Chef's Table - Heart-y stew

There's something theatrical about the employees of Souper Jenny, the 7-year-old Buckhead eatery. They often break out in song or dance. Turns out, owner Jenny Levison and her staff are working actors, and with her hours — 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. — the job is perfect.

I love the daily hotline where folks can call in to find out what's cooking.

Our staff is too small to always answer the phone, so we created the hotline. Either Mitchell Anderson or myself does it.

It's smart that you give the Weight Watchers points for all your soups.

That started because I'm a member. We only do it for the soups, because I can figure them out.

How many soup recipes do you have?

I don't really use recipes, except for My Dad's Turkey Chili — our most popular soup. But I rotate over a 100.

Do you have a favorite soup?

I really like hearty, chunky soups. I get in here every day at 4:30 or 5 a.m. and start chopping and adding things. I made a great chicken/artichoke/white bean soup yesterday.

Are cold soups a success?

I don't like them but customers do, especially the gazpacho. But we never sell as much as hot soups. My original concept was to be open just nine months a year ... and take summers off. But because of finances, that's not possible.

You offer your patrons a daily meditation, and everyone seems so convivial. Do you get grumbly types?

Of course, but I like to turn it around. We're missionaries. I don't want people to feel rushed. I want them to have good food and good service.

The vibe here is the opposite of the Soup Nazi.

I'm the Soup Jew, a really nice soup person.

Souper Jenny, 56 E. Andrews Drive. 404-239-9023.


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