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Bits and bites: wood-fired pizza and stone-ground grits
by Joan Durbin
November 13, 2013 12:29 PM | 12188 views | 0 0 comments | 211 211 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Neapolitan wood-fired pizza coming to historic Roswell

From the fertile minds of the guys who brought you a pair of Salt Factories, Opulent, Little Alley Steak and the departed-but-not-forgotten INC Street Food comes yet another new culinary venture.

Its working name is Fix, the nickname of Fikrit Kovach, co-owner of the F&H Food Trading Company ever-growing stable of eateries.

Its claim to fame will be pizza, not just any pie but “pizza della nonna,” or your grandmother’s pizza, according to Kovach’s partner Hicham Azhari. It will be housed in a space on Elizabeth Street just off Roswell’s Canton Street.

The partners are remodeling a former chiropractor’s office and retrofitting it with a wood-burning pizza oven to turn out thin crust Neapolitan style pies as well as “Sicilian New York” versions, Azhari said.

The pair is still deciding whether to use fresh bufala or fior de latte mozarella (yes, there is a real difference in texture and flavor) but San Marzano tomatoes are a must, he said. What will really set Fix pizzas apart is the dough, a recipe Azhari has been perfecting for many, many months.

Projected opening date is the end of February, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that pushed back to March or beyond.

Stone ground grits, grains from antique mill

Confession: I was not born in the South. But I do sincerely love and appreciate a good bowl of stone ground grits.

On a recent trip to Highlands, North Carolina for the town’s annual culinary festival, I came across a real find.

Woody Malot, one of several chefs participating in a harvest dinner spotlighting the area’s meats, produce and specialty foods, gifted me with a bag of coarse milled speckled grits from Barker’s Creek Grist Mill in northeast Georgia.

Malot, a physics professor at Rabun Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap, runs the mill on Betty’s Creek Road. It has served area residents since the 1820s.

Members of Malot’s family have been mill operators and builders since the 1700s. He demonstrates the workings of the Barker’s Creek mill on the first Saturday of every month and mills corn and grains for the locals as well as for retail sale.

Other than the high quality of the speckled grits I received, I was particularly impressed with Malot’s dedication to encouraging area farmers to grow heirloom varieties such as the local Keener corn and Navajo blue corn He grinds all manner of meals and grits as well as flours like winter wheat flour and has a nine grain product I really want to try.

There is no website or Facebook page for Barker’s Mill, but Malot is extremely accommodating about describing the mill’s wares and filling phone orders.

You can reach him at (706) 746-6921 or

The products can be shipped, but for a really special experience, take a drive up to Rabun Gap on the first Saturday to pick up your order and admire the historic mill operation.

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