Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 47

@DASHACRAWFORDPHOTO

Amanda Faber arranges her whimsically
decorated cakes for a hurricane-relief
fundraiser last fall in Atlanta. Follow Faber's
adventures in baking on Instagram or
Facebook at @amandaefaber.
January 2018

great one to start with, because it's
not overly fussy"), a mousse cake
with a crunchy base and mini pavlovas with Champagne caviar.
"My goal is to dispel the myth
that baking is complicated; it's more
about following a recipe," says Faber,
who runs a home-based cake-making
business. "People should be able to
make things they're proud of at home
without having to decipher a lot of
complicated directions."

Rusty Hamlin, Smyrna
Chef Rusty Hamlin has been
pleasing hungry diners at Atkins Park,
his restaurant in Smyrna, for years, but
last summer he wowed some of the
most famous palates on the planet.
As a finalist on "Food Network Star,"
Hamlin spent several weeks getting
encouragement from famed cooks
Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis.
"It was a wonderful experience,
and not just because Bobby Flay fell
in love with me," Hamlin says with a
laugh. "They started with thousands
of entries, and just 13 got in, and I
came in second, so it was such a great
experience. And it was something I
wanted to cross off my bucket list."
Hamlin credits his success to a
passion for food that started in high
school. A graduate of the Culinary
Arts Institute of Louisiana, Hamlin
grew up in the culture of Southern
hospitality and brought that with him
when he moved to Atlanta in 1996.
At Atkins Park, he blends a bit of his
home state with Georgia favorites.
"I didn't want to be cornered as
'the gumbo chef,' so I learned the history behind collard greens, grits and
fried green tomatoes," he says. "My
culinary point of view is now Southern-inspired with Louisiana roots."
When he's not behind the line,
Hamlin's out feeding the fans of the
Zac Brown Band.
"Back in 2003, we talked about
if [his friend Zac Brown] ever got to
tour, I wanted to take care of the fans
in a different way," says Hamlin. "So
I came up with an 'eat-and-greet.' For
eight years, I've been sourcing local ingredients and feeding 200 fans
backstage. I've met some amazing
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org

SOUTHERN REEL

The results were usually a hit
with friends, including one who suggested Faber try out for ABC's allamateur "The Great American Baking
Show."
"I realized it was the American
version of 'The Great British Bake
Off,' and I love that show," says Faber, who filled out a 100-question
application and wound up jetting to
London in December 2016 to tape
the American show's second season.
She left as the grand winner, bringing
home only an engraved cake plate as
a trophy.
"It's more about personal pride;
there's no cookbook deal or money,"
Faber says with a laugh. "It was about
trying not to get eliminated while doing your personal best. Part of the
fun was being with other people who
share my passion.
"We submitted detailed recipes in
advance, but sometimes there were
things we couldn't get-like cream
cheese. But by the final episode, the
judges deemed my creation the best."
Faber is working on a cookbook
that will feature her favorites, including a classic bundt cake ("it was a

Rusty Hamlin, a finalist on Season 13 of
"Food Network Star," is the executive chef
for the Zac Brown Band's pre-concert dinner parties. He's also an owner and executive chef at Atkins Park in Smyrna.

musicians and local farmers along the
way."
But sometimes even feeding a
few hundred folks isn't as challenging
as being a Food Network competitor.
"Going into a large kitchen set,
producing my food and representing
who I am in a short amount of time
was a challenge," he says. "I tried to
keep things simple and figure out
how to use the ingredients they had
on hand. But it was difficult to take a
dish like beef Bourguignon, that usually took three to four hours to cook,
and do it in 30 minutes.
"The easiest part was showing
my personality. I wasn't playing off
anything other than who I am."

Jasmine Stewart, Alpharetta
The intense pressure of televised
competition is tough for most adults.
Imagine facing up to the scrutiny as
a 13-year-old. That's Jasmine Stewart's
story.
The seventh-grader says she
started cooking when she was just 3,
making pancakes by her mom's side
in their Alpharetta kitchen.
"I learned by watching my parents cook, and I've also been studying," she says. "I watch videos, read
cookbooks [and] watch Food Network all the time to get inspiration
47


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - January 2018

Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 3
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 5
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 6
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 7
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 8
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 9
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 10
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 11
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 12
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 13
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 14
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 15
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 16
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 17
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 18
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 19
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 20
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 21
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 22
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 23
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 24
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 25
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26C
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 26D
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 27
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 28
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 29
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 30
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 31
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 32
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 33
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 34
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 35
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 36
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 37
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 38B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 39
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 40
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 41
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 42
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 43
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 44
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 45
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 46
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 47
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 48
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 48A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 48B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 49
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 50
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 50A
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - 50B
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - January 2018 - Cover4
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