Meet Asha Gomez
Chef Asha Gomez hails from the Southern Indian state of Kerala (The Land of Spices), but now calls Atlanta, Georgia home. While she is best known for blending her two Southern cultures to create a unique cooking style - think Indian spiced fried chicken. Asha is passionate about her advocacy and policy work aimed at reducing global food insecurity via her involvement with the organizations: CARE, Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry, Chefs Manifesto, and the James Beard Foundation.
Asha grew up in a family that was always cooking, and followed the lead of her mother and three aunts in the kitchen, learning from them the recipes of coastal Kerala. In 2008, she launched Spice Route Supper Club, a series of dinners where she served the food of her native Kerala, and in 2011 she opened her first restaurant, the acclaimed Cardamom Hill restaurant in Atlanta’s West Side neighborhood, showcasing the blending of her two Souths.
The restaurant earned her a spot on Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants list in 2012, a nod as one of Southern Living’s 5 Best Restaurants in the South, and a James Beard Award nomination for Best New Restaurant in 2013.
In 2014, Asha opened the more casual Spice to Table in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. More of an “Indian patisserie,” Spice to Table offered pastries, kathi rolls, and a handful of savory dishes. Around the same time, she also opened Third Space, a high-end culinary studio where she created custom culinary experiences, while also offering cooking demos and classes.
Asha is the author of two cookbooks, My Two Souths (2016), and I Cook In Color (2020), both from Running Press. Both cookbooks have received rave reviews from the Washington Post, Garden and Gun, and The New York Times, to name a few. My Two Souths was nominated as a finalist for a James Beard Award in the American Cooking category, and was also a finalist in Gourmand's World Cookbook Awards, while also being recognized as one of the “100 Best Cookbooks of All Time,” by Southern Living.
Her most recent cookbook, I Cook in Color, challenges the barriers built around her and the food she is expected to cook, and takes readers on a flavorful voyage from the comfort of their own home kitchen, celebrating cross-cultural flavors, rainbows of vegetables and gem-toned desserts, all with the spice-forward twists that Asha has become known for.