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Chef Spotlight on Thip Athakhanh

For the cover story of our most recent print edition, we are excited to again be working with our sponsor San Pellegrino to shine a spotlight on nine talented men and women who are moving and shaking the Atlanta dining scene with new restaurants, concepts, and flavors. Their passion and creativity are setting new trends that are sure to elevate your dining experiences. In this post, we feature Chef Thip Athakhanh who is currently creating memorable dining experiences at Snackboxe Bistro.

Photo by Karen Pagano Florence

Atlanta-based husband and wife team, Thip and Vanh Athakhanh, are the founders of Snackboxe Bistro, and their recent trip to Laos in 2016 inspired them to reconnect deeply with their roots and bring their passion for Laotian culture and food to life. Thip’s professional background includes freelance photography and over 10 years of experience in global supply chain/project management. Her expertise in sourcing, negotiating, and the ability to develop forecast models transferred seamlessly into the restaurateur world, allowing Snackboxe to offer high-quality ingredients while keeping costs competitive. She creates her own menu and recipes, constantly brainstorming innovative ideas that will let her marry old-school tradition with the latest food trends. Her goal is to introduce the community to the international cuisine she believes Atlantans have been missing out on — Laotian food!

DiningOut Magazine: What sets Atlanta’s dining scene apart from other Southern cities?

Chef Thip Athakhanh: Atlanta is the 10th largest melting-pot city in the country. It is a paradise for foodies with an adventurous palate. Along one
popular strip known as Buford Highway, you can find Korean, Malaysian, Latino, Burmese, and Japanese cuisines, plus so much more to explore. Atlanta is a community of dreamers and doers, unapologetic of who they are or where they are from—passionate and very proud. That is what
makes Atlanta stand out.

Why choose Atlanta as the home for your culinary career? 

Atlanta will always be home. My husband, my family, and memorable milestones are here. I can always count on Atlanta for its warm Southern
hospitality and sweet tea. And where else can you experience four different seasons in one day? Atlanta is pretty amazing.

What seasonal ingredients can you find in Atlanta that you cannot find elsewhere?

Purple yam. We incorporate seasonal fruits and locally-sourced herbs and veggies in both our food and drink menus. When it’s mango season, we bring back our most popular dessert, the “mango sticky rice.” If the mangoes are not ripe and sweet, we will not serve it. We offer weekly specials to give our team the opportunity to experiment with new techniques; servers are always excited by our specials.

What food trends do you think are next to arrive in Atlanta? 

I anticipate seeing more street food concepts incorporated into a “dining experience.” Chefs will continue to create culinary creations, combining
traditional techniques with a modern approach and turn it into something extraordinary.

Photo by Karen Pagano Florence

Read the full article featuring “Chefs To Watch” in DiningOut Atlanta Magazine online.

By Denise Romeo, Atlanta City Editor watchlist