David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.
Atlanta’s only full-service, sit-down, kosher-certified restaurant is under new but familiar ownership: Udi Hershkovitz, who co-founded the establishment, has purchased FuegoMundo from his ex-wife, Masha Hleap.
Hershkovitz said he plans to keep the restaurant’s kosher South American fare as it is.
“I brought myself back here to provide the service, quality, consistency and professionalism that people are used to at FuegoMundo,” Hershkovitz said. “Udi’s back, meaning people are going to see what they’re used to.”
Hleap, the Colombian-born former owner and executive chef of FuegoMundo, said in December that she was intent on finding a buyer who would keep the restaurant’s concept intact. She said she planned to move to Jacksonville, Fla., after the sale.
“I made the restaurant kosher five years ago,” she said. “Now I’ve become kosher, and I observe Shabbat, so I’d like to keep it that way.”
When Hershkovitz and Hleap were partners, he ran the day-to-day operations, and she oversaw the kitchen and menu.
Hershkovitz said he plans to keep the menu intact except for a few minor changes.
“The menu, we can give the credit to Masha,” he said. “She’s not a trained chef, but she’s a very good cook, and she grew up with these recipes. We have to give the credit to her for the original recipes.”
In his time away from FuegoMundo, Hershkovitz and Pita Grille founder Dikla Birnbaum opened Marrakesh at Ponce City Market, a Moroccan/Middle Eastern concept serving shawarma, falafel and other Mediterranean fare.
Hershkovitz now owns the FuegoMundo name and said he has plans to expand the concept.