Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/24/23
Culinary Pop-Up Accelerator will Host Chef Residences, a Monthly Rotation of Chefs Serving Weekend Brunch, & Themed Collaboration Dinners on Mondays
Ponce City Market announces Punk Foodie, an Atlanta pop-up restaurant curator and storytelling platform that amplifies and cultivates the city’s thriving underground and independent food scene, will open a food stall in the Central Food Hall this fall. Named Punk Foodie @ Ponce, the concept will be a restaurant and chef accelerator, with a rotating, curated roster of pop-up chefs that represent the often unheralded diversity and talent driving Atlanta’s future restaurant landscape.
With a mission to champion budding local chefs, grant their culinary creations broader exposure, and enhance their commercial success while enriching Atlanta’s culinary scene, Punk Foodie @ Ponce will be home to one- to two-month chef residences, a monthly rotation of pop-up chefs serving weekend brunch, and themed chef collaboration dinners on Mondays. Guests will be able to explore a variety of cuisines and dishes not easily found across the city.
“Pop-up chefs are creating pictures of the new South through local and global ingredients served in styrofoam take-out boxes from borrowed kitchens and 10×10 tents with tabletop fryers all over the city,” says Sam Flemming, Founder of Punk Foodie. “Now, with the new food stall at Ponce City Market, we’re helping pop-up chefs accelerate to the next level by allowing them to test concepts, build a brand and establish a track record as a means to open brick-and-mortar restaurants that will drive the evolution of Atlanta’s dining scene.”
Upon opening, Ganji will take up residence in the new food stall and serve Asian-inspired fast fusion – American fare infused with Asian essentials and flavors. Ganji Founders Jess Kim and Jun Park are culinary school graduates of Le Cordon Bleu and Culinary Institute of America, respectively, and have extensive experience in kitchens and management positions at multiple Atlanta restaurant groups including Korean Wives, Seed Hospitality and Castellucci Hospitality Group. Other chefs slated for the first month include Mighty Hans (Taiwanese-American), Krupana (Bosnian-ish) and Jimmie’s Jerk Chicken (American Jerk & BBQ). The chefs for a Fripper’s Hot Dog night will be announced in September.
Chefs who are interested in being part of the accelerator program are invited to claim a chef profile on the Punk Foodie ‘pop-up finder’ app. Chefs are selected based on app analytics of their activity and Punk Foodie’s deep understanding of the pop-up scene.
When Punk Foodie Founder Sam Flemming moved to Atlanta, he fell in love with the city’s burgeoning underground dining scene filled with pop-up chefs and food trucks – aspiring restaurateurs serving some of the most interesting, cutting-edge, authentic, and unique food in Atlanta. The whole thing reminded him of a punk rock scene, but for food. This interest led him to launch Punk Foodie in 2021. Today, the Punk Foodie platform consists of @punkfoodie.atl Instagram account, a weekly newsletter, a weekly column in Rough Draft Atlanta, the Road Crew foodie content agency, an events arm that curates chef-driven events like Punk Foodie Fest, and the ‘pop-up finder’ Punk Foodie app. With the launch of Punk Foodie @ Ponce, Punk Foodie now has an integrated and powerful platform that generates content, builds community, provides information, and offers tangible business opportunities to pop-up chefs and the broader independent restaurant scene driving the evolution of the Atlanta dining.
Since opening to the public in 2015, Ponce City Market has become a must-visit place on travelers’ Atlanta bucket lists, a beacon in Atlanta’s skyline and a destination for locals to gather, shop, eat, explore art and cultural happenings, live, and more. Small business owners – both retailers and restaurateurs – have turned their dreams into realities at Ponce City Market, with many starting as pop-ups or within Citizen Supply and expanding into their own spaces, like Pizza Jeans, Cake Culture, Modern Mystic Shop, and Elk Head Clothing. One of Atlanta’s few female restaurateurs, Tal Baum, opened her first concept Bellina Alimentari in 2017, and since has opened a second restaurant at Ponce City Market, Atrium, and Aziza and Falafel Nation at Jamestown’s property Westside Provisions District. Her sixth concept, Carmel, opened earlier this summer at Jamestown-owned Buckhead Village.