Today we’d like to introduce you to Creighton Jagnandan, Linden Marno-Ferree.
Creighton had been working in restaurants for years, front and back of house, when we met at The Grey in Savannah, where we both worked. He had previously worked at restaurants in Athens, Austin, and San Fransisco, and Linden had ascended in the Boston area. Savannah wasn’t a good fit–there are so bachelorette parties, and we missed the mountains–so we decided to move to Chattanooga. Here we both noticed that the quality of food wasn’t what it was other places we had lived, and many of the high-end restaurants seemed outdated. Creighton really wanted to make his own food, and Linden loves service and beverage pairing, so we decided to start our own ticketed dinner series.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
One of the reasons we love Chattanooga is because if you want to start your own business and you’re not a total bozo, you can usually find the support to do it. That being said, we hadn’t been here very long, so we really had to get our friends to help spread the word for us. And Chattanooga is a small city, food like octopus are a little outside the norm here.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ukko – what should we know?
We offer a six course, twelve seat communal dining experience with alcoholic and non-alcoholic pairings. We begin with a cocktail hour in which our guests can meet and get a feel for the space. Once they sit at the table, we move through the courses, discussing each pairing and dish but also allowing for free and open conversation. We offer a small gift at the end of each meal– a little jar of hot sauce, granola or chutney– and invite everyone to sit, get to know us, and discuss the meal while sipping a neat pour of their choosing.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
We moved to Chattanooga September 2018, and have since made friends who really support us, making connections and recommendations and singing our praises in the foodie community here. The space we use is owned by our friend Emerson Burch who has an artistic eye and a sizable collection of decorative items. He made it funky and lovely and allows us to hold the dinners there.
- $70 per person
- Address: 3210 Brainerd Rd. Chattanooga, TN 37411
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: ukko.cha
- Facebook: facebook.com/ukko.cha
Chloe Wright, Laura Watts, Andrea Sanders