New South Knox restaurant serves food, music and love

Ola’s Southern Cuisine 2 is located at 7220 Chapman Hwy Suite F, Knoxville, TN 37920.
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 9:50 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2022 at 11:06 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A good chef never reveals their secret recipe, but the owners at Ola’s Southern Cuisine 2 don’t hesitate laying it all out on the table.

“The secret ingredient is in that kitchen and it’s love,” Uganda ‘The Goddess’ Reed, a co-owner, said.

Chef Daryl ‘Blaac’ Johnson, a former military chef, and his partner Uganda Reed offer more than wings, lamb and seafood. A family atmosphere is also on the menu, which is fitting for a restaurant named after the chef’s grandmother.

“With being a single dad, my grandmother would just give me her recipes and from there I just put my own twist to it,” Johnson said.

That family expanded one customer at a time. The addition became official when customers walked down the Ola’s red carpet.

“We do that, because we want everyone to feel like a celebrity,” Reed said.

Familiar faces like music artist Waka Flacka stopped by to turn his mic in for an apron. Their plan was to feed as many people as they can, especially the ones who you can’t make it out to the restaurant.

“Every night, we package what food we have left and take it to the homeless before we go home,” Reed said. “If we are giving out love, especially to our customers to the community, then we’ll be showered with their love and we like to cause like a domino effect.”

Johnson planned to pay it forward by offering cooking classes to single fathers soon.

Ola’s Southern Cuisine 2 is located at 7220 Chapman Hwy Suite F, Knoxville, TN 37920.

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