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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.
A fire destroyed Heirloom Market BBQ's smokers on Friday the 13th, but that's not stopping the popular barbecue joint from serving a limited menu, which includes their spicy Korean pork and extra orders of their Korean fried chicken.
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.
Even though they use Korean ingredients in all of their menu items, Taylor says that the spicy pork best represents what Heirloom Market stands for. “At the beginning we weren’t sure how much Jiyeon could incorporate her heritage into barbecue,” Taylor says. “But that’s what barbecue is—where you’re from.”
6 Atlanta chefs share their favorite shopping destinations, including Great Wall Supermarket, 48th Street Market, and more.