Chef’s Corner with Jon Wolf of Terrace on Peachtree

Enjoy sustainable fine dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the upscale Terrace Restaurant overlooking Peachtree Street at the Ellis Hotel in Atlanta GA. Responsible for the culinary success of Terrace, which celebrates heirloom recipes through supporting local and regional farmers, Chef Jon Wolf is also charged with creating an upscale dining experience for hotel guests, area visitors and Atlanta residents.

journeyPod got the chance to chat with the culinary mastermind:

1. How has traveling influenced your flavors/recipes?
Traveling helps you break out of your comfort zone and potentially exposes you to ingredients and cooking methods that you would not normally try, so it has helped me to break any preconceived “rules” I have had about flavor combinations and challenged me to experiment more.  

2. Tell us about the menu at Terrace:
The menu is completely farm-to-table, no cheating, and despite working in Georgia for almost a decade this is the most Georgia-centric menu I have ever been able to put together.  Every item is about as local and organic as we can currently procure without growing it on the roof ourselves.

3. Why organic?
Organic is automatic for me, but for anyone still doubting the “why’s” of it all, it’s the choice to not ingest chemicals that improve yields in the field and product shelf-life, as well as profits for large companies, but do absolutely nothing for you.  And that’s the scary part, these chemicals do not wash off, they are still there after you rinse your food, and you would never intentionally spray your food with pesticides before eating it, so why let someone else do it who is not concerned
with the health of you and your family?

4. In honor of Mother’s Day ~ please share your fondest memory cooking with your
mother!
I always think of cooking a nice Sunday breakfast with my mother and having her show me how to make pancakes and teaching me the patience to watch for the bubbles to form before flipping, because when you’re a kid it’s all about the flipping, even if that means never actually making a pancake.

5. Strangest request you’ve received from a guest…
I always love when we get a split steak request with two different temps.

6. If you were on Iron Chef America – what would you hope would be the key themed ingredient for the cooking battle?
Fennel, it’s a very underrated and versatile vegetable that can be used in almost any capacity.

7. Are you a good customer at other people’s restaurants? Picky? What do you look for?
People always assume I am going to dissect the entire meal just because I am a chef, but I also have the understanding of how challenging a kitchen can be, so I think I am pretty forgiving as long as the service is good and the food is correct.

8. On your night off, where do you like to go in Atlanta?
Holeman & Finch for drinks and burgers, and Aria or La Tavola for a nice night out.

9. What advice would you give a cooking enthusiast?
Always challenge yourself, keep an open mind, try new ingredients, even those you may have already made your mind up about, and taste your food!

10. Would you kindly share a recipe with us?
Of course, lately I have had several requests for our house made Blueberry Pepper Jelly which we currently serve with a mushroom pate, but would be a great accompaniment to pork or cheese as well.

Blueberry Pepper Jelly
Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:
1 quart blueberries
1 c. sugar
1 c. cider vinegar
1 c. water
¼  tsp chili flakes
¼  tsp salt 

Method:
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce by half, approx 15 min,
bubbles will be very tightly bunched like a syrup reduction, mixture will appear
loose, but will tighten up as it cools.

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