(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Brian Meiler
JCT Kitchen
1198 Howell Mill Road, Suite 18
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 355-2252

JCT Kitchen’s sous chef Brian Meiler is all about family time over the holidays. Thanksgiving tends to stay very traditional with turkey, sweet potato casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes and stuffing. As Meiler has gradually been taking over the holiday cooking responsibility from his dad, he has started to introduce a few new items such as a root vegetable hash or greens like kale or mustard greens. For the Christmas season, Meiler goes off tradition and designs a menu consisting of prime rib roast, mashed red potatoes, buttered carrots and pasta salad. He then usually pairs dinner with a nice bottle of red wine such as a Cabernet. Quite uniquely, his family skips dessert during the holidays. “I guess that’s why I’m not really into desserts,” says Meiler. The most important item on the menu for his holiday season is family time spent together with everyone reuniting back in north Georgia. As a child, he and his sister always helped his dad in the kitchen with responsibilities such as peeling the carrots, and now grown-up Meiler is cooking for the whole family. He shares a great, easy holiday appetizer recipe that you can make for your family this holiday season.

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Bacon-Wrapped Figs with Herb Crème Fraiche

Figs (amount depends on number of guests)
Crème fraiche (purchased from Whole Foods)
Parsley, chopped
Chives, chopped

Cut each fig in half and wrap a slice of bacon around the halves. Put these on a wooden skewer to keep bacon secure.

Place the skewers on a cookie sheet in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Set out the crème fraiche in a bowl and squeeze juice from a lemon and lime on top. Add chopped parsley and chives for a garnish.

Plate the skewers on the side and dip each bacon-wrapped fig in the crème fraiche.

About Chef Brian Meiler:

Brian Meiler has grown up in the kitchen and was exposed to the finer dining of life from the beginning. Hailing from the south Tampa area, Meiler’s family moved to north Georgia when he was in high school. He has been working in the restaurant business since he was 12 and graduated with a culinary degree from North Georgia College. Prior to joining JCT Kitchen, Meiler worked two years at Bistro Niko and at a spattering of Buckhead Life Restaurants such as Kyma and Chops Lobster Bar as well as Canoe.

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Stacy Sheets is native to Atlanta. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia. Stacy is a freelance writer who enjoys keeping abreast on the best Atlanta has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.