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As obvious as the physical transformation of Atlanta’s restaurant scene has been, an underground dining revolution is also underway. The latter—waged by chefs hosting pop-up “restaurants” and dinner series, as well as entrepreneurs offering incubating spaces—isn’t as easy to observe as the former. But it’s similarly impressive. In many ways, it’s more impressive.
We spoke to famous Atlanta chefs—Asha Gomez, formerly of Cardamom Hill and Spice to Table, Justin Anthony of True Story Brands, and Ford Fry of the Optimist, Superica, St. Cecilia, and more—about their favorite room in the house: the kitchen.
Along with three days of tasting tents, the festival features a wide variety of dinners, parties, and learning sessions and hands-on workshops, with notable chefs, restaurateurs, and mixologists such as Justin Anthony (Yebo Beach Haus), Meherwan Irani (Chai Pani), John Castellucci (Castellucci Hospitality Group), Eddie Hernandez (Taqueria del Sol), and Paul Calvert and Greg Best (Ticonderoga Club) presenting.
Chef Asha Gomez, who consults with global humanitarian organization CARE, made her own "stone soup" at the first of what she and CARE’s Tilia Parks call Social Suppers.
Chai Pani owner Meherwan Irani and Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi, created the Brown in the South supper series as a way to spotlight Indian chefs living and working in the South. And the first dinner at Chai Pani in January was a sold-out success.
Ever since I arrived in Atlanta nine months ago, I've been wondering: Where are the female chefs? Long have professional kitchens employed women as pastry chefs, but there are still relatively few female headliners, here and elsewhere.
The nominations for the annual "Oscars of dining" are in, and three Atlanta chefs and two restaurants have been named as 2017 James Beard Award finalists.
Get Asha Gomez’s famous fried chicken while you can.
February 24 will be Spice to Table’s last day in operation. We talked to Gomez why she's shutting down, the difficulties of being a restaurateur, and about her new line of teas and spices, DYAD.
Southern India and the American South are thousands of miles apart, but Spice to Table chef Asha Gomez sees an abundance of similarities between her family home in Kerala and her adopted home, both hot and humid places where hospitality reigns.