If you've ever had a meal at The Alden in Chamblee, you know the food prepared by Chef Jared Hucks is more than just a plate of food. It's art – and it's also delicious!
What many people may not know is, Jared traveled many miles, has worked with some of the best chefs, and in some of the best restaurants in the world! But even with all his extensive travels and experience, his philosophy in the kitchen is simple. “Chefs are servants,” he says. “For me, it’s still about serving people and transcending love from a craft. And that’s important to me.”
Growing up in metro Atlanta, Jared he got his first taste of working in a restaurant at the LaStrada, an Italian restaurant in Marietta. And he loved it. Jared says it was the energy and the craziness of being in the kitchen. “I really embraced it,” he says.
While attending college at University of Colorado in Boulder, his fondness for the kitchen as opposed to classes and academics eventually won out and Jared attended The French Culinary Institute in New York City, where he not only graduated, but he graduated with honors.
But perhaps it was his travels that taught him the most about cooking. Jared’s travels took him all around the globe from New Zealand to Australia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and he eventually made it to Western Europe and Scandinavia. Throughout his travels, he managed to work at the best restaurants and was mentored by some of the best, world-renowned chefs of our time, including Chef Juan Mari Arzak.
Eventually, Jared felt it was time to return home, and he brought with him all that he had learned to open The Alden. The restaurant features an A La Carte menu and a Chef’s Tasting Menu of innovative dishes that serves up a global culinary experience in Chamblee.
Jared describes the menu as eclectic and global, based on his travels and his experiences abroad. Some of the favorite dishes include the Kim Chi Farm Egg that is made in-house with fermented cabbage and a soft, coddled, Sous-Vide egg, giving the dish an amazing texture, Jared explains. And then there’s the popular Tamarind Glazed Pork Belly and the Jah Joy Chicken Katsu.
The menus at The Alden are seasonal. For fall, Jared says patrons can expect more root vegetables, black truffles, oysters, and lobster. And patrons can anticipate the return of the Aldorf Salad, a variation of the traditional Waldorf Salad, and later another favorite, the Carrot Salad, will be back on the menu.
The Alden also offers a Chef’s Tasting Menu where diners are treated to meals mindfully selected by the chef. “We do this amazing chef tasting menu,” Jared explains. “It’s highly sought after, and we have people coming, literally, from all over the country.” He says that the tasting menu is an opportunity for the chef to express himself. And it’s also a great way to celebrate a special event or a fun evening out. The tasting menu changes daily. A sample Chef’s Tasting Menu can be found on the restaurant’s website.
Jared says the food is sauce centric. It’s no surprise that when the restaurant ran out of a popular sauce, Jared quickly reached for the ingredients and made the sauce from scratch. Now, his Jah Joy sauce, a sweet chili sauce, is available for purchase at the restaurant and Big Green Egg for home use.
Opening a restaurant is never easy, but just after getting up and running smoothly and building a good culture, COVID hit. Thanks to generous suppliers, Jared and his staff were able to give back to the community by feeding first responders at places nearby like Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Chamblee Police Department, the Chamblee Fire Department and many others.
“The most exciting thing for me is that I can literally cook whatever I want,” Jared says about owning his own restaurant. “There are no guidelines. It’s been five years and we’re just now finding our traction, and I’m really excited about what’s ahead.“
For more information, visit TheAlden.com.
Chefs are servants. For me, it’s still about serving people and transcending love from a craft. And that’s important to me. Jared Hucks, chef and owner of The Alden