Chef Savannah Sasser is on the road to Athens.
A little more than one year ago, Sasser departed from Twain’s Brewpub & Billiards in Decatur to run the kitchen at Hampton + Hudson in Inman Park. Now, she has accepted the executive chef position at The Expat in Athens, the soon-to-open restaurant and cocktail lounge by Atlanta barman Jerry Slater and his wife Krista.
Sasser’s final day at Hampton + Hudson is April 15.
“It’s a cool concept and I’m excited to be part of it,” Sasser said of The Expat, a French-inspired bistro that will be located in a two-story space in the Five Points neighborhood of Athens.
The hire came about recently, after Sasser was introduced to the Slaters at a culinary event in Atlanta. “Immediately, there was a similar thought process about service, the importance of farms and sourcing local. It was almost kismet,” Sasser said.
“The two philosophies met really well,” echoed Jerry Slater.
As construction on the space nears completion for an anticipated opening the first week of May, Sasser is working to finalize the food menu.
“It’s very French-esque,” she said. “Gougeres with crème fraiche and caviar, scallops, crudo, pasta and sausages – you’ll see all of that.”
Sasser called her tenure at Hampton + Hudson “a good experience” and noted that the position challenged her creativity. “I’ve had to push my boundaries,” she said.
“She brought a different perspective to Hampton + Hudson that we will continue,” said co-owner Billy Streck, citing as examples the food-related events as well as healthy food options that Sasser added to the menu. He called Sasser’s move to the Expat “a great opportunity” for her. “This is right up her alley. I think she will do really well out there.”
Streck expects to make a decision regarding Sasser’s replacement in the next week.