It's hot to trot
Photograph by Caroline Kilgore
Like the pig hoof it’s named for, the Spotted Trotter hit the ground running. Before the Kirkwood charcuterie opened to the public in November, owner Kevin Ouzts was already turning out bacon by the half ton and premium hot dogs by the hundreds for restaurants as diverse as Taco Mac and Richard Blais’s HD1. “Not in a million years did we imagine we’d get so big, so fast,” Ouzts says. He has spent years preparing for his overnight success: studying at culinary school, training at Restaurant Eugene, briefly apprenticing at California’s famed French Laundry, and learning from media-darling charcutier Taylor Boetticher of Napa Valley’s Fatted Calf.
Nearly two years ago, Ouzts returned to Atlanta, where he worked at farmers markets to gain respect within the city. “The Fatted Calf guy said, ‘All you need is a grinder,’” Ouzts recalls. “But I’m married to an attorney, and she was like, ‘No, dude, we’re doing it the right way. We have to go through the USDA so we can sell across state lines.’”
Certification in hand, Ouzts brings a chef’s particularity to every ingredient in his artisan-cured meats, including house-smoked andouille sausage made with meadow-raised pork and locally grown Alabama red peppers; boudin fashioned from Southern-grown rabbit; and an Italian-inspired, air-dried salami flavored with sorghum syrup and cracked black pepper. 1610 Hosea L. Williams Drive, 404-254-4958, thespottedtrotter.com