Uptown Atlanta announces Uptown Test Kitchen, a culinary experience for Atlanta foodies, and will open at the mixed-use destination in a restaurant space fronting Piedmont Road in May. Chow À La Carte will be the first program to activate Uptown Test Kitchen and is designed to bring the community and local chefs together. Chow À La Carte will create a unique environment for Uptown’s neighbors and residents to interact with a variety of chefs from around the world, flavorful dishes and specialty dining experiences. A soft opening will be held on May 18 from 5 to 9 p.m. ahead of the official opening on May 26.
Chow À La Carte is a unique opportunity for Atlanta home cooks and chefs from different cultural backgrounds to showcase their talent, test the market, and tell their stories. Pork belly adobo sanwits, canastas de plátano and sauteed radicchio are just a few of the flavorful dishes coming to Uptown Test Kitchen for Chow À La Carte’s soft opening.
Beginning May 26, Chow À La Carte will open for lunch and dinner every weekend in Uptown Test Kitchen, each time with a dynamic mix of chefs and fresh menus. Chow À La Carte will feature seven house chefs, with rotating guest chefs on the weekends. The idea for Chow À La Carte was born from Chow Club Atlanta, the successful monthly underground dining experience founded by Yohana Solomon and Amanda Plumb.
“Atlanta is lucky to have such an incredible collection of chefs from different backgrounds, cultures and countries, and Uptown Test Kitchen presented a unique opportunity to bring them together,” said Yohana, founder of Chow À La Carte in a statement. “We learned through Chow Club that people will come for the food, and keep coming back for the authentic dining experience. Chow À La Carte is a new way for Atlantans to come together over a delicious meal, while supporting our beloved community of up-and-coming international chefs.”
All seven of Chow À La Carte’s house chefs will be at Uptown Test Kitchen for the soft opening. These chefs hail from Nigeria, Italy, Colombia, Philippines, and the Caribbean, and details about each chef are outlined below. All dishes will be served via counter service and priced between $3 and $5 for the soft opening.
- Andrea George: the founder of Rapid Gourmet, she grew up in Antigua where her culture was rooted in eating natural foods that were fresh and locally grown.
- Deborah Kudelka: a private chef with 25 years of experience in the food industry and a palate developed around Italian, French and Polish cuisine.
- Elna Kolarich: a veteran in the food pop-up scene, she began popping up as Sarap Atlanta in 2011 due to the lack of representation of Filipino American and Asian American-inspired comfort food.
- Christian Lopez: a first-generation American in his Colombian family, he was inspired to create HUMO, a food experience focused on Latin American cuisine.
- Marlena Joseph: inspired by her Grandma’s culinary fare while growing up in Trinidad, she fell in love with blending seasonings and dishes from a young age and that passion has grown since then. She now works with ShamisoFoods to enhance the Caribbean culinary experience.
- Michele K Tompkins: with roots in the Bahamas and St. Thomas, she is the founder of Roots & Culture Craft Kitchen where she focuses on creating boutique experiences through diverse global cuisines. She specializes in reimagined Caribbean and Southern food.
- Wellington Onyenwe: a graduate of Molecular Toxicology and Food Additives at the University of California-Berkeley, he specializes in West African and Caribbean cuisine as well as a fusion of Latin, Italian, North American, Asian, French and German cuisines. This unique fusion style is the 15-year brainchild behind ShamisoFoods.
- Ciao Chow: a local concept known for its Ethiopian-Italian fusion gelato.
Additionally, Chow À La Carte will offer traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, pop-up art events with local artists, monthly Chow Club dinners, cooking classes, grab-and-go meals and more. The culinary program will also pop-up at future Uptown events on The Lawn, such as comedy and movie nights. Parking for Uptown Test Kitchen is available in the City Center deck.
Uptown Test Kitchen comes as part of Uptown’s food-forward program and Rubenstein’s focus on creating a globally inspired destination that collaborates with local businesses and entrepreneurs. Uptown Test Kitchen’s Chow À La Carte, is partnered with socially responsible businesses and organizations that make a significant impact in their communities, such as Atlanta Restaurant Association.
“Chow À La Carte is a unique and exciting program that will delight foodies and bring the community together,” said Mahesh Mani, senior vice president of asset management for Rubenstein.
The program will complement the forthcoming dining mix at Uptown, which includes El Gordo, a classic taqueria concept; Bene Korean, an upscale Korean barbecue experience; J’ouvert Caribbean Kitchen, a Caribbean street food and brunch restaurant; and White Windmill, a popular Korean bakery and coffee shop. These restaurants will join community favorite 26 Thai Kitchen and Bar and open along Main Street this year.
Uptown will encompass nearly 1 million square feet of office space, 120,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and a variety of community gathering spaces, all with connectivity to MARTA and the city’s major pedestrian trails, such as the Atlanta BeltLine, PATH400 and the South Fork Trail.