We’d be hard-pressed to find a more exuberant culinary master than Chef Asha Gomez. With this feast for two at her very own spot, she plans to spread the love through every course – from your first sip of chai to your final bite of her signature fried chicken. (They don’t call it the joy of cooking for nothing, after all.)
Ever since we had our first tastes of Asha Gomez’s cooking in a certain cozily clandestine supper club years ago, we’ve been hooked. Since then, we’ve followed her culinary climb like devotees – from her beloved underground Spice Route dinner parties, to their brick and mortar leap at Cardamom Hill, the opening of the Third Space, to their most recent evolution at Spice to Table. And we weren’t the only ones to become smitten with her passion for Kerala cuisine and the flavors of South India: her nomination from the James Beard Awards and a tip of the hat from Bon Appetit were proof in the pudding.
To Asha, the food that she cooks is a manifestation of her entire life experience – from her youth in South India, where she grew up loving her Amma’s signature carrot cake, to her life in the American South, where she’s nurtured a family of her own and blossomed her culinary career. The sum of her histories? Slow-braised lamb biryani served family-style, tangy curried shrimp served over grits and lentils, and her famous “crack chicken” we frequently find ourselves daydreaming about (it is some of the best in the country, after all). Every bite is more complex than the last, so be warned: the food is so fresh and flavorful, you may bite into a whole cardamom pod, bursting with that smoky, spicy, sweet flavor. Asha’s menu changes periodically, but you can bet on enjoying a feast of aromatic Indian delights like her famous fried chicken; spiced spinach and potatoes; sambar, a warm lentil stew flavored with tamarind; simple dill and cucumber salad; roasted fish in a cayenne, turmeric and lime juice marinade; butter chicken, a rich, warm curry, flavored with ginger, garlic, coriander and cumin; and beef keema, a meat-and-potatoes comfort staple dish. And never fear, Scouts, your feast for two is kicked off with samosas, crispy and filled with savory goodness, and enjoyed with a cup of sweet spiced chai. Now that’s a winter meal that’ll keep us warm for the duration.