Cathy Woolard has been a force on the Atlanta political scene for years, as an Atlanta City Councilmember and then President of that same body. Along the way, she made history by becoming the first openly gay elected official in Georgia’s history and she was the first woman to hold the Atlanta City Council President’s seat. She was an early proponent of the now growing and thriving Atlanta BeltLine. Most recently, she came in third during the crowded race for the next mayor of the city. Woolard has also worked with many nonprofits, including CARE, Planned Parenthood and served as interim director of AID Atlanta.

How do you like your eggs cooked?
Egg whites always—scrambled or omelets.

What are your two favorite things to put in mac and cheese, other than the mac and the cheese?
Greens peas and sautéed onions.

Thumbs Up Diner

Where’s a good place to go for a business lunch?
I prefer breakfast at Thumbs Up on Edgewood. Last booth, facing the door.

What’s your favorite place to eat along the Atlanta BeltLine?
Q-Time in West End RDA.

Any interest in gardening? Ever grow your own food?
No—it’s usually too hot to me. However, I chose organic and local whenever possible.

Wine and beer, or the hard stuff, or none at all?
Pamplemousse (grapefruit for southerners) La Croix with a chaser of Coke Zero when I’m feeling frisky.

What is your guilty pleasure snack food?
Candy corn in October and Necco Sweethearts in February, but only during those months because they’re like crack to me and I have to be careful.

What are your feelings about red velvet cake?
I love it—as long as the cake to ice cream ratio is right.

Is there any food so disgusting to you that you just won’t eat it?
Mayonnaise. I’d set my arm on fire if mayonnaise got on it.

Who does most of the cooking in your house? Who cooked while you were growing up?
My wife, Karen, does the cooking in our house. And my mom and dad split cooking duties growing up.

Are there specific cities or programs you’re looking at as models for how to put an end to food deserts in Atlanta?
No cities in particular, but I think we can provide incentives to have grocery stores with fresh food within a mile of every neighborhood. Specifically, small footprint urban grocers with minimal parking and less overhead.

What is the most memorable food-related story you’ve got from your time in politics?
Of all the fancy dinners I’ve been invited to, Southface’s Visionary Dinner serves food for from local chefs and is always an incredible meal that supports sustainability programs that make Atlanta great.

Megan Volpert

Megan Volpert is the author or editor of over a dozen books on popular culture, including two Lambda Literary Award finalists and an American Library Association honoree.