5 questions for: Kevin Ouzts

How the owner of the Spotted Trotter finally made his foray into the restaurant world with Krog Street Market’s The Cockentrice.

The Spotted Trotter opened in 2010, but this is your first restaurant. How did you decide to take the plunge?
We knew that at some point we really wanted to have our own restaurant. [The Spotted Trotter] grew beyond our wildest dreams. When we first opened, it was a very niche market, and we wanted to make sure we grew at a pace we could handle.

What can Spotted Trotter fans expect from the menu? We have a lot of innovative food preparation where we’re taking new-world charcuterie and using it in cooking preparations. Nothing that we have on the charcuterie side of our menu is being sold anywhere else in the country. We also wanted to have some foundational things on the menu that would speak to the ingredient availability and the seasonality of the state of Georgia—the things that make the South what it is—and showcase those on an upscale, elevated level.

What are you most excited about at the Cockentrice?
I’m excited about pushing the envelope and really showcasing what charcuterie can mean in the Southeast. We’re providing a cutting-edge way to look at the food, but we’re also paying respect to the way that it’s been done before.

The Cockentrice is filled with historic artwork and vintage charcuterie tools. How does that speak to your philosophy? I wanted the decor to be modern yet organic. We admire the arsitans that came before us, and we’re paying homage to a time when the food system was truly respected and people took a lot of time and energy to do what should be done.

Tell us about your experience as one of Krog Street Market’s original tenants. We have a great following here—a lot of Spotted Trotter customers are becoming guests at the restaurant. My mom managed a restaurant for 15 years and I learned it’s important to have the loyalty of your customer base.