‘Bad-Ass Bitch’ Chef Bringing ‘Mom-And-Pop’ Hen Mother Cookhouse To Johns Creek

Soraya Khoury has worked in Michelin-Starred Napa Valley restaurants, moved to Atlanta to serve as executive chef for the second Rumi's Kitchen.

A sleepy coffee and bagel joint in Johns Creek will soon be reinvigorated by a chef whose resume includes several Michelin-starred Napa Valley restaurants.

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Soraya Khoury is in the process of transforming Farmhouse Coffee and Cafe into breakfast, lunch, and brunch concept Hen Mother Cookhouse.

Khoury and her family at the end of 2016 moved to Georgia from California to “open” the Avalon location of Rumi’s KItchen.

Farmhouse Coffee, a ten-minute drive from Rumi’s, became a regular spot for Khoury to grab a coffee during her one-year tenure at the Persian eatery (Sunday is Khoury’s last day.)

Realizing the space’s potential—a full-sized, “barely-used” kitchen—and the desire to own her own concept, Khoury made an offer to the owner to purchase the space.

And the deal went through.

“[Farmhouse Coffee] is literally the first place we ate at when we moved back to Atlanta,” Khoury told What Now Atlanta in a telephone interview Thursday.

“In this industry, you have to be married to your restaurant and be there all day, every day and Farmhouse Coffee was owned by a busy doctor.”

With a small budget, Khoury is DIY-ing most of Hen Mother Kitchen including antiquing for everything from furniture to flatware.

The “coffee bar” has been removed to open up the dining room to “maximize seating” and the dark and rustic interior will be lightened with greys, blues, and whites.

Banquets will be added along the walls to create a “full circle” space so that it feels “communal and not like a bunch of tables,” complete with a “gather table” built by Rocky Brook Woodworks out of Cumming.

“[Hen Mother Cookhouse] It’s going to look 100 percent different but we’re not doing any major structural changes.”

On the menu will be approximately 20 dishes, rotating out pending available local and seasonal foods.

“If tomatoes suck, I’m not going to put it on the menu.”

Some breakfast selections will be “greasy spoon” but items like the Lox plate—with house-cured gravlax and house-made bialies—and a fluffy vegetarian egg white omelet provide “everyday options.”

“We’re going to really rock a super light and crispy, yeasted-waffle. Everything is going to be made in-house as much as we can.”

Khoury’s goal is to give Hen Mother Cookhouse a “mom-and-pop” feel because “there are hardly any” OTP.

“People like to know the owners and know where the food is coming from. Family-run is one of the staples of my culinary career.”

If all goes according to plan, Hen Mother Cookhouse will open by Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13.

“For me, owning a restaurant is life or death. It might just seem like two eggs over easy, but it’s more than that to me. When I look out to the dining room and see a crooked table, that matters to me. We’re giving you eggs, but it’s going to be bad-ass.”

Hen Mother Cookhouse
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Photo: Facebook | Graphics: What Now Atlanta
Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak