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Everyday Heroes: Mia Orino

Restaurateur

Kamayan ATL has been making a name for themselves with pop-ups all over the city of Filipino fusion dishes and most notably, their Kamayan style feasts.

Mia Orino started Kamayan ATL, alongside her husband Carlo, as a pop-up store to serve Filipino comfort cuisines to the local Filipino diaspora in metro Atlanta. Their reputation grew rapidly and became immensely popular amongst the mainstream foodies with the help of social media. They decided to official restaurant at the heart of Asian Square on Buford Highway to serve their followers, which is scheduled to open in November.

“Both Carlo and I are self-taught cooks and we are passionate about promoting our regional cuisines. Most of the dishes are inspired by our mothers and family members,” says Mia.

Credit: Photo Courtesy of Mia Orino

Credit: Photo Courtesy of Mia Orino

Nonetheless, their hard work and sweat equity have gained notoriety and attention from restaurant critics. Both were widely featured as upcoming stars in Atlanta’s culinary scene by national lifestyle publications. The duo were even named as semi-finalist and emerging chefs by the prestigious James Beard Foundation this year.

Mia’s vision for the restaurant is far-reaching. She visualized her restaurant as a community gathering place and a learning space for young children.

“This is a place to gather, a place to remember the past, and a place for the next generation to look forward to,” said Mia.

The restaurant is also decorated with pieces of art and paintings created by young Filipino artists from metro Atlanta.

“Most importantly, this is also a place for young children from mixed marriages to understand their Filipino culture and heritage. I want young children to learn about their Filipino mothers heritage and traditions,” said Mia proudly. “I wanted these young children to be proud American citizens but also proud of being Filipino Americans. It is important for them to know their roots.”

Despite her busy schedule as a chef, she often carves out precious time to inspire and to provide guidance for young Filipino startups and entrepreneurs to grow their business. She often provides spaces in the restaurant for startups to sell their baked goods or desserts without taking any commissions. She also shares her kitchen with startups and caterers to prepare their orders.

Mia’s contribution to the community and her craft was recognized by Georgia Asian Times. She was honored as one the 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia honorees in July this year.

“Through our food, we can promote understanding and appreciation for others. We are happy to be able to promote our rich heritage,” says Mia humbly.

HOW TO HELP

For more information, please visit https://kamayanatl.com/.

Follow Kamayan ATL on Instagram at @kamayan_atl.


WE’RE STRONGER TOGETHER: A SPECIAL PROJECT

This place we call home is filled with ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary feats. Their selfless acts make this region so special – and they bring out the best in all of us. With the holidays upon us, we wanted to share their inspiring stories, celebrate their accomplishments, and offer ways that you can help.

Just as the 55 people we’re profiling can’t do it alone, nor can we. That’s why we worked closely with our partners to bring you this collection of uplifting stories.

We hope they leave you feeling inspired and ready to tackle the busy new year that lies ahead. We hope they make you feel more connected to your community or to your neighbors.

And maybe, just maybe, they will motivate you to come up with your own small way to make a big difference in the lives of others.

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