Author: Reporter Newspapers

Spotlight on Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s

Restaurant Reporter Jan Butsch Schroder I was lucky enough to lunch with the jet-setting celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s as he briefly landed in Atlanta. This pioneer of Hawaiian fusion cooking has a bio that goes on for pages (partial list – James Beard award winner, founding Chef of Roy’s, creator of a TV series, appearances on Good Morning America, Emeril, The Today Show and Regis & Kelly, featured chef on the Grammy Awards, cookbook writer and purveyor of his own products on the Home Shopping Network.) Although Roy was born in Japan, his grandfather owned a tavern in Wailuku, Maui. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, he was an apprentice of L’Ermitage in California, where he immersed himself in French cooking under the tutelage of the late master chef Jean Bertranou. “I made sauces for a year and a half,” he said. Roy opened the first Roy’s in Honolulu in 1988 and there are now 35 Roy’s worldwide (including in Buckhead on Piedmont Road), each with its own menu. “I wanted to showcase each chef’s style. Chefs are creative and I didn’t want to stifle their ability to create,” Roy said. “The chef in each location is allowed to make up his own menu. We want the menus written the way the chefs think. They have to type the menus and make sure the pricing...

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Hal Barry recounts 40 years watching Atlanta grow out, and now in

Editor’s Notes John F. Schaffner Harold “Hal” Barry, chairman of Barry Real Estate Companies, has roots in the Sandy Springs area as a benefactor, a commercial developer and a real estate wheeler-dealer. On Aug. 20, he returned to those roots to talk real estate to over 100 members and guests of the Sandy Springs Business Association, which was holding its monthly breakfast meeting at a new venue, the Westin Hotel at Concourse, and on a new day, the third Monday of each month rather than the third Wednesday. Barry the benefactor donated the William Payne House to Heritage Sandy Springs and had it moved to its present site on Sandy Springs Circle. But that was not what he was at the SSBA meeting to discuss. It was his real estate background and interests over the past 40-plus years in the Atlanta market that brought him to be the speaker. He started in Atlanta in 1966 in commercial real estate with New York Life and he hasn’t slowed down much. “I was able to watch Atlanta move,” Barry told the group of business people. “The sign that said 1,266,000 (the Darlington apartments sign on Peachtree Road in Buckhead) what does that sign say today….right at 5 million people. I have been able to watch what happened to Atlanta,” he said. “Downtown Atlanta was where it all happened in 1966,” Barry...

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Dog park reaction mixed during town hall meeting

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net A recent town hall meeting meant to review the city’s parks facilities and ask residents what changes they want to see at the facilities was quickly focused on the dog park issue once the floor was opened for residents to ask questions. The meeting was a joint event between District 6 Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny and District 4 Councilwoman Ashley Jenkins and was held in the library of Holy Spirit Preparatory School on Aug. 13. While Jenkins stressed that the city has not made a decision as to the location of the dog park, for which the city’s 2008 budget has allocated $25,000, the issue nonetheless raised the ire of a handful of residents. A majority of the potential dog park focus has been on its potential inclusion at Ridgeview Park. The two main locations listed as possibilities for the park include Ridgeview and Morgan Falls Park. However, Meinzen McEnerny pointed out that the park at Morgan Falls is not suitable for the dog park. “The issue with Morgan Falls is there is no water there and no shade,” she said. Meinzen McEnerny said she agreed with one resident at the meeting who said Ridgeview is a better choice because the park is underused and would be a valuable park asset for Sandy Springs residents who live inside I-285. Jenkins, who emphasized that the City...

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Benson center offers seniors relief from heat

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net As the metro Atlanta area continues to swelter with extreme temperatures, the Fulton County Office of Aging is doing what it can to help some of the area’s most vulnerable residents cope. Across the county, there are 19 senior centers and facilities serving as “cooling centers” to those ages 55 and older. In Sandy Springs, seniors can visit the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Facility on Vernon Woods Drive to get out of the heat and participate in a number of recreational activities while also enjoying a cool, air-conditioned environment. The oasis offered by Benson and its counterparts is part of “Operation Cool Breeze,” a countywide initiative that invites area seniors to spend their day relaxing in a nearby senior center rather than in their own home. While some residents may not have air conditioning at all, Benson’s director Andre Gregory said many others live on a fixed income and may choose to only run their air-conditioner for a few hours every day, a practice he said will not stave off heat exhaustion when temperatures reach the tripple-digit mark. “They’re always looking for ways to cut back,” he said. One of the goals of Operation Cool Breeze, Gregory said, is to simply stay in contact with the needs of elderly residents. “The concerns we have are really just to keep in touch [with elderly residents]...

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Church to honor public servants

By Katie Fallon katiefallon@reporternewspapers.net Local public servants will soon get a special ‘thank you’ from what may be an unexpected source. On Sept. 9, the First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs will honor all public safety personnel and government officials by including a special celebration in its 10:30 a.m. worship service. The church, located at 650 Mt. Vernon Hwy NE, will recognize and pay special tribute to the mayor, city officials and members of the police and fire departments in addition to local state and federal government officials. Dr. Terry Quick, head pastor at the church, said the second annual ceremony grew out of the congregation’s commemoration in 2002 of the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “We felt an intense need to do something to express our grief and to pray for the families of the victims,” Quick said. “We also felt the need to pray for our nation and leaders leading us in the public arena, especially those men and women who put themselves in harm’s way such as our military, police and fire departments.” Quick said that after Sandy Springs became a city in December of 2005, it only seemed natural to begin a localized celebration of public servants now that the city had its own representatives. He said having the celebration during the actual worship service, which will be followed by a lunch,...

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