Soul food, but make it vegan. Knoxville family opens restaurant in Marble City Market
Customers can find collard greens, sweet potatoes, quinoa, stews and soon vegan fried chicken, all made from scratch, on the menu.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - After years of catering, Tor Ajanaku and his wife have opened Kianga’s Kitchen inside Marble City Market. The business is said to be the first and only exclusive soul food restaurant in downtown Knoxville.
“The basis of most food is plant-based in times of the Great Depression and most people ate plant-based foods. And in the times of scarcity around the planet,” said Ajanaku. “People ate plant based foods, so those recipes are out there, there’s just been forgotten.”
The idea for the new restaurant and name comes from his late mother, who he introduced us to the annual Kummba Festival and her family to veganism.
“We were in a kitchen being food alchemist and we were creating all kinds of different flavor profiles and dishes,” Ajanaku said.
The menu features collard greens, sweet potatoes, quinoa, stews and soon vegan fried chicken, all made from scratch.
Ajanaku told WVLT News the restaurant would not have happened without his family, friends and the community’s help.
“We are here because they, they wanted us to be here,” Ajanaku said.
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