These are some of the culinary creations from 1910 Public House in Lilburn, Georgia. They are straight off the summer menu, and the creative genius of Chef Christian Speigal. If you missed the interview with Chef Christian and general manager Christy McCullers, read it HERE.
Beets for Grown Ups
Chef Christian Speigal: “One of the things that I hated as a kid is something I have started to experimented with: Beets. My mom would prepare them with a salad or entrée, straight from the can. And it would be the one thing that you always pushed to the side of your plate, you know? They just tasted like earth and water. I thought, “Eew, they’re really soft, and come out of a can.” But I started experimenting with them in the early 2000s, roasting them, braising them. I put one of the dishes on the menu just to reintroduce people to beets. And it just took off.
The beet salad we serve at 1910 has been very popular. The apple cider vinegar, the honey, the mint really bring the sweetness out.”
Pimento Cheese Fritters
Christy McCullers: “I tweak, but Chef Christian creates. He thought, “what if we just take this pimento cheese, roll it in bread crumbs and fry it. There’s nothing wrong with fried cheese, right?” That’s how we got the pimento cheese fritters. He did it for a special and it flew off the shelves. So he said, “It has to come onto the regular menu.”
Chef Christian: “It’s one of those things I’m not allowed to take off the menu! If you do, people will notice and say, “When are we going to get those back?”
Christy McCullers: “My focus the first year as General Manager was to get to know the town and my staff. On a typical night I tried to chat up our customers and ask what they would like to see. Like live music. Or they would say, “I’d really love to learn how to make XYZ.” I think in this small community there’s an expectation that you will provide entertainment in some way. So my second year I have been focused on bringing classes to the community. We bring cooking classes, live music, and trivia nights. I’m pretty much willing to try anything! In my previous experiences with corporate restaurants, you are viewed as a number, as a unit number in their machine. They don’t see you as the person who is doing their best. You can’t develop anything, it’s already developed for you. You can’t have any ideas, you don’t get input. So I’m glad the owners at 1910 encourage me and want to explore my suggestions.”