Deborah VanTrece is the chef and owner of three restaurants in Atlanta: Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, which serves her take on modern soul food, Oreatha’s at the Point, offering global comfort food, and her newest venture, La Panarda, where the chef makes her own take on Italian cuisine.
Originally from Kansas City, Mo., VanTrece worked for decades as a flight attendant, a job that allowed her to explore the world, which she did with the eye and palate of a food enthusiast. So, when she switched careers and started catering, she was ready with a catalog of family recipes and those she had collected from around the world.
Oreatha’s and La Panarda are both located in Cascade Heights, a neighborhood in southwestern Atlanta that has been the home of many Black leaders, including former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, former UN ambassador Andrew Young, civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis, and baseball legend Hank Aaron. VanTrece said she is enthusiastic about helping to revitalize the neighborhood, which she is doing with the help of her wife and business partner as well as her daughter, who is the company mixologist.
Listen to a conversation she recently had with senior food and beverage editor Bret Thorn at one of her restaurants as part of our MenuMasters Spotlight series.