ashley2016-e7c840e8I have always considered myself a foodie. At least I did before I became a mother. There are few things in this world I enjoy as much as a great meal. Dining was an experience from start to finish. 

At present, food is merely necessary for survival in my household. Now my palate consists of peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and chicken nuggets. I often thought my girlfriends were crazy for centering their mealtimes around the limited palate of a toddler. I now get it. As a working mother, it takes far too much effort to prepare a meal for your child and then cook something that is deemed more sophisticated for you and your spouse. After a long day at the office, it’s all I can do to feed my child something that isn’t served through a window.

For those of you who can dine out on a regular basis, I encourage you to do so. It’s an exciting time for foodies in our area.

The chefs/restaurateurs on our cover represent the culinary expansion in our area. The Augusta area has had some fabulous locally owned restaurants through the years. A few have become institutions, but sadly many were mere blips. The guys featured in our magazine this issue come from very different backgrounds as reflected in their menus. The common thread, however, is their desire to create and serve great food in our city and to break new ground in the Augusta-area dining scene.

The guys at Southbound Smokehouse, George Claussen and Brian Brittingham, are native Augustans and have a feel for what their patrons want—good old Southern barbecue. Chef Jeremy Collins is a seasoned chef and no stranger to Augusta restaurants. He worked at a few of the area’s best restaurants before opening his own. DeNovo, which is located just across the river in North Augusta, specializes in farm-to-table, locally sourced American cuisine with global influences.

Mike Agostino, owner of the area’s newest grille and sushi bar Sole, chose our city for his second location. He looked at several other Southern cities when deciding to expand. Luckily, he chose Augusta.

Admittedly, I have not had the pleasure of dining at any of these restaurants as of yet, but I definitely plan to check them out in the near future. I hope you’ll do the same!

-Ashlee

This article appears in the February-March 2016 issue of Augusta Magazine.