What will you accomplish in your life? How do you want to be remembered? Ann Brewer wanted to be remembered as having led “a colorful life of eventful usefulness” and strived every day to serve her community. She gathered people for a common good and made everyone feel important during the process.
Ann began her career of service with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where she raised funds for the organization and started the poster child program. For 18 years, Ann’s ideas and efforts were recognized by the White House and she was photographed with the Presidents of the United States from Dwight Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan. These photographs are proudly displayed in her home.
After she met her husband who also worked at the Foundation, they moved to Covington Georgia where she spent her time restoring the Mt. Pleasant Plantation, running a Christmas Tree farm and harvesting the walnuts, pecans and chestnuts as well as tending to a 1 acre garden. There her passion for good food and appreciation for the hard labor of running a farm blossomed.
Ann and her friend, Cynthia Hizer created a cooperative of 30 organic farmers called Georgia Grown to offer seasonal produce to the local chefs. Their vision was instrumental to the growth of the farm to table movement in Georgia.
With much encouragement from Gunter Seeger, chef of The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, they began the Morningside Market modeled after one of the markets found in California. Morningside became one of the first certified organic markets in the country with the help of many farmers including Nicolas Donck of Crystal Organic Farm who was involved from the beginning. Several well-respected chefs began assisting in demonstrations suing the local produce to educate the consumers on how to cook at the Morningside Market. Ann Brewer coordinated the demo schedule and developed long lasting friendships with many chefs.
One of her dear friends, Anne Quatrano took the initiative to invite the chefs who have been a part of Ann’s journey to contribute a dish for the Memorial at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. Friends and family of Ann nibbled on a charcuterie board of cured meats and cheeses, gourmet deviled eggs, pimento cheese spread, smoked ribs, country pate, and buttermilk biscuits with ham and fig jam as well as numerous decadent desserts. A few guests stated during the reception, Ann would be proud to know she was still able to gather her friends and family together around good food. Her legacy will continue to inspire us to live a colorful life of eventful usefulness. She will be greatly missed.
Below are photos of the dishes provided for the Memorial along with heartfelt words about Ann.
“Ann Brewer was the first person in Georgia to organize the broad connection of farmers and chefs. Ann Brewer was a pioneer in the barren ground of farm to table cooking in the early 90′s in Atlanta and beyond. We all owe her tremendous gratitude for her gift of forward thinking and determination. She helped change the way we cook in Georgia…..and certainly certainly what we cook. And she was a shameless promoter of all of us……I am having trouble considering the loss of this force. I am very sad.” - Anne Quatrano, Bacchanalia, Floataway Cafe, Star Provisions, Quinones, Abattoir, SUMMERLAND
Anne Quatrano and her team coordinated and beautifully set up the food for the reception with wooden stands displaying the menu cards as well as provided fabulous country ham biscuits with fig preserves, brownies, cookies, and delicious punches in stemless cups complimented with old fashion straws.
Charcuterie board of meat and cheese with pickles, purees, and crostini provided by Daniel Porubiansky and his wife of Century House Tavern.
Tom Brodnax gave Ann cheese straws every Christmas. He baked ice box cookies, pound cake and the beloved cheese straws.
Deviled Eggs and Date and Blue Cheese Salad provided by Ford Fry of JCT Kitchen.
Dave Roberts of Community “Q” provided Smoked Ribs.
Janine and Alon of Alon’s Bakery provided Sweetened Tea and sandwiches.
Hilary White of The Hil at Serenbe made deviled eggs.
Country Pate provided by Gary Donlick of Bistro Niko.
“Can’t help but be thankful for Ann getting to know my family and making us feel so special. Her support never wavered and she sure could make a nobody feel like somebody, for that I am especially grateful.” Doug Turbush of Seed Kitchen and Bar who provided Profiteroles.
Rosemary french grey and candied pecan encrusted goat cheese with a chipotle parmesan encrusted goat cheese and crackers provided by my daughter and me.
Egg Salad and Cranberry Orange Shortbread and Lemon Cookies provided by Billy Allin and David Garcia of Cakes & Ale.
Lemon Squares baked by Lynne Sawicki of Sawicki’s.
“Ann was an incredible visionary, a driving force, and a leader in our community. We are all better for knowing her and for her having touched our lives and pushed our culinary boundaries. She will be missed and remembered for her salty character, her perseverance, her many contributions to those who knew her and those who didn’t and for leaving a legacy of a culinary world forever changed by her passion. I am blessed to have known her for 20+ years and grateful for her contributions to our world and to me. Rest in peace, dear friend.” Mary Moore of Cook’s Warehouse who provided Chocolate Chip Cookies.
“Ann was a friend and a mentor, a champion, an inspiration, and, from my chef’s perspective, the most influential person connecting chefs and farmers in Atlanta and Georgia for more than twenty years. If it hadn’t been for her foresight and leadership through the Morningside Farmers’ Market and the Georgia Grown Cooperative, the good food movement would not exist as we know it today. She will be missed, and it is our responsibility to continue her good work and honor her legacy.” Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene who provided Pimento Cheese and Benne Crackers.
“Ann was always my great supporter and took the time to know and engage both of my children as they grew. Her passion was infectious. Doing a demo at Morningside was the highlight of my culinary year.” Ian Winslade of Murphy’s who provided the Little Lobster Rolls.
“When Ann would introduce me at the market, she would make me feel special. I would listen to her introduction and think “who is she talking about? Me?” Thank you for that Ann. Thank you for 19 years of Atlanta’s original Farmer’s market. (She only missed ONE Saturday!!) And thank you for the Christmas cards that always showed up. And for everyone reading this: Ann WANTS us at the market EVERY single Saturday morning. Let’s not let her down.”- Lance Gummere, Bantam + Biddy. Shaun Doty of Bantam + Biddy made the Chicken Sliders.
Ross Toms of Watershed made Lemonade.
“With Ann’s passing Atlanta has lost one of it’s first pioneers in bringing the farm to the tables of our homes 30+ years ago. Her impact can not be understated. She was one of the first architects in what would become the farmers markets of Atlanta and the Atlanta dining scene by putting the chefs in contact with the farmers and their offerings.” Todd Ginsberg of General Muir who made cookies.
“It’s hard for me to condense all the years that I knew and interacted with Ann to a single quote, but there’s no doubt that her level of conviction and commitment truly influenced how (for me, at least) cooking, running restaurants, supporting local and serving others is indeed a lifestyle and not merely a job or a career. On a more humorous note, I guess that I will always revel in the fact that seemingly the more Ann was a bit of a pain in the ass to you, the closer you were to her. As distraught as I am about her loss, I hope to use this unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity to truly realize my roots as a chef and restauranteur, and continue to support the continued growth and evolution of our market.”- Ron Eyester, Executive Chef/Owner, Rosebud, The Family Dog, Timone’s, Diner
“Ann will be missed at our market but her legacy lives on through the many people and organizations that she has helped get started in the local food movement here in Atlanta. We thank Ann for all of her vision, dedication and hard work to help so many experience the joy of whole, organic and local foods. Morningside was the first market in the Atlanta metro area and we have Ann to thank for getting it all started.”- Roger Hagen, Morningside Farmers Market, President
Photographs provided by Bill Duke.
Tom Brodnax who collected all the quotes to about Ann Brewer.
Biography provided by Ann’s Sister, Maria and Connie Ward Cameron.