Photographer Andrew Thomas Lee’s work revolves around food culture and the role it plays in people’s lives.
“Beautiful plates are always nice, but learning what it took to get there is what really interests me,” he says. “I love shooting food, working with cooks, and being a part of the Atlanta restaurant scene and food community.”
Lee also shoots portraits of musicians, and other creative work. His photographs have appeared in publications such as Esquire, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, People, Atlanta, Garden & Gun, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has also shot 14 cookbooks with various authors and chefs.
On Oct. 28, Andrew’s life and career will be the center of discussion for Atlanta Photo Night 2021.
In anticipation of that event, we asked Lee for his Top 5 Something and, true to form, he gave us a list of his Top 5 iconic dishes in Atlanta:
1. Caviar & Middlins at Kimball House. If you would have said caviar and fancy grits, there’s a chance I’d say that wouldn’t work. I’m definitely wrong on that.
This dish is one of my favorites in Atlanta, and I order it every time I’m there. Caviar, egg yolk, potato crumble, and preserved lemon on top of creamy Carolina gold rice grits. The pro move is to also order the fried chicken skins for scooping. It’s gluttonous and amazing.
2. Comfy Chicken Biscuit at Homegrown. If you don’t already know– this is a must-have for anyone living in or visiting Atlanta. Fried chicken served on top of biscuits with sausage gravy and orange slices on the side to add some acid to this rich, indulgent breakfast gem. If you have time for a nap, then by all means get the whole order. The pro tip is that you can order a “half comfy” and pair it with eggs or something lighter.
3. Smoked Chicken Wings at Fox Bros Bar-B-Q. Everyone has their opinion on chicken wings, and mine is that these are my favorite in Atlanta. I order them every time I’m with friends watching sports (Go Braves!), or my wife and I will split an order of 24 for takeout dinner. My tip here is sauce on the side, and get some Alabama White Sauce for dipping.
4. Black Spaghetti at BoccaLupo. Bruce does an incredible job with pasta at this Inman Park staple, and this dish is a classic example. The spaghetti is black from using squid ink in the dough. The sweet, red shrimp and hot, Calabrese sausage crumbles give this pasta just a little heat. I could eat it by the bucket. I always tell myself I’m not going to order it and try something new, but it always ends up at our table.
5. The 20″ Cheese Pie at Glide Pizza.
We have no shortage of good pizza in Atlanta, but the pizza Rob Birdsong is doing over at this Inman Park pizza window is amazing.
I love their classic cheese with a side of pizza ranch. Their giant pies use great ingredients and have that crisp that I find is missing from other local places. Pro tip: heat up the leftover slices on a pizza stone in your oven. Almost as good!