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Most pop-up restaurants—in which a chef typically takes over a professional kitchen for a night or two—serve as incubators or showcases. Traveling toques may want to drum up attention away from home, or cooks who dream of starting their own place might take over a friend’s stoves to grandstand their food. But Jarrett Stieber is the only chef in the city who makes running pop-ups his full-time living.
Last fall, pop-up chef Jarrett Stieber launched Eat Me Speak Me at Candler Park Market, a two-part dining and drinking experience that quickly culled a loyal following. Like most pop-ups, the concept was pretty straightforward. Stieber would cook a succinct menu inspired by locally-sourced ingredients, and then with the help of a tiny map and password, you’d end the evening in a secret location imbibing with fellow diners. Setups like this allow chefs in the process of establishing themselves an opportunity to connect directly with adventurous eaters, and in Stieber’s case, gives him a work-life flexibility uncommon to the average line cook.
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