The very rough and slightly incomplete version of it all..

post dinner

The idea for The Four Coursemen began many years ago between Damien and Randy. It was originally an idea for a cooking show for young professional types.  You know, quick meals to impress your significant other, getting some basic knowledge on food, wine, and all that. Essentially the stuff Damien and Randy were wanting to learn for themselves.  Eventually Damien moved to New York.  While in New York Damien and his ex-wife would visit excellent restaurants and would not order off the menu.  Instead they would simply ask for the chef to send out whatever they were most excited about.  We experienced so many amazing meals with this approach.  This was a few years before everyone who could cook had a television show and was a celebrity.  This allowed us to meet a number of chefs after the dinners because they were simply excited to meet the customers who came into their restaurant and simply to experience their cooking.

This inspired Damien tremendously but it unfortunately left a bit of a void.  Though he had a great meal, the chef’s he met could not take the time to explain their motivations behind their ingredient combinations.  All he wanted to know was WHY?  Why did you choose to put these two flavors together?  Why do these ingredients work together while these do not?  Years went by and Damien and his ex-wife moved back in Athens, Georgia so she could go to Veterinary School at UGA. It was going to be a 4 year stay and Damien decided to design and build an amazing house he and his wife could live in during that timeframe.  It was something he always wanted to do and could not afford to do in NYC.  Unfortunately the marriage didn’t last, but this left Damien with a house that was designed for entertaining.  Athens has come a long way culinarily since then.  5&10 was the best restaurant in Athens at the time and only having one go-to restaurant compared the the endless list Damien had in NYC inspired him to start cooking and learning in an effort to answer that question: “WHY”?

Randy moved into the apartment in the back and he and Damien began cooking again like they did back in their college days. We soon became good friends with Patrick thanks to Randy’s habitual dinners at the Grit in Athens, where Patrick was working.  Patrick had been reading about a chef we had not heard of named Thomas Keller and he was showing us his “French Laundry” cookbook.  After a couple not-so-delicious dinners that Randy and Damien cooked for friends, they asked Patrick if he would like to whip up some dinner with them one night.  That was the real start of it all right then and there- the food was amazing and we all agreed that we should continue. Then our friend Eddie came over one night to make dessert. It blew us away (the man can cook!). Then it got even better. We were joined by another old friend Matt (head chef at the excellent farm 255) and Nancy (our resident wine expert), who both brought our Saturday night dinners to a new level.

After cooking together at D’s house for a couple of years one of our longtime guests suggested a move.  Beginning Fall of 2008, our dinners started being served in a beautiful shotgun house with two big tables in downtown Athens, one big stove, and one small dishwasher.  We still love each other and love learning about food and wine while cooking for the best guests anyone could ask for.  We have all since moved on to some exciting new things and are unfortunately no longer cooking in that beautiful house.  We miss it tremendously but are truly grateful for the things we learned while working together as the team we were.

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