Food Network Star Palak Patel is back home in the A for good—and she brought her Indian cooking flair along for the ride.
Handvo lentil muffins
Growing up, Palak Patel lived in India with her extended family of 15. Needless to say, dinners were always a production. But even so, every meal was made from scratch. It was here that the Chopped champion and winner of Beat Bobby Flay found her passion for the craft. “I accompanied my mom to the market while she shopped for fruits and vegetables and couldn’t wait to get home and learn how to cook everything from my mom and grandma,” recalls Patel. “Each meal was meticulously made with love and that always stuck with me. Feeding the people I love is in my DNA,” adds the chef.
It was family that called her back home to our beloved city, where they have lived since 2005. “I came back to Atlanta to be closer to my family at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and little did I know that I would end up making Atlanta home again,” shares Patel. The celebrated chef also brings a dash of her Indian cooking expertise along with her. Opened this August at Upper Westside’s Chattahoochee Food Works, Dash & Chutney (@dashandchutney) is a culmination of Patel’s two favorite things: Indian cuisine and street food. “I feel like the project chose me. When I walked in it felt right—both the space and the concept.”
Dash & Chutney offers a fully vegan menu influenced by Patel’s heritage, worldly travels and favorite childhood dishes. “I grew up eating my way through various cities in India and love the stories, history and flavors with each bite,” says Patel. Dishes like sev papdi chaat, a popular Indian street food, which Patel says to “think of as a cousin of nachos,” and samosa chaat, inspired by her family’s tradition of making the classic Indian meal together, are among the chef’s specialties. “I would say samosa chaat is not to be missed—a flavor-packed dish where one bite transports your taste buds,” adds Patel
When she isn’t busy cheffing it up at The Works, or dining at oft-frequented ATL staples Antico, Gunshow and La Tavola, you can find Patel on your TV screen starring as a panelist on her latest Food Network venture, Money Hungry, which premiered in early August. And as for us, we’ll be waiting hungrily in the Dash & Chutney line for the master chef herself
Photography by: Adam Milliron