My husband and I eat at home 90% of the time. Though we live in walking distance to a variety of restaurants in the Oakhurst village and 2 miles from downtown Decatur with it’s plethora of dining options, we choose mostly to stay home. We simply enjoy the rich pleasures of growing and making by hand the wholesome and quality foods that we eat. Some of our staples include: organic garden vegetables (of course!) greens of all kinds, fresh raw goat cheese, and fermented, probiotic foods like salsa, sourkraut, kombucha and catsup. And Im a big fan of whole grains.
When we do go out, there is not much discussion about where. Without question we prefer chefs who buy from local organic farms, but there is a particular ingredient in food that we hunt for when we dine out, and its presence alone defines whether we will come again: Love.
Love makes the digestion process easier; the food simply feels better in my body- a more harmonious incorporation. Love ensures that when the meal is through, I leave in a physical and emotional state superior to arriving. It is subtle, yet profound and something I do not commonly find, even at the finest farm to table restaurants in the city.
Billy Allin of Cakes and Ale has mastered this art, whether he knows it or not. My experience with Allin’s food (which is a lot; it’s really the choice for us 4/5 times when we do eat out), is exquisite food with an accessible presence. It always is presented beautifully, tastes divine, and just after we’ve eaten is when I noticeably feel better- emotionally, spirits lifted, truly in-joy-in the food. Post- meal is the litmus test for food quality. After most restaurants, I feel heavy, sluggish, ugh, ick, whoa……. lots of ways in addition to full. But rarely better than when I came in.
Interestingly, Allin has recently partnered with another primo chef who has mastered the art of love in the food, too- the lunch or ‘Bakery’ chef at Cakes, David Sweeney. Eating a David Sweeney meal is best done as an exercise in awareness, when you can truly focus on the elegance of presentation and the literal presence of the food– the energy the food gives off. I can feel the vibration of the food just having arrived at my table- before I eat. And I feel its affects on my body. It is graceful, easy and light.
Through 10 years of yoga and Geomancy, I have literally made my body a receptor for different qualities of energy, something in which we are all able and all do to varying degrees, conscious or not. My husband is with me here- a yogi of 18 years, teaches at Ashtanga Yoga Atlanta. We are people who love to discover the subtle in the mundane. It’s partly why we grow our own food– it’s richer and more delightful to eat that way. We LOVE to find love in the food! And it’s a special treat to dine out and find love. Thanks to Billy and David for doing what you do!