Curried smoked herring from Heritage Supper Club
Photo courtesy of Bread & Butterfly

Dish By DishAtlanta

How Bread & Butterfly is Reexamining Its French Roots Through an African Lens


Notice anything different about Inman Park’s go-to French café? After eight years, Bread & Butterfly has turned over a new leaf, with original chef-owner Billy Allin handing over the keys to rising culinary talent Demetrius Brown and co-owner Brandon Blanchard. And the kitchen has seriously been reexamining its French roots ever since.

It’s unsurprising if you consider Brown and Blanchard’s previous project: Heritage Supper Club, a pop-up that dove into ancestral African foodways (Brown is of Trinidadian and West African descent). They’ve been at the helm of Bread & Butterfly since August 2023 and Brown has slowly but surely been making menu changes — changes that bridge the gap between France and the African diaspora.

“Our main goal is to make French food interesting again,” Brown laughs. “You know, people think the French just got vanilla out of the sky. No, it came from Madagascar, one of their colonies. Without vanilla, you wouldn’t have crème brûlées, choux, and all of that.”

Brown studied deeply before launching Heritage Supper Club. That research included everything from reading up on seminal cookbooks like “Senegal” by Pierre Thiam and “A Taste of Haiti” by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas; learning from local Atlanta chefs Cleophus Hethington, Maximilian Hines, and Justin Dixon; and taking inspiration from groundbreaking restaurants like Kann in Portland, OR, Dakar NOLA in New Orleans, and Clover Hill in Brooklyn, NY. Brown came to see how France, as a colonizer, impacted the African diaspora’s culinary traditions (and vice versa), and he seeks to further expand on that relationship at Bread & Butterfly.

Chef Demetrius Brown
Chef-owner Demetrius Brown.

“We want to try and embrace all the trials and tribulations that have gone on through history, and we’re just telling those through our food,” he says. “Those two [food cultures] are inseparable in our eyes. So, we try to explain to our guests that viewing African food through a French lens isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.”

Here are five dishes on Bread & Butterfly’s dinner menu that get to the heart of Brown’s mission, in his own words.


Bread & Butterfly soup joumou
Bread & Butterfly soup joumou

Soup Joumou

Braised beef, root vegetable, and cabbage

“It’s a traditional Haitian dish. During the French rule of Haiti, slaves on plantations would make their masters soup joumou, using the best cuts of beef and best vegetables — they weren’t allowed to eat this soup at all. But once Haiti gained their independence on Jan. 1, 1904, they decided to make that day soup joumou day.

“We take it into a little bit of a different direction where we braise beef cheeks and oxtail for about four hours, and then we massage the meat to break it up and get that collagen and fat distributed throughout. We form that into a nice square patty, and we sear it to make it super crispy. Then, we take whatever local and seasonal vegetables we can find — right now, we’re using Vietnamese sweet potatoes, calabaza squash, peas, and parsnips — as garnishes. For the soup itself, we use calabaza squash again with nigella seeds (which are an African cumin), as well as scotch bonnet, a little bit of paprika, onion, and garlic.”


Bread & Butterfly beef bouyon
Bread & Butterfly beef bouyon

Beef Bouyon

Plantain gnocchi, sweet potato, and collards

“That’s another traditional Haitian dish. Usually, it’s a braise or a stew. In this case, we take dry-aged beef that’s been aged for about 40 days from Châtel Farms. We sous vide that for about an hour, sear it off, and baste it with butter, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. And then we make our plantain gnocchi. It’s traditionally a pâte à choux gnocchi or Parisian gnocchi, but instead of using some kind of cheese, we add plantains instead. We get those really crispy and then take American-style sweet potatoes, as well as collard greens, to fold that all in together with a little bit of dry-aged beef stock.”


Bread & Butterfly tasso
Bread & Butterfly tasso


Grilled lamb belly, plantain, pikliz, and epis

“Griot is Haiti’s national dish and tasso and griot are essentially the same things — the only difference between them is that griot always uses pork, while tasso uses any other kind of meat. We’re using lamb belly — we break it down and then marinate it in a seasoning called epis. Epis is a bunch of different herbs like cilantro, parsley, onion, scotch bonnets, and four different kinds of citrus: lime, lemon, grapefruit, orange. So, we marinate it in epis for 24 hours, sous vide it for another 12 hours, and then we skewer that, grill it over a yakitori grill, and we plate a little bit of fried plantains and serve them with pikliz. Pikliz is another one of those fateful Haitian dishes. It’s essentially like a Haitian sauerkraut — there’s carrots, sweet peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, and a little bit of apple cider vinegar also. Then we let that ferment for about three to seven days depending on how sour we want it.”


Bread & Butterfly escovitch
Bread & Butterfly escovitch


Halibut with pickled and fermented vegetables

“We take our halibut and we butter poach it, similarly to how it would be done in a French kitchen. And then we ferment and pickle different kinds of vegetables — right now, we have fermented carrots and purple cauliflower pickles. We also shave a couple of fresh vegetables on there like radishes, carrots, green onion, red Fresno chile, cilantro — it changes from day to day. And then we just drizzle a little bit of scotch bonnet oil, chive oil, as well as a little bit of fish fumet. We kind of wanted to have that same acidity that you can find in a Jamaican escovitch. But it’s really traditional in the way that it’s prepared, as it would be in a French kitchen.”


Bread & Butterfly Haitian chocoalte
Bread & Butterfly Haitian chocoalte

Haitian Chocolate

Single origin chocolate several ways with coconut ice cream

“I have a really bad sweet tooth, and this dessert hits a lot of different flavor notes, from floral to bitter, to sweet, to salty. I think this dish is hands down the most underrated on the menu.

“We source all our chocolate from Askanya, a Haitian company in New York that sources all their single origin chocolate from Haiti. We manipulate that chocolate in three different ways: the base of it is a chocolate mousse, and then we do a dehydrated chocolate mousse, and a hydrated regular mousse that has cocoa nibs in it. We do a coconut ice cream that’s been heavily salted, to kind of balance out all the sweetness in the dish, and then it’s finished with a dulce de leche. We just wanted to showcase a Haitian product that really supports the local community and try to show as much diversity as we possibly can.”


Bread & Butterfly is open Thursday through Saturday for dinner. A revamped lunch menu incorporating more Caribbean and Haitian influences is on the horizon.

Noëmie Carrant is Resy’s senior writer. Follow her on Instagram. Follow Resy, too.