If you were forced to describe Shaun Doty, the first word you would be scrambling for is passionate. The Atlanta based chef, restaurateur and food philosopher exudes an undeniable and infectious love for his cooking, ingredients and customers. And he lives by a code that is simple and easy to understand: “I like affordable, quality dining.”
Doty’s varied and ambitious career has led him through culinary stints in Dallas, Charleston (South Carolina), France, Belgium, Colorado, and South Hampton (Long Island). Since the early 2000’s, though, he has called Atlanta home. First at the European influenced MidCity Cuisine, then at Table 1280, before opening his first restaurant, Shauns, a casual neighborhood bistro near historic Inman Park. After Shauns, Doty opened YEAH! BURGER in 2010, followed by Bantam & Biddy—the beloved (and affordable) rotisserie chicken restaurant—in the fall of 2012.
This month, Chick-A-Biddy, Doty’s latest restaurant and the sister restaurant of Batnam & Biddy, opened to the public. Doty’s most recent endeavor holds true to his policy of creating affordable, quality dining. However, where Bantam & Biddy taps into traditional Southern cooking, Chick-A-Biddy pushes the envelope a littler further.
“This [Chick-A-Biddy] is more artistic and creatively driven,” says Doty. “The menu is simple; it’s more contemporary. In addition to gluten-free fried chicken, we have a lot of salads with unique ingredients and have incorporated plenty of local vendors into the items and dishes that we serve. It’s table service that’s informal. It’s a non-pretentious environment.”
What Doty is aiming to achieve with Chick-A-Biddy is a restaurant that serves “chef driven” products (basically high quality dishes), but at a price point that is affordable for someone who is just embarking on their own culinary education. That’s why you will find Warm Kale Salad ($10) butting up against Wood Grilled Fish Tacos ($10), a Blackened Chicken Burger ($10), a Black Bean Quinoa Burger ($10), and gluten-free fried Chicken ($12 for a quarter, $15 for a half) that comes either hot or mild.
Though the menu’s offerings are mainly gluten-free, Chick-A-Biddy is not a “health food” restaurant. “I don’t even advocate a low-fat diet,” Mr. Doty explains. “The problem in our society is highly processed foods and foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup. We want to make unprocessed, fresh, forward-looking food that anyone can stop in and buy.” Doty’s own son cannot eat gluten, so the desire to remove that ingredient from his menu stems from a place of personal passion, not just professional.
Even though Doty has traveled and cooked all over the world, opened a variety of restaurants, and can wax poetic on the philosophies and importance of using local ingredients (“I won’t use any lettuce that is pre-washed”), in the end, his message remains undeniably fundamental.
“Now that I am a little older, all I want to do is apply all the things I’ve learned and accumulated into something that I think is important. And what I think is important is that people should be able to get a quality meal at an affordable price.
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