Pop-ups band together in Atlanta

How independent chefs took over the food scene

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When TKO chef Lino Yi approached Sam Flemming’s table at a Grant Park café with a blowtorch pointed at a pair of boats sculpted from bean curd sheets and mounded with shredded cheese, Flemming clambered out of his chair. Flemming knew he needed to get a picture of a dish that could double as an emoji for his infatuation with Atlanta’s thriving pop-up scene.

Yi is a sous chef at Lazy Betty, where the eight-course tasting menu costs $190 without caviar supplements. In early 2021, he started showing up at other places on his nights off, serving $6 Korean corn dogs and kimchi chili.

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