All-star Lake Oconee Chefs Share Their Favorite Comfort Foods

Riezl Baker  |  January 11, 2022


Riezl’s Rave – January 2022

When you’ve had a bad day, or when it is gray and rainy outside, what is it that you crave for? Comfort foods are nostalgic, evoke good memories, and are often associated with positive encounters we had in our childhood. My favorite comfort food is “tocino” thinly-sliced pork cured in salt and sugar paired with garlic rice and fried egg. It is a popular Filipino breakfast meal that I grew up eating. I talked to my friends about their go-to comfort foods and even the most dignified taste buds find it hard to resist the favorite dishes that cue happy memories.


Chef Cindy Schultze

Chef Cindy Schultze


Owner-Chef, Cindy Lutini Catering
“ My go-to comfort foods are roast capon, mashed potatoes, gravy, and caramelized brussels sprouts. They remind me of family gatherings around the holidays with lots of laughter, snow, warm fire, and sledding. Even though we had them during the holidays, I always request for them for my birthdays.”


Chef Zouhair Bellout with his children

Chef Zouhair Bellout


Executive Chef, Reynolds Lake Oconee
“My favorite comfort food is “Bastilla.” It is Morocco’s famous chicken pie with spicy omelet stuffing, almonds, flavored with orange flower water and layered in a crispy, paper-thin pastry shell.  It is a complex dish that hits all the notes: savory, nutty, sweet, crunchy, and you can enjoy it hot or cold. It is even better the next day. It reminds me of my childhood in Morroco.”


“Grandbob” with his granddaughter

Chef Bob Gour


Chef-Owner, Café 44
“ Pot roast is my favorite comfort food. My grandfather made the best pot roast ever, it reminds me of him and my childhood. He was a cook in the Navy and taught me at an early age the two most important things about cooking which are seasoning and temperature.”


Chef Bill Greenwald with his family

Chef Bill Greenwald


Executive Sous Chef, Eighty-8 Kitchen, and Cocktails
“ My comfort and go-to dish are stuffed cabbage. My grandmother made them when we were kids and I can still remember the smell of the cabbage cooking.  It is stuffed with veal, beef, pork, onions, eggs, and rice, topped with secret family sauce. My grandma always served it with George Washington’s egg nog.”

Chef Jamie Amaya


Chef/Co-owner, The Chef and the Wife 
“ My favorite comfort food is Pan de Torta. It is a homemade cheese loaf made during Lent leading up to Easter. In El Salvador, it is eaten any time of the day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner. All around town, you could smell the bread baking in homemade brick ovens using wood. It is delicious and has a very different and distinct smell.”

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