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Meet Yvonne Gu Khan of Gu’s Dumplings in Inman Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yvonne Gu Khan.

Yvonne Gu, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My parents have both been chefs for over 40 years. My father got hands-on training from a Master Chef in Chengdu whereas my mom graduated from culinary school. My parents were in the restaurant business for the last 40 years. Even though I have two nursing degrees, my parents recruited me to manage the front of the house since they are not fluent in English. We opened our first family-run restaurant (Gu’s Bistro) in December, 2010 on Buford Highway. It started off slowly but took off as word spread. We decided to open a small version of Gu’s Bistro in Krog Street Market called Gu’s Dumplings, which focuses on dumplings and noodles, but also includes our most popular stir-fried dishes.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The first day we opened Gu’s Bistro we only had 3 customers. I think that was a combination of the location and also people being unfamiliar with Szechuan cuisine. Selling ethnic food is more challenging because sometimes it is hard for people to try things out of their comfort zone. We sell a lot of vegetarian dishes, but some customers cringe when we mention the word tofu. We faced a different challenge when we opened at Krog Street Market in March 2015, we thought we were prepared but the response was overwhelming. It took us a little time to get used to running a restaurant in such a small space.

Gu’s Dumplings – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Gu’s Dumplings serves authentic Szechuan cuisine which is known for spicy and bold favors. Our specialty is our dumplings, which is an ancient recipe over 150 years old. The blend of garlic, sweetness, and spiciness come together to create a unique and flavorful taste. Customers often tell us it’s the best dumplings they have eaten and some even go as far as saying it’s the best thing they have ever put in their mouth. We take pride in our food and do not take shortcuts because it sacrifices quality.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Since we opened Gu’s Bistro in 2010, we have really seen Szechuan cuisine taken off in Atlanta, and we think we played an important role in that movement. We were the first authentic restaurant to move from outside the perimeter to an intown location. On an everyday basis, talking to customers that thank us for sharing our cuisine with them is obviously very rewarding.

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Image Credit:
Yvonne Gu Khan

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