Labor of Love: Hand Crafted Knives

Custom Made Knives by Heartwood Forge

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Great food is a result of many moving parts like quality ingredients, talented cooks and the right equipment, all working together to create an unforgettable meal. I’ve found that people here in Georgia are pretty savvy when it comes to knowing how our food is grown and where it comes from. And thanks to popular cooking shows, they also know how to properly cook and present that food! But I wonder if they’ve ever given much thought to how their pots, pans and their knives are made? Well I did, so I took a journey to Jefferson to find out.

Heartwood Forge chefs knife

photo by Will Manning

Nestled in the woods right off Potters House Road is Heartwood Forge, where designer and knife maker Will Manning creates his practical works of art. Hoping to answer my own question, I spent the day making knives with Will. Which admittedly, from the outside looking in, seemed more like Will making the knives while I just watched. What I learned was this: Will is very skilled and passionate in what he does. He uses repurposed metal from places like Monticello to make his knives; salvaged wood from trees like pecan, box elder and maple or white tailed deer antlers to make the handles; and reclaimed brass for balancing the handle with the blade of the knife. I also learned that his goal is to put his knives in the hands that will use them, and for that measure he has a virtual store front where you can browse and buy your knives. If you’re thinking you want something more a bit more personal, like a custom made knife, then you’re in luck, because as it turns out, Will makes those too!

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Photos by Jennifer Hill Booker

Georgia Tourism Welcomes it’s Newest Explorer: Chef Jennifer Hill Booker!

Let’s Welcome Our Culinary Explorer!

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Chef Jennifer Booker heashot

 

 

 

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker is a Georgia Grown Executive Chef, Atlanta based cookbook author, and culinary educator, and believes that “food should taste like food.” Jennifer has spent her 20-year culinary career educating people about food, nutrition, and healthy cooking practices. 

As a working mother, she knows that quick, easy, and delicious is the name of the game when making meals for her family and makes a point of sourcing out the tastiest seasonal produce to cook at home.

As a culinary educator, she is in a prime position to demonstrate the ease, affordability, and importance of cooking and eating seasonally, and has shared this information in the classroom, cooking stage, her original published recipes, and in her first cookbook – Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, (available at Pelicanpub.com).

In addition to being a mom and a chef, she also enjoys being a contributing food writer for Georgia Magazine, a guest blogger for Produce Bites, and sharing innovative recipes, cooking trends, and fun kitchen gadgets on her own website: YourResidentGourmet.com.