Serenbe Style and Soul

with Marie Nygren

The Hil



November 2012



What an Afternoon in the Country it was!

Written by , Posted in Blue Eyed Daisy, Les Dames d'Escoffier, Recipe Articles, The Farmhouse at Serenbe, The Hil, The Inn at Serenbe

The Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’EscoffierInternational held its 12th annual Afternoon in the Country fundraising event here in Serenbe on November 4th.  It was a spectacular afternoon! We enjoyed glorious fall weather, and the sold out crowd (numbering over 1,800) kept the energy high all afternoon.  The who’s who of the Atlanta metro area’s hospitality industry were on hand serving delicious food and thirst-quenching libations to the guests. 

This was a special year for me in that I was invited to join the ranks of Les Dames as a member this summer.  As well, I participated in the event with my restaurant The Farmhouse.  At our table, we served Serenbe Farms collard slaw (recipe below) and the Farmhouse’s now famous fried chicken.  Serenbe’s other eateries, the Hil and the Blue Eyed Daisy, were also participants.  It’s rewarding to have Serenbe fully represented at this event. 

Proceeds from ticket sales and a silent auction raised nearly $100,000 and benefitted the Les Dames’ scholarship fund, Wholesome Wave, and Georgia Organics.

A highlight of the afternoon is always the cake raffle; this year’s raffle did not disappoint. Beautifully decorated and uncommonly delicious cakes from the areas best bakers garnered much attention. 

For many Serenbe residents, Afternoon in the Country is the event they most enjoy.  The audible buzz of conversation and laughter confirms this is many people’s favorite event. 

For those of us on the serving side of the tables, it’s an afternoon of constant activity – an invigorating and exhausting day.  When the event wraps up, I’m equally happy for the chance to sit down and sad that we have to wait another year for it to happen again!  We are so fortunate to be the host locale for this terrific event.  I hope you’ll join us next year.

The Farmhouse’s Collard Slaw

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

¼ cup wild honey

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together. 


4 cups raw collard greens, washed, destemmed, and julienned

1 cup carrot, shredded

1 cup radish, shredded

½ cup honeycrisp apple, diced

¼ cup green onion, thinly sliced

¼-½ cup peanuts, chopped

Place all slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the chopped peanuts.  Serve and enjoy. 



August 2009



Atlanta Magazine

Written by , Posted in atlanta magazine, farm to table, grits, inn at serenbe, marie nygren, Recipe Articles, serenbe, The Hil

This month Atlanta magazine is featuring a wonderful farm to table local eating guide which is very exciting for me because it features both the Farmhouse and the Hil restaurant both located in Serenbe.

The Hil is owned and operated by the restaurant’s namesake Chef Hilary White and husband Jim White. The Hil is their vision for a refined, yet informal, neighborhood restaurant, with a dedication to serving simple, farm-fresh cuisine.

The magazine also features two of my recipes that I know you will enjoy! One is for my grits souffle and the other is for a wonderful summer salad with Cucumber, Fennel, Onion and Mint with a delicious Buttermilk Vinaigrette.

“This dish has been a favorite at The Inn at Serenbe since we opened in 1996. It works great for breakfast, a brunch, or even dinner. I love using fresh collards from Serenbe Farms, but kale works well also. The addition of stone-ground grits, we use JennyJack Grits, adds a lovely texture.  And, the beauty of the dish is it can be made the day before.”

Here is my Grits Souffle recipe for you to enjoy.

  • 1 lb. grated sharp chedder cheese or goat cheese
  • 6 farm fresh or free range eggs, lightly whipped
  • 2 cups cooked Jenny Jack grits**
  • 1 cup cooked collards, chopped and drained
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-4 dashes of tabasco
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended. Pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Bake in a 350º oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

** Grits
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup grits
  • Boil water. Add grits and cook 5 minutes

Please click Atlanta Magazine for the summer salad recipe.