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Michaela Graham on the Opening of The Atlanta Nosh

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The Atlanta Underground Market, which Michaela Graham founded before The Atlanta Nosh. Photo by Julia Hurtado of <a href="http://doctorprincess.blogspot.com/2012/01/atlanta-underground-market-at-history.html">Dr. Princess</a>.
The Atlanta Underground Market, which Michaela Graham founded before The Atlanta Nosh. Photo by Julia Hurtado of Dr. Princess.

The Atlanta Nosh, a weekly market with 100 vendors selling unique and ethnic foods, opens April 15 at Atlantic Station. Founded by Michaela Graham of Atlanta Underground Market, The Atlanta Nosh is the first of its stature in the city. Here, Eater chats with Graham about what to expect.

What are you looking forward to the most about The Atlanta Nosh?
Showing Atlanta how much fun food can be. It's so easy for us to stay in our comfort zone. With small plates it's much easier for people to be adventurous and try something they've never had before. I love the energy that surrounds me when people with a passion are setting up for the market. They're following their dream and there's so much awesome energy all around that you can't help but feel it, whether you're a vendor or an attendee.

How do you see it progressing in the future?
I tend to not have set plans, but rather let things evolve. Four months ago I didn't know I would start the Nosh and now, here we are.

What up-and-comers in the ATL food scene are you most excited about?
I see Yohana Solomon from Kushina Catering breaking out. She participated in the first AUM as a passionate homecook and loved it so much that she's done every AUM (13). She's being creative with her Ethiopian cuisine and has garnered quite a following. Then there's Cheikh Ndyiae from Terranga without Borders, who's been participating since May. He's from Senegal and is bringing his Ethnic cuisine, tinged with Mediterranean influences. Lis Hernandez of Arepa Mia has also been participating since May and has a huge line the minute we open, that doesn't stop until she's sold out - about 1.5 hours into it. People are willing to wait 45 minutes for one of her Venezuelan arepas. She's going to open her own restaurant inside the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in the next couple of months.

We have many new vendors with interesting dishes like Elaine Olivares from Musubites, who prepared Hawaiian chicken bites on rice, wrapped in seaweed - like sushi. There's Carrell Farms from Monroe Georgia, who are raising grass-fed Asian water buffalos (and alpacas) and are selling their organic meat to take home. Then there's James Chien from Chef One, LLC, who's cooking Asian/Cajun fusion. FInally we're also going to have a Raw vegan chef - Pam Cherioli, who will bring her raw cuisine and introduce all of us 'normal eaters' to some of her yummy creations. Kathleen Albright from The Mac Shack is selling different flavor mac ‘n cheese to take home, for example Buffalo chicken mac 'n' cheese.

Anything else you can add?
The market is an incubator. About 60 or 70 vendors have officially started their business for The Nosh, meaning having gotten business licenses just for this. Because of my requirement for the AUM and now The Nosh has been that the dishes have to be unusual and not easily found in local restaurants, it is raising the bar. People will taste things that they've never tasted before and might not have again outside of this market.

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