Chow À La Carte, where Atlanta home cooks and chefs from different cultural backgrounds prepare lunch and dinner offerings Friday through Sunday, officially opens May 26 at Uptown Test Kitchen. A soft launch is set for today – Thursday, May 18 – from 5 to 9 p.m.
The idea for Chow À La Carte was born from the popular monthly supper club, Chow Club Atlanta, co-founded by Yohana Solomon and Amanda Plumb. The supper club brings people together to share a unique menu, connect with the featured chef and learn about Atlanta’s immigrant and refugee communities.
“We learned through Chow Club that people come for the food but come back for the community,” Solomon said. “I always dreamed of a brick and mortar space that will allow home cooks a chance to grow.”
Solomon said she’d seen too many hard-working, talented home cooks give up because of impossible overhead and lack of access to customers.
To make her dream a reality, Solomon teamed up with Uptown Test Kitchen, a restaurant space at 2440 Piedmont Road in the 120,000 square foot mixed use Uptown Atlanta destination. Accessible by MARTA, it’s a quick walk from the Lindbergh station platform to sample small plates (priced $3 and up) from chefs that hail from Nigeria, Italy, Colombia, Philippines, the Caribbean and more.
Chef Deborah Kudelka, a private chef with 25 years of culinary experience, will prepare Italian, French, and Polish-influenced cuisine, including meatballs, sauteed radicchio, and arancini (a stuffed fried rice ball).
“Everything I’m doing is street food,” Kudelka said. “Pick it up in your hands and eat it. Even the sauteed radicchio will be in sleeves or rolled up in packs to take home.”
As the days get hotter, cool off with a 5-ounce cup (or two!) of Ciao Chow’s Ethiopian-Italian fused gelato, the co-creation of Solomon and Kudelka.
“We tested our gelato with about 100 Chow Club members in April,” Kudelka said. “Ponce de Limone” [the lemon sorbet] was the favorite but “A Woman Scorned” made a strong impression with the heat from the Ethiopian Berbere spice rising in your mouth after a bite of cold creamy Italian chocolate.”
Chef Andrea George, founder of Rapid Gourmet, is cooking salt fish cakes “an Island favorite,” rum and raisin bread pudding with rum sauce and tropical mango pineapple lemonade for the May 18 soft opening.
“Anything that brings the community together; that celebrates culture and diversity excites me because I think we need it more than ever,” George said. “Food is one of the main ways we can understand each other, celebrate each other and create community.”
Chow À La Carte will also offer traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, cooking classes, monthly Chow Club dinners and more.
“Come join our village,” Solomon urged.
More details and the latest information about Chow À La Carte at Uptown Test Kitchen will be available at uptownatlanta.com, or follow @UptownAtlanta on Facebook and Instagram.