In the city of Atlanta, my executive chef has a mission fig tree in his backyard. They are exceptionally sweet with delicate skins that often ooze syrup when ripe. Unlike other fruit, figs cannot be picked from the tree until fully ripened. They have a short shelf life, which explains the rarity of fresh figs in supermarkets. Chef was proud of his fig tree and announced that our tasting menu would feature the first figs from his tree. I smiled when he, like a proud father, placed two mission figs on my cutting board.