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German native Calvin Phan traces his unique style of cooking to a long history of “growing up in the family business” cooking alongside his Vietnamese parents in the family kitchen. Deciding to take the next step, he invested in a classic culinary education in Switzerland that blends a natural heritage of talent with the tradition of culinary classics. The result is a modern fusion of dramatic edge without compromising on family comfort.


Where he decided to open his flagship restaurant is Atlanta, “one of the foodie capitals in the nation,” he exclaims. The concept is simple. It’s Southern Comfort in a nutshell, but with exciting international accents. It’s Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion: a place where you can have your cake and eat it too, like his Red Velvet suspension cake, which is dramatic red velvet cake dipped in a chocolate ganache coating, and filled with marscapone and berries. He is excited to share with us some tricks of the trade just in time for this year’s holiday season.


What makes a stunning dish nowadays is something that is close to the heart, but still keeps up with the trends that have been time tested. Take Calvin’s Fried Chicken entrée for example. He uses free airline chicken, a modern detail that makes a trendy menu pop, but pulls from the classic traditions. It’s soaked in buttermilk of course! But it adds one magical touch close to the heart: a secret blend of Thai spices that pays homage to his lineage. The dish is still playful and festive, incorporating a dual blend of rotini and bowtie into the “Lobster Macaroni and Cheese.” Keep it seasonal with a rotation of local farmer markets’ freshest produce such as broccolini and you know you’re in for a modern fusion of “trick, and treat,” all in one.

Poor Calvin's

Poor Calvin's

510 Piedmont Avenue NE

Atlanta, GA 30308


by Sam Gabel


Forget the Turkey!






1 small oven ready duck (2 lb)

1 orange

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 oz. of thyme

2 oz. of rosemary

2 cinnamon sticks

½ tablespoon Chinese five spice powder 



2 red cabbages

2 onions

½ cup vinegar

½ cup brown sugar 


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the duck on a rack set over a roasting tin and prick its skin all over with a skewer. Season well with the brown sugar. Halve the orange and squeeze half of the juice into the duck cavity and the other half over the rest of the duck. Rub the five spice powder over the duck. Stuff the duck with the cinnamon sticks and rub the duck all over with thyme and rosemary. Place the duck in the oven and roast for 2 hours until the duck skin is crispy and golden. Keep the dripping duck fat. 


2. Chop the red cabbages and onions. Using the duck fat, Sauté the onions and red cabbage for about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and brown sugar. Braise them for about 30 minutes, and serve it with duck.


Forget the Punch!






1 bottle of red wine

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tablespoons of clove

2 tablespoons of cardamom 

1 orange 


1. Heat up the red wine on low heat. 

2. Add to the wine 2 cinnamon sticks, clove, cardamom, and grate the zest of 1 whole orange.

3. Continue to heat it all up on low heat.

4. Add some sugar, a little at a time, 

until you find the wine sweet enough to your liking.

5. When the wine mixture starts to boil, turn off the heat. Finish with a splash of brandy. Served best with raisins and almonds.


Forget the Fruitcake!





3 tablespoons of raisins

1 tablespoon of rum

4 large eggs

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon of salt

1 lemon

1 & 5/8 cups of milk

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons of butter



2 cups of store bought eggnog

1 stick of butter

4 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of grand marnier


1. Preheat the oven to 425 Fahrenheit degrees. Soak the raisins in the rum. Zest the skin of 1 lemon. Separate the eggs. Mix together the yolks with the milk, salt, flour, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and sugar until it is all well mixed. Beat the egg whites until it is stiff and gently fold it into the batter. Fold in the rum-soaked raisins. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and butter a medium baking pan with it. Transfer the mixture into the baking pan and bake for ten minutes.

2. Combine the stick of butter, sugar, and eggnog in a saucepan and cook it over medium heat. Stir it constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of grand marnier. Remove it from heat and serve it warm over the kaiserschmarrn. 

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