8 Atlanta Food Artisans You Should Know

By Christopher Hassiotis  |  April 7, 2014
Credit: Storico Fresco Pasta

Living in the South wouldn't mean quite as much if we weren't able to take advantage of the region's natural abundance. And it's thanks to local artisans, purveyors and culinary craftspeople that we're able to enjoy local food in a myriad of different forms - both at home and out on the town. While folks like H&F Bread Co.King of PopsSweet Grass Dairy and The Spotted Trotter have become well-known names by keeping Atlanta fed, there are many lesser-known artisans behind some of your favorite ingredients. We'd like to introduce you.

  • Doux South

    Why We Love Them: Chef Nick Melvin grew up in New Orleans, and his love of spices marries well with a passion for preserving.

    Signature Item: What says Southern pickling more than chow chow? Doux South makes their cabbage condiment with sweet red peppers and onions, celery seed and chile flakes, all given a bright punch of color thanks to a touch of turmeric.

    Where to Buy: You can order Doux South products online, or find them in around 20 different locations listed here in Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas (oh, and one spot in Chicago too).

    Where to Try: Yeah! Burger's April sandwich of the month, a fried shrimp roll, features Doux South's spicy Angry Cukes.

  • Anderson Farms

    Why We Love Them: Located in Comer near Athens, Anderson Farms produces quality pork from hogs that forage freely in both a pasture and nearby woods. They're antibiotic-free and raised on feed that's as locally grown as possible.

    Signature Item: Proprietor Benji Anderson does one thing and does it well - he raises hogs.

    Where to Buy: Anderson's partnered with Moonshine Meats, and they also sell hogs to customers either whole for barbecuing or cut and wrapped. Just drop Anderson a line.

    Where to Try: All Atlanta-area Farm Burger locations use Anderson pork in the patties for their Pastured Pig burger, and top it with shaved Brussels sprouts, local apples, candied jalapeños and white BBQ sauce.

  • Simply Seoul

    Why We Love Them: Hannah Chung learned culinary technique in many of Atlanta's top kitchens (as well as NYC's Spotted Pig), but turned to her Korean heritage and took to local farmer's markets to proffer her delectable, spicy and irresistible varieties of kimchi. 

    Signature Item: Chung's Napa Cabbage Kimchi has the traditional taste without some of the classic ingredients - it's all-natural, but also vegan, so it's free of the shrimp or fish sauce which is often used.

    Where to Buy: Find Simply Seoul at local farmer's markets (Freedom and Grant Park are regular spots) and shops as well as at Whole Foods, or order products online.

    Where to Try: Keep your eyes on Ponce City Market. Once the colossal intown development opens this fall, Simply Seoul will have a dedicated food stall.

  • AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery

    Why We Love Them: AtlantaFresh uses milk from local dairy Johnston Family Farm to create flavorful yogurt that's rich, tangy, thick and creamy. The cows are fed grass and free of antibiotics and rBST hormones, and AtlantaFresh proudly boasts that their product is cow-to-carton in just 24 hours.

    Signature Item: Ignore the salad dressings, sweets and flavored yogurt varieties, and go straight for the classic plain Greek-style yogurt.

    Where to Buy: The creamery's products are available at a number of regional stores, or you can swing by their offices in Norcross.

    Where to Try: AtlantaFresh is rapidly expanding in the region, and a number of restaurants use their product. We even ran into them at Farmer's Daughter on a recent trip to Chattanooga.

  • Storico Fresco Pasta

    Why We Love Them: Founder Mike Patrick imports premium grains, flours and cheeses from Italy, while also sourcing herbs and produce locally and organically, often from plants grown using organic seeds. Storico focuses on older, less-common and "endangered" pastas like bertù, casonsei, garganelli, pi fasacc and many others.

    Signature Item: Storico's lumachelle shows off the company's strengths. Made with Italian flour, farm-fresh eggs, lemon zest and a hint of cinnamon, they're familiar yet exciting at the same time.

    Where to Buy: Storico last year opened a small storefront in Buckhead, they set up shop at a number of weekly farmer's markets and even distribute through the Moore Farms CSA.

    Where to Try: Both Holeman & Finch and Local Three have used Storico's pastas on their menus.

  • Sparta Imperial Mushrooms

    Why We Love Them: In a 120-year-old former cotton warehouse in Sparta, GA, Jonathan Tescher and Robert Currey grow a bevy of organic mushrooms using local resources. And they also sell do-it-yourself mushroom starter kits!

    Signature Item: They sell mushrooms of all types, including shiitake and oyster, but keep an eye out for the Lion's Mane - it's native to North America, and not as commonly seen on menus.

    Where to Buy: In Atlanta you can find Sparta at the Grant Park, Freedom and Morningside farmer's markets.

    Where to Try: Chef Jarrett Stieber recently featured the Lion's Mane mushrooms in one of his dishes (here's the recipe!) at his Eat Me! residency at The General Muir's deli counter.

  • Honeysuckle Gelato

    Why We Love Them: Southern-inspired, Italian-style gelato? Yes, please. After training in NYC at Il Laboratorio del Gelato, founder Jackson Smith returned to Atlanta to team up with partners Khatera Ballard and Wes Jones, and the three have turned out great frozen treats for a few years.

    Signature Item: Sea-salted caramel is one of the more popular flavors, but the bourbon pecan and honey fig alike show how Honeysuckle does right by Southern flavors.

    Where to Buy: You can order online, find Honeysuckle in local stores or track down the food truck.

    Where to Try: Honeysuckle's gelati have shown up on the menus at Honey Bubble, BoccaLupo, Ink & Elm and more.

  • 18.21 Bitters

    Why We Love Them: It's a tentative love, but we're excited about the idea that this promising local company, still in its startup phase, will introduce Prohibition-era bitters, tinctures, shrubs, syrups and mixers to the marketplace.

    Signature Item: The "Classic" is one of a number of bitters recipes - among Earl Grey, Japanese chile and lime, Old Bay, coffee, black currant and many more - 18.21 has developed.

    Where to Buy: Well, nowhere yet, but you can get in on the company's Kickstarter campaign right now to ensure that you're one of the first to have a bottle in hand when it rolls out. Syrups are expected this summer, bitters not till fall.

    Where to Try: Founders Missy and Kristin Koefod have a lot of ties to the local service industry, and plan to share their product through local bars and restaurants.