Atlanta Restaurant Scene

The 2016 Golden Whisk Awards: The best recipes of the year

At the end of each year, we ask Atlanta Journal-Constitution food writers Wendell Brock, C.W. Cameron and Bob Townsend to tell us their favorite recipes from the stories they’ve written during the last 12 months.

That’s tough, considering all the delicious dishes they bring us week in and week out – be they recipes from Atlanta’s talented lineup of chefs, cookbook writers from across the country or creations perfected in their own kitchens.

The winners of the 2016 Golden Whisk Awards include a beautiful cruciferous salad, the easiest pizza ever, a mouthwatering cake and a handful of other dishes well worth the effort. Enjoy!

- Ligaya Figueras, Food & Dining Editor


This salad, from North Carolina chef Vivian Howard’s “Deep Run Roots: Stories & Recipes from My Corner of the South” (Little, Brown, $40), is beautiful, delicious and easy to assemble. It’s also perfect for preparing in advance, because raw Brussels sprouts hold up well, unlike your average lettuce.


If you’re in a hurry, Hernandez, executive chef and owner of Taqueria del Sol, suggests using Fritos instead of frying tortillas by hand. The dish is a classic hangover cure, and leftover salsa will add a little zip to just about anything you splash it on, including chips.

Raymond, the chef and owner of Flora & Flour, learned the art of biscuit baking while working with chef Scott Peacock in the glory days of Watershed restaurant in Decatur. Her No. 1 tip:  Use your fingertips to work the butter into the flour quickly, but don't overdo it or your biscuits will be tough.



“From the Menu” gets many reader requests for Tres Leches Cake recipes. In my seven years of writing the column, no restaurant has been willing to share. Until this year, when chef and owner Doug Turbush of Seed Kitchen & Bar said, “yes.” It was a recipe well worth waiting for. I’m not a Tres Leches Cake fan, finding most too soggy and sweet, but this is the one that converted me. Pretty darn perfect.

An easy seasonal recipe that makes the most of summer sweet melon and fresh local ginger? And you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the freezer until you need a fix of luscious frozen goodness to beat summer’s heat? That works for me

All the recipes in our Mother’s Day story were wonderful, a rich collection of dishes handed down from generation to generation. It was easy to see why these were family, and subsequently restaurant diner, favorites. It’s hard to choose a favorite from between the three we featured, but I really liked the bobotie from Di Anthony of 10 Degrees South for its combination of heat and sweet and meat.



A minimalist study in crust, sauce and cheese, the Grandma Pie is the perfect pizza to make at home. And Anthony Spina, the pizza maker from New Jersey who moved to Atlanta and opened O4W in early 2015, is just the guy to show you how.

“That’s why it’s named the Grandma Pie,” says Spina, who moved O4W to a new location on Main Street in Duluth in 2016. “You don’t need to have real pizza making skills. Making it in a pan makes all the difference.”

Korean food is having a moment. And chefs Jiyeon Lee and her husband Cody Taylor are perfect examples of that. At Heirloom Market BBQ in Atlanta, they’re creating a new kind Korean-American barbecue with bold, cross-cultural flavors of Seoul and Texas.

A funky favorite, Lee and Taylor’s Korean Sloppy Joe subs pork for beef and adds a marinade of garlic, ginger, gochujang, sesame oil and soy sauce to spice up the iconic American “loose-meat” sandwich, served at Heirloom with okra kimchi.

Watch Jiyeon Lee make the recipe here:


Texas-raised identical twin brothers, Jonathan and Justin Fox, not only co-own and operate one of Atlanta’s most popular restaurants and catering businesses, but Fox Bros. is the “Official Bar-B-Q of the Atlanta Falcons” with a location in the Georgia Dome.

One of the brothers tailgating staples is queso fundido, made on the grill with Mexican cheese and charred green onions, then loaded onto grilled flour tortillas and folded together with salsa. “Everybody thinks of queso or cheese dip, but this is different and better,” Jonathan says. “It’s easy to make, and people love it.”

Watch the Fox. Bros make the recipe here:



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About the Author

Ligaya Figueras joined the AJC as its food and dining editor in 2015.