In late November, Katy Kindred walked me through a gutted space, once an old pharmacy, in Davidson. The basement of the building revealed unearthed red clay. The walls were stripped, exposing the original red brick. Katy, one half of the husband and wife partnership that make up Kindred Restaurant (131 N. Main St.), explained in great detail the vision for their first solo restaurant venture.
It was a vision I experienced come to life one bitter cold February evening when I returned to a completed restaurant.
Recently, I reconnected with Katy and her husband Joe inside their new restaurant home to talk about living the dream, why farm-to-table is too limiting a term and their hopes for a hometown restaurant.
Creative Loafing: After working for Jim Noble off and on since you were 19 years old, with stints in Chicago and San Francisco, how did you decide it was time to go off and do your own thing?
Joe Kindred: We've always talked about it and dreamt about it. Katy was the wine director at the hotel in Chicago where we both worked at and she would tell me back then, before we started dating, "You know, we should do a restaurant together. I could do the wine, you could do the food." Then, while I was at Rooster's, people started to talk about me as a chef, which was weird because it was always Chef Noble's food. So I started talking to Katy about it and we started testing dishes and coming up with ideas, spending Sundays and Mondays on our food concept. Then, all of sudden, last April it went from idea to partnerships to leases and it was crazy. Everything just started happening.
So, Kindred Restaurant is a combination of your experiences from working at Delfina in San Francisco, learning about fresh pastas and local food to working at Rooster's and delving into charcuterie programs and New Southern cuisine. Do you want people to consider this a farm-to-table restaurant?
Joe: All too often, restaurants come up and are so concept-driven and trend-driven that you sort of get lost in them. Then every time people come in, they have expectations. We want people to trust us, trust the menu and know that it's going to be ever-evolving. We don't want to label anything. Our food is influenced from our travels, our childhood, when we first started dating ... we just want to make food that creates memories. We still have inspiration sheets from our farmers, but we're an ingredient-driven restaurant.
You just signed a long-term lease for Kindred, so what are your hopes for this restaurant 10 years down the road?
Katy: Davidson is a really special place. There's a lot of longevity in this town. As Davidson residents [the Kindreds live two minutes from their restaurant] it's important for us to be part of this community, and we hope it welcomes us. We have a lot of faith in Davidson becoming a great food town; the DNA is there for it. Ultimately, we want people to trust our food and to trust Kindred.