|Photo by Bravo|
Georgia resident, Whitney Otawka is among the chosen chefs to compete on Top Chef: Texas . Otawka has worked as the executive chef at the Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island has recently moved back to Athens to take the position of executive chef at Farm 255. She’s previously worked at Five and Ten in Athens, Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch . She was also chosen as one of the Five Chefs to Watch in Atlanta for 2011 by Creative Loafing magazine.
Those restaurants are some pretty fancy pants places. John Kennedy Jr. got married at the Greyfield Inn. It’s a fantastic place that is very secluded and allows a very limited numbers of guests. If you want to stay on Cumberland Island, you take a ferry and then either camp bringing your own food (no ground fires) or you stay at the Greyfield. Or back when I went you get Lucy Carnegie herself to drive you in one of the only vehicles on the island out to her house with a dead bird in the jeep where she serves you bananas. But that is a whole nuther story.
If you stay at the Greyfield you eat some pretty high falutin’ food like pheasant with truffles and gnocchi with squash puree and crispy sage. Then you take a glass of wine down to the pristine beaches (a term that is way overused but accurate in this case) where you will likely not see another soul. If you are camping and go far enough in you can run around naked and get sunburned in weird places and sleep out in the wild with all sorts of creepy wild animals and drink until you pass out. Or, so I hear.
Those other restaurants are those kind of places you go to for comfort food when it is just your belly you want comforted and not your financial well-being. You can get grass-fed beef raised by Tibetan monks who sing to them daily made into a hamburger patty served as a burger with cornichon aioli and arugula where the ketchup and lettuce are supposed to be.
When she is not preparing twenty dollar hamburgers, Whitney actually seems pretty down to earth. She prefers smaller towns to cities and is fond of the wild boar on Cumberland Island. So far on the show she has been very under the radar. Other than the fact that she hugged all the judges when she got her jacket, she’s hanging out in the middle of the pack waiting to make her move.
I wish her lots of luck. Women don’t tend to fare well on Top Chef. Tom Colicchio is not know for his love of female chefs so she is going to have to pick up the pace a bit to try to get his approval. Watch for her to do well with pheasant, rabbit, pork and gnocchi if she is given a choice in the upcoming challenges. I believe the challenge this week is a chili cook-off. Since she was born in California, trained under a french chef, went to the Cordon Bleu, and has a fancy pants resume, I am afraid this might not be her week. But she is the closest thing to a homegirl we have so let’s all watch and pull for her to win the whole dang thing. Top Chef: Texas airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. which means you are going to need to DVR it or catch it on the reruns because that is when Revenge airs on ABC and there is no way anyone should miss that. Is there anyone from Atlanta on Revenge?
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