Chef Winnie’s Kitchen planning to reopen in Clarkston this monthWoinshet Legesse Emory is reopening Chef Winnie's Kitchen in Clarkston being closed for about two years. She is relocating to Rowland Street. Photo provided to Decaturish.
Clarkston, GA — Chef Winnie’s Kitchen is slated to reopen on Rowland Street in Clarkston in December.
Woinshet Legesse Emory opened Chef Winnie’s Kitchen in December 2020 to serve Ethiopian food and fill the stomachs, and hearts, of the community in the process. The restaurant was located on East Ponce de Leon Avenue in Clarkston.
Emory closed her restaurant in December 2021 after an issue with a rising water bill, and challenges with the landlord of her building. Two years later, Emory was able to reopen and partner with Send Relief, a ministry center that is committed to serving the surrounding refugee population, the website states.
“My new space, these are my customers who are building the building,” Emory said.
Emory said she is still working through permitting with the city of Clarkston, so she has not set a reopening date yet. She is moving into a new 4,000 square foot space. Chef Winnie’s is the anchor of the development that features 11 businesses.
She added that her hard work, community, integrity, five-star service and education have all come together to make the new restaurant a possibility.
“I have the world behind me,” Emory said. “It took two and a half years of patience. Now, I’m on my way to see the fruits of my patience, to see the proof of education that I studied day and night for months to [get my] PhD…raising four children as a single mother.”
During the two years when Chef Winnie’s was closed, Emory did some catering work. She also almost took a job in Rhode Island as a food and beverage manager at a hotel, but now she excited to get back into the kitchen and reopen her restaurant.
Emory will continue to serve Ethiopian and international food.
“With Ethiopian, I’m cooking with my background that I learned from my mom and I tweaked it a little bit from my educational background as a chef,” Emory said. “I am making a menu that is pretty much touching every culture. I infuse some of the foods with Ethiopian spices.”
She previously said that hospitality has been her life, as her parents ran a hotel and restaurant in Ethiopia when she was growing up.
“I don’t know anything but to serve people,” Emory said. “That’s my nature.”
The menu will largely be the same as before, with a few additions, like seafood. Customers can also expect to see a slight price change. Her menu will feature tibs, chicken curry, a vegetarian combo, a quesadilla, fish and an Asian-style calamari.
“I infuse the spices. It’s not like you just only put Ethiopian or just put only American spices, I just infuse them,” Emory previously said. ”[The quesadilla] touches Hispanic, but it’s my own creation, so it’s infusion. I add an Ethiopian touch in there and Ethiopian spices, but it is a quesadilla. But the hot pepper, the jalapeños, that makes it different from the regular.”
The tibs, along with the quesadilla, was one of Emory’s most popular dishes. The Ethiopian dish features meat and vegetables served on injera flatbread, and it’s meant to be eaten with one’s hands.
Emory encourages customers to visit Chef Winnie’s Kitchen when it opens “for the professional attire, the clean place, the more space, the beautiful service, and my smile and my food [that is] to die for, my creation, and my obsession,” she said. “That’s it. They need to come for that, to enjoy and have a great time.”
Chef Winnie’s will be located at 980 Rowland Street, suite 4100, in Clarkston. The restaurant plans to be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
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