By Published On: October 13, 2023Categories: Travel

Hunting peanuts built an appetite and I couldn’t have picked a better spot to enjoy dinner. I found a beautiful spot in historic downtown Dothan. The name of the restaurant, KBC, is unassuming but has an incredible story behind it.

Chef and Qwner, Kelsey Barnard Clark, is a Dothan native who began her journey in the food industry as a teen. She left Dothan to attend Auburn University, where she studied hotel and restaurant management. Two years in, she left to practice under chefs at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and then honed those skills working at some of the top restaurants in Manhattan. With so much experience under her belt, Clark was ready to return home. You can take the girl out of the South but you can’t take the South out of the girl. Clark moved back to Dothan and opened a catering company, following that up with the restaurant a year later.

Clark also has had an interesting career in television. She became the first southerner to earn the title “Top Chef” in season 16 of the hit TV show. She has also been a judge on NFL Tailgate Takedown and a contestant in Guy Fieri’s Tournament of Champions.

KBC’s food was as incredible as her background. Finding this level of high tier, quality menu items in a southern Alabama town should be unheard of. The meal started with Ceviche served with fresh-cooked tortillas, followed by “Cast Iron Chicken” which was achicken breast with smashed potato and summer vegetables in a lemon beurre blanc. Everything was tender and cooked to perfection. Dessert was bread pudding served with fresh summer berries. My only complaint is that I wanted to eat more and I just couldn’t take another bite. My plate was still as full as my stomach, so I ended up with some amazing leftovers.

In true Dothan fashion, a peanut wearing a Top Chef apron resides in the restaurant’s courtyard. That alone is a testament to Clark and KBC for the impact she and her businesses have had on the community. The eatery is located at 151 N. Foster St., in Dothan. Peruse the menus at www.eatkbc.com.

While my visit to Dothan was short-lived, I gained appreciation for this Alabama town. Peanuts may be what Dothan is known for but the city’s focus on their businesses and people, is what brings tourists in and keeps them coming back. 

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