UPDATE: We've reached our original goal (!!!!!), but we're still going! As we've already announced, anything we raise over $20,000 is going to go toward investing in our relationships with the farmers growing our ingredients.
We already work with some amazingly talented farmers, and we try to showcase the awesome produce they grow. But for many Thai ingredients that we use, we have yet to find a consistent supplier.
In southern Florida, there is a Thai and Lao farming community growing pandanus, heirloom mango varieties, young, brown, and white coconuts, banana leaves, bananas, jackfruit, and tons of herbs- ingredients that I can only find irregularly in Atlanta. You have already tasted what it's like when we feature Georgian produce, but with fresh Thai ingredients, you could taste the kinds of fresh flavors that you probably haven't had in America. We would be changing the possibilities for Thai food in the south.
It's been a dream of mine for a long time to go down there and get to know some of the farmers. With your support, I want to develop some new relationships and try to buy Thai ingredients directly from these farmers. To celebrate reaching our original goal, and also to incentivize you to give to our further efforts, we're excited to announce a special event-
Stone Mountain Cattle Co, one of our meat purveyors, has donated a whole hog to the Kickstarter campaign. On September 10th, we'll be doing a whole hog cookout - laab out of the pork, Thai sides, drinks, and more - at Wrecking Bar. This is the final event of our campaign - check out our newsletter announcement for more information and how to buy tickets. (note: we have changed the date from the 10th to now the 11th)
We're so excited to do an event with one of our current purveyors to fund possible work with future purveyors- it's all coming together. We hope you'll consider continuing to give to the campaign's stretch goal. We're still offering all of our original rewards and pledge levels, of course, and every bit that you guys give helps Talat Market grow.
Talat Market is set to open in Grant Park, spring 2019. We have our location. We have our team together: the chefs, managers, accountants, bankers, and coconuts. We have a menu; we have our concept. The nuts and bolts of the restaurant have come together.
We're happy to have a home for Talat Market, but we don't want it to be just another mass-manufactured restaurant. We know the unique food we want to serve at Talat Market, because we've been defining and refining our food for the last two years. But while eating out is, certainly, about the food, it's also about the atmosphere and what's bringing people around the table. Now, with our restaurant, we have the opportunity to create the kind of restaurant experience for customers that we've always wanted to provide.
As we enter the final stages of restaurant planning, we're determined to add all of the details and finishing touches and neon signs that reflect our approach to cooking and our approach to bringing people together. And that's where we need some help- turning our food that you already know into a full-blown experience.
In our food, we've been combining Thai technique and Georgia ingredients. Now we want to combine southern hospitality with Thai food culture- Talat Market is bringing Bangkok's energy, chaos, and tables-crowded-with-shared-plates eating style to Atlanta.
We have been operating Talat Market as a part-time pop-up out of Gato in Candler Park for the last two years. In that time, we have gone from unknown chefs to one of the most popular pop-ups in the whole city. After doubling our business in the first six months, we had a packed dining room of quirky and awesome customers every weekend.
Talat Market serves "Georgian Thai" food that combines fresh, local ingredients with Thai techniques. We source our product from local farmers and we test our recipes carefully. We just returned from a trip to Thailand, where we sought out specific dishes, dissected broths, learned from grandmothers, and ate just about everything in sight. We're even more energized than ever before- we are ready to change the perception of Thai food in Atlanta.
While at Gato, we've received a fair amount of media attention (*hair flip*), which helped us get our story out all over the city. You can read features and reviews about us in Creative Loafing, Atlanta Magazine, Eater ATL, Georgia Voice, or the AJC.
In between shaking hands, kissing babies, and still keeping an eye on the simmering curry on the stovetop, we've also gotten some awards and recognitions. In 2018, Parnass was nominated as a James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Semifinalist and won StarChefs Rising Star Award Atlanta. Locally, Parnass was named The Chef to Watch 2018 (Atlanta Magazine) and Chef of the Year 2017 (Eater ATL), and Talat Market won Best Pop-Up 2017 (Atlanta Magazine).
We have funding for opening the doors of the restaurant. But we need support for the finishing touches, the specialized equipment, and the design for the front-of-house. We bought a lot of the decor and special appliances from Thailand (it's currently being shipped to America on a big ol' boat), and we also are buying things here in Atlanta. Here are some highlights-
We want to make Talat Market unlike any other restaurant in Atlanta, and we've been so lucky to build a community around what we're doing. Talat Market has gotten this far because of the support we've received from so many different people.
If you like what we do, and you believe in this kind of food and this kind of hospitality, we hope you'll consider contributing to the campaign. We appreciate you and your support as we continue to pour our blood, sweat, tears, and gallons of coconut milk into our new home.
If you are interested in following our journey, you can subscribe to our newsletter here. We'll be sending weekly campaign updates, and once the campaign ends, you can stay up to date with our fall pop-ups, special dinners, and the progress of the brick and mortar restaurant.
Risks and challenges
Chef Parnass Savang and Sous Chef Rod Lassiter were brought together through a deep, deep love of fermented rice, and they haven't looked back since. At the Talat Market pop-up, we've grown an amazing back of house and front of house team, and that team is bringing their expertise and passion to open up Talat Market. We are ready and excited for the work ahead of us.
Much of Talat is an expression of Parnass’ experience growing up with Lao and Thai parents who own a Thai restaurant in Lawrenceville, GA. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Parnass worked at Atlanta institutions like Empire State South, Staplehouse, and Kimball House. He uses his background and many influences to create his unique take on "Georgian Thai" food.
Rod spent his childhood around home-cooked southern food in Tallahassee, Florida, and he has worked over a decade in professional kitchens. In Atlanta, he has worked as the Executive Sous Chef and interim Head Chef at Wrecking Bar Brewpub, the Executive Chef at Ration and Dram, and Tournant at Kimball House. Through his work all around Atlanta, Rod prioritizes using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients in his food, and he's developed relationships with local farmers and producers.
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