From the Chef's Kitchen

Teamwork is the best recipe

We asked a few of our favorite chefs in BuckHaven to tell us about what they will be cooking this autumn season and where they found inspiration for a favorite dish. And, a good restaurant is about more than just a talented chef. So we asked them to share how their team and family has lifted them up over these challenging months.

John Castellucci
The Iberian Pig Buckhead

One of my favorite dishes to cook during the autumn season is Lamb Shank. It is the perfect dish for when it starts getting a little chilly outside. It is unctuous and rich with a slight gameyness that I love. Growing up Lamb Shank was a staple at our household for special events and celebration. My dad would wake up early in the morning and drag me out of bed half asleep to help him prep the braise. It was one of the first dishes I can remember learning. It takes patience and attention to detail to do it right.  I usually like to serve it with a creamy parsnip puree and some roasted wild mushrooms.

Our team at the restaurant has been incredible during the pandemic. Everyone has come together and really bonded. Everyone both front and back of house is helping with all aspects of the operation from dishwashing to running to-go bags out to cars. From a culinary perspective we have been able to stay creative and push the menu forward by leaning on everyone for creativity. Currently we have 2 line cooks that both have a dish on the menu.

The Iberian Pig Buckhead is open daily for both dine-in and takeout with social distancing and additional safety measures in place.

Chef Mimmo Alboumeh
Botica Restaurant (Bow-ta-kah)
(Formerly Watershed)

We will be doing a lot of delicious smoked meats this fall to go in our street style tacos.  It’s all about the tacos, which are inspired by the flavors of Spain and Mexico.  The menu is elevated, chef-driven Mexican cuisine. Expect a next-level brunch Saturdays and Sundays with my signature bottomless Mimosas.

My elite team of managers are the heart of the restaurant and they’ve been with me from two to 18 years. They are family. My eight-year-old daughter Maya has been my inspiration to cook during the pandemic, and she has tried every item on our menu.  You will see her in the restaurant kitchen when we create the first taco.  We will follow COVID guidelines. We have 100 seats for al fresco dining and will offer take-out, catering and a kids menu.

Chef Joe Brown
Little Alley Steak Buckhead

We love all the fresh ingredients available at local farmers markets. The Brussel sprouts are beautiful this time of year as are sweet potatoes and the fresh garlic is plump and always best in late summer and fall. These are things we feature prominently at Little Alley and all are fan favorites.

It’s definitely taken a village. It’s why the F&H Food Trading Group is more than just a restaurant group. It’s like a family to all of us. Starting with me, the managers, servers, hostesses, dishwashers, everyone plays an integral part. The past year, dealing with the fire and then Covid-19, I don’t think we would have survived if we didn’t have a ‘team’ mentality. I don’t take anything for granted.

An accidental kitchen fire forced Little Alley Steak Buckhead to close in November of 2019. Then the pandemic hit, but the steakhouse is finally back to business. The 9,000 sq. ft. space is open for inside and patio dining, offering the finest cuts of meat from renowned butcher Meats by Linz in Chicago. They offer over 400 bottles of bourbon, whiskey and Scotch. Offering take-out.

Chef Chad Clevenger
Alma Cocina Buckhead 

Alma Cocina Buckhead prides itself on always changing menus to match the freshest and most desirable seasonal ingredients.  Fall opens itself up to things like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples, pomegranates, pears, huitlacoche and more. One dish I’m excited about is our Pumpkin Chochoyotes with nixtamalized sweet potatoes, mushrooms, apples, cashew crema and huitlacoche sauce. This fully flavored vegan dish provides earthy, sweet and acidic notes.  The mushrooms and huitlacoche provide the rich “meaty” flavor, whilst the other ingredients provide fun flavors and textures for your palate.

There are so many unsung heroes right now and my gratitude goes to all of them. We aren’t front line heroes, but we are food heroes  This time has really brought the front + back of the house management together, even more.  There might be a time where a sous chef has to wash dishes for the night. Or a front of the house manager has to expo the line.  We are not only doing what is expected of us but banding together to go above and beyond, for our guests. Fifth Group has always been exceptional with safety and it’s amazing to see their even greater commitment during this challenging time. I feel thankful to have such a great team by my side daily and I look forward to seeing more guests return to Alma Cocina Buckhead. 

Alma Cocina Buckhead is open for both dine-in and takeout with social distancing and enhanced safety measures in place. Open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday. Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

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