Z”, on the Food Network’s popular series, Chopped. With my friend Christie in tow, we headed to the Georgian Terrace’s underground spot to check the event out.
Before his episode aired, P&P hosted their own Chopped-style battle between chefs Andy Thomas of Fig Jam and Andy Gonzales of Steinbeck’s.With two Andys competing, it was slightly difficult to tell who everyone was cheering for. Two mixologists, P&P’s own XXX and XXX, also faced off in a cocktail competition. Unfortunately my immature palette didn’t approve of their concoctions. Christie and I both agreed that one drink tasted straight up like Chloroseptic throat spray (icky).
The panel of judges included chef Z himself, Chopped veteran and chef Suzanne Vizethann of The Hungry Peach and upcoming Buttermilk Kitchen, Emily Meyers of Emily G’s Jams and food writer and podcast producer Sarah Gleim. Chef Duane Nutter from One Flew South delighted guests as emcee of the evening.The crowd of cheering fans rooted each competitor on as if we were experiencing our own, live Chopped episode, mystery basket and all. Co-workers, Christie and I scored a front row spot by the judges table to watch all the action. The winners? Chef Andy Gonzales and mixologist XXX.
I didn’t realize how cool it would be to watch chef Z watch himself on the Chopped episode. I guess he’s somewhat of a local celebrity considering his laundry list of culinary success, but during the night I truly felt like I was in the presence of an A-lister, which in return made me feel like a VIP.
After a summer of writing about P&P’s delectable bar bites and cocktails at my internship, I was excited to finally try them for myself. Over the course of the evening (after mildly stalking the servers leaving the kitchen), we tried P&P’s Hot Pretzel, Deviled Eggs, Pig in a Blanket, Chef Z’s Grilled Cheese, Four Cheese Pizza and Harold’s Revenge Pizza. My favorite thing about the menu is how the restaurant has added its own refined touch to old favorites. Some samples were better than others, but I also kept in mind that the house was packed, therefore the kitchen was mass producing its goods. I surprisingly loved the Deviled Eggs and shockingly didn’t love the grilled cheese.
The cocktails didn’t disappoint either. If anything, they opened my taste buds up to a new world of mixology. I gave P&P’s Such Sweet Breath (vodka, hibiscus liqueur, lime juice, lemon jasmine honey syrup, soda) and South…West Driving (tequila, lemon hart 151, calamondin pineapple syrup, coconut milk, angostura bitters) a try. Christie dabbled in the menu’s bourbon selection with a Southern 75 (bourbon, demerara syrup, lemon, IPA) and Professor’s Speculation (rye whiskey, Swedish punsch, splash of grapefruit). She also sipped on a When I Was Eight (vodka, orange, elderflower, cream, simple syrup, orange bitter), which was humorously topped with Fruit Loops.
The evening ended on a perfect note, with chef Z taking home the prize (surprise, surprise). Could you imagine the awkwardness in the room if he’d lost? CONGRATS CHEF Z! Be sure to check out midtown’s newest basement bar for delicious bites and libations. Located across the street from the Fox Theatre, it’s the perfect place for a nightcap and midnight snack.
Proof and Provision, 659 Peachtree Street, Atlanta