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As an earlier generation of Asian restaurateurs in Atlanta retires, their children are stepping into the kitchen—and remaking the menu
Already making their way in the business as an earlier wave of Asian American restaurateurs retires, many young AAPI chefs have been further emboldened by the pandemic and the spa killings to embrace their identity and culinary traditions, inserting their own family narratives into a scene that—for their parents’ generation, at least—had been largely arranged around the preferences of white diners.
17 AAPI chefs teamed up for a fundraiser for families of the victims of the Atlanta spa shootings. It sold out in hours.
On March 16, the evening a man shot and killed eight people—six of them Asian women—at three different metro Atlanta spas, Thip Athakhanh, owner of Laotian restaurant Snackboxe Bistro, and Mia Orino, of Filipino pop-up Kamayan ATL, were at dinner. “We came home, saw the news, and were shocked about what happened. We knew we had to do something,” says Athakhanh.
Get the early word on four new Atlanta restaurants: 5Church Atlanta at Colony Square, Ba Bellies in Peachtree Corners, 101 Steak in Vinings, and Ton Ton at Ponce City Market.
Serving Southern classics with an Asian twis, the restaurant is a partnership between Mike Yang, who brings experience from Tom Colicchio’s Craft, and siblings David and Tina Nguyen, whose family owns Nam Phuong. (David also worked at Jean Georges’ Spice Market.)