I had the distinct pleasure of dining with a friend at Asha’s restaurant in Atlanta, and of having a discussion with Asha after dinner about our inverted common experience of operating restaurants in these two souths referenced in the title of her new cookbook (she has family in Kerala and I have family in Atlanta, and we both live in one another’s country of birth).
My foodie dinner companion and I thought it would be interesting for Asha to come to Kerala to share her culinary talents in one or more of the kitchens we were in the process of setting up at the time of that dinner a couple years ago. Asha was then, and obviously remains, quite too busy for that. Go, Asha!
Can the remix be better than the original? It’s something to contemplate while working through the chef Asha Gomez’s debut cookbook, “My Two Souths: Blending the Flavors of India Into a Southern Kitchen,” with Martha Hall Foose. Ingredients make unexpected cameos that often steal the show.
The first South in this book is Kerala, the Indian state on the Arabian Sea. Ms. Gomez learned to grind and combine spices in the kitchen of her family’s compound there. She moved to Queens and later to Atlanta, home base for her second South. There Ms. Gomez ran Cardamom Hill, a well-received, if short-lived, restaurant before opening her current venture, the lunch spot Spice to Table in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood…
Read the whole review here.