Chef's Table - The woman behind the Biscuit

You've seen the clutch of people on weekend mornings who drink coffee and read the newspaper, waiting to get into the Flying Biscuit, one of the city's most popular brunch spots. Petite, forty-ish Delia Champion is the owner of the hangout known as the Biscuit.

Creative Loafing: Where'd the name come from?

Champion: A former waitress colleague of mine, Mickey Michelle, came up with the name. She came back from a rafting trip down the Colorado River and as we were polishing silverware, she said, 'I've got your name. It's the Flying Biscuit.'

You're open seven days a week and you can get breakfast anytime.

I think our food is happy, hearty, healthy. I wanted to have a restaurant with higher quality breakfast where I could get up late and eat late. We don't take ourselves too seriously.

I understand you don't cook.

No. But my family owned a taproom in southern New Jersey. And I spent years waitressing — at Mick's and Indigo Grill — before opening my own place.

The vibe is much different at your Midtown location, which you opened in late 2000.

Midtown is about seeing and being seen. It's urban, poppin' and sizzlin'. Restaurant sales are exceeding those of Candler Park. They're a hungry bunch over there. Candler Park is more down to earth.

You have retail and a bakery at the Candler Park location. And I bet you sell a lot of dog biscuits.

That and cookies and muffins, a few cookbooks, some cranberry apple butter.

Has the mix of patrons changed as the Candler Park neighborhood has evolved?

My longtime server Paula Garrett is the mother of two small "biscuit children." We have singles, couples and families.

How many biscuits do you make a week? Is your recipe a secret?

We make 30,000 biscuits a month, by hand. We mix the dough in an 80-pound Berkel mixer that costs as much as a small car. We've published the recipe many times. It belongs to every biscuit maker who comes in every morning at 4:30 and puts their hard work and hands into it. It takes a village to make a biscuit.

The Flying Biscuit, 1655 McLendon Ave. 404-687-8888; 1001 Piedmont Ave., 404-874-8887. www.flyingbiscuit.com.


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