Chef Billy Allin, a 2017 James Beard semifinalist, has stepped away from his last restaurant in Atlanta. He shuttered Cakes & Ale in 2018, Proof Bakeshop in 2021, and last week, he handed the Bread & Butterfly keys to Demetrius Brown and Brandon Blanchard of Heritage Supper Club. The duo began a residency at the restaurant earlier this year, hosting their Afro-American pop-up in the evenings. After their first event, Allin offered to sell to them.
“We appreciate and respect what he’s built and will keep breakfast and lunch as close to what he’s built as possible,” Blanchard says. “Our plan is to spend the first 30 days learning from the staff how this restaurant operates. We want to sit down and get to know our people.”
In mid-October, they’ll introduce dinner service focused on French colonized countries and islands, such as Haiti, Jamaica, Niger, Senegal, and Congo. “We want to build a [metaphorical] bridge from France to the African diaspora,” says Brown, who comes from a Trinadadian family. “The goal is for us to be as self-sufficient as possible. I have a home garden that we’ll use for sourcing herbs and some produce.”
In addition, Brown and Blanchard plan to host Heritage Supper Club events at Bread and Butterfly quarterly while they search for a separate brick-and-mortar location for a Heritage restaurant. They’re also working on “A Tale of Two Chefs” series in which Brown will cook alongside another local chef to tell stories from their lives. The first will be held at Westside Motor Lounge next month.
Below, Brown and Blanchard share their thought on the future of Heritage and Bread & Butterfly.
What kind of changes will you make to Bread & Butterfly’s breakfast and lunch programs?
Blanchard: We’ll identify the most popular items and keep those. We’ll continue to source from small farms. We will try some new pastries, maybe bring on a pastry chef. Right now, Bread & Butterfly is sit-down, with rolled silverware and the menu on the table. We’re going to elevate it a touch. The host will seat the table, explain the menu and what chef is doing in the kitchen. The servers will explain the chef’s recommendations and share the plat du jour. It’s small refinements to an already well-run business.
We want to pay homage to Billy for building a very successful restaurant in a great location with a great following and a loyal customer and employee base. We’re going to protect what he’s built. Our changes are not drastic. We refreshed the paint with the same color!
What’s on the dinner menu?
Brown: It’s very focused on Haitian cuisine—about 15 items total. We’ll have fried snapper with Creole sauce; a Haitian beef patty with pikliz (spicy cabbage), sweet peppers and tamarind; and Haitian chocolates on a dessert with tropical fruits like coconut and papaya.
Blanchard: It’s mostly smaller plates so people can sample more. Our goal is to educate the masses on the unique and amazing flavors from the African diaspora.
How will Heritage Supper Club dishes play a role at Bread & Butterfly?
Brown: We’ll offer some items from the Supper Club—Soup Joumou is Haiti’s national dish that slaves made for their owners. Griot is another national dish made with twice-cooked pork (we’re using lamb belly) and marinated in epis salsa (Haitian pesto).
How will the quarterly Heritage pop-ups at Bread & Butterfly be different from nightly dinner?
Brown: Heritage has very elevated service. The cooks explain each dish. It’s smaller portions and a blind tasting menu so people don’t receive the menu until the end. [Each one] focuses on a specific region of the African diaspora—places like Tanzania.
Why continue to look for a brick-and-mortar space for Heritage now that you have the Bread & Butterfly space?
Blanchard: Bread & Butterfly has its own identity. It’s important that we create our own identity [for Heritage] as well. Bread & Butterfly is a little more casual—it’s a French cafe. Heritage will be very refined, guest-centric, and food-centric.
Brown: Our services are going to be so different. Heritage will be centered around the kitchen—we’ll need an open kitchen—so cooks and chefs can communicate with our guests.
So, is Bread & Butterfly a temporary stop for you?
Brown: No, this is the first stop for us. We’re so grateful to Billy for his trust in us.