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The Food Lifeby Austin L. Ray | The Atlantan magazine | June 29, 2012
At 38, Judith Winfrey’s résumé is a veritable laundry list of good-food advocacy. She’s managed the East Atlanta Village Farmers Market, sits on the board of Wholesome Wave and served as Georgia Organics’ administrator. She also leads Slow Food Atlanta and is the director of hospitality and fruition at Five Forks and Flasks Restaurant Group, which consists of Restaurant Eugene, H&F Bottle Shop, Holeman & Finch and the latter’s bakery.
Her life path comes as no surprise. Growing up, Winfrey’s grandfather was a sharecropper, and her mother worked in catering. But it wasn’t until she met her sweetheart, Joe Reynolds, that she also considered working with food for a living.
While studying linguistics at Georgia State University, Winfrey began serving at Brick Store Pub in Decatur, and it was there she met Reynolds. “I developed a huge crush on him,” she remembers.
The pair went on several food-centric dates—one at a Prasadam meal (a free vegetarian meal served at a Hare Krishna temple), another at annual music festival Corndogorama—and soon they were inseparable. Reynolds started farming, and they went to the Georgia Organics conference in 2006, cementing their future. “The plan was to travel the world,” she says. “He would farm, and I would teach English. But the more we got into the food thing, the more we found that we wanted to stay put and see the fruits of our labor, literally.”
As Atlanta’s food scene grows and continues to earn worldwide acclaim, Winfrey’s profile will, no doubt, as well. But she wants greater things for the city she holds so dear. “I hope to see more community and collaboration,” says Winfrey. “I want to know that, in 50 years, people will still be buying food directly from small, local farmers.”
Atlanta, Restaurant Eugene, White Oak Pastures, Miso Izakaya, Sunday suppers at home, community supported agriculture groups
Meat from contained animal feedlots, complaining without having a solution, focusing on the negative