Sometimes in life you have to create an opportunity where there isn't one. That is exactly how my interview with Nick Barrington, executive chef of the East Lake Golf Club came about.
I live within walking distance of the corporate members only club. Like many people in my neighborhood, I drive by looking over the fence wondering what all those who are privileged enough to be a member are up to. Turns out it's a whole lot of good! East Lake Golf Club puts those millions of dollars they receive in donations to use. Drew Charter School is their largest use of that money. If you are also a neighbor of the club you can see the middle schoolers crossing the streets in the morning. They spared no expense on the beautiful architecture and put as much detail into the education of the attendees and they do into keeping their donors happy.
I reached out to Chef Nick on Instagram and was thrilled that he said yes to allowing me to come meet him and his talented staff. I knew immediately that the interview required a professional eye, so of course I asked my photographer Kelley Raye to accompany me.
I am so glad I asked Kelley to come along, I was so nervous! My nervousness quickly passed after meeting Chef Nick. Like myself he has a bunch of tattoos but more importantly he is kind and easy to talk to. He walked us through the entire grounds making stops to tell us about the history of a particular room or funny story about a time Tiger (thee Tiger Woods, he and Chef Nick are on a first name basis) were enjoying lunch.
My favorite stop on the tour were the kitchens. Besides cooking daily for the hundreds of members who visit weekly, the club is home to major golf tournaments like the PGA Tour Championships. Each member of the kitchen was just as talented as the next. The pastry chefs were extremely precise, the sous chefs come with years of experience all while Chef Nick leads the way.
The work ethic that the entire East Lake team showcases is unmatched, there is a reason this non profit has been active for over 20 years. Their mantra is "Food With A Purpose" and everyone believes in those words.
A huge thanks for Nick and his team for the tour, history of the club and of course the gumbo!
Be sure to follow Chef Nick on Instagram @chefnick24
- Morgan Bryant (Founder of Eat Here ATL)