Chef Profile: PeachDish's Seth Freedman
A fifth-generation Georgian, born and raised in Atlanta, Freedman's career in cooking spans over two decades, beginning in 1999, when the young chef graduated first in his class from the world-renowned Culinary Institute of America. In 2004, Freedman earned a degree summa cum laude from the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University. During his time there, he worked as a Floor Manager with Atlantic Wine, one of Atlanta's top wine retailers, and honed his understanding and appreciation for food and wine pairings. And, the man has been everywhere, cooking up a storm all over the world! He has cooked with Oceana, March, and Tabla in NYC and the Four Seasons and Star Provisions at Bacchanalia in Atlanta. From 2010 through 2015 he was proprietor of Forage & Flame, a personalized culinary services company that offered everything from in-home dining to large celebrations to private cooking classes.
We caught up with Chef Seth and asked him a few questions. Read his exciting interview below:
How did you get started in your culinary pursuits?
I learned to love cooking early on, helping my mother and grandmother in their kitchens, stirring measuring and mixing on our kitchen stool. My uncle, who had a successful catering business on the west coast, put the idea in my head of cooking as a profession. I found my first job cooking at 15, and haven't looked back since.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
My greatest challenge is also the part of the job from which I get the most reward: Coordinating the products that are featured in our dishes with what is available from our local farmers. Menus are developed at least eight weeks before they pack and ship, so it takes lots of planning and communication to get it right.
Right now it's the height of summer, so it's so difficult to choose just one! Okra, snap beans, squash, tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, figs, mushrooms, peaches!, field peas...you're not really going to make me pick are you?!?!
How did you get involved with PeachDish?
I have been on a mission to get folks cooking in their kitchens for over a decade now. I ran a farm to school program, headed education and outreach for a farmers market organization, and have lead numerous hands-on cooking classes and training workshops.
PeachDish helps get folks cooking with delicious, Georgia Grown, in-season products by sending everything needed to cook a dish in exactly the right amount, with easy to follow instructions. When my friend, and PeachDish president, Judith Winfrey asked if I wanted to write recipes, and help grow the project I jumped at the chance to make cooking at home a part of more folks lives.
We've had a great response from customers, and more and more folks are starting to see the value that PeachDish mealkits offer to the quality and enjoyment of their meals. It is a very challenging business, but we are growing quickly and sticking to the purpose that has driven us from the very beginning: To enrich and nourish people's lives through good food experiences.
What has been your experience with Georgia Grown?
Being born and raised in Atlanta, I have long eaten and enjoyed our incredible food systems. I've been thrilled to be able to purchase and promote our amazing products through my role as Culinary Director at PeachDish, and the honorary title of Georgia Grown Executive Chef. I have the privilege of highlighting and showing off the tremendous work and dedication of our state's growers and producers. Cooking these splendid products with my fellow Georgia Grown Chefs at the James Beard House this past June is a highlight of my career.