The winners of the 2020 and 2021 awards for Best Food Stand/Truck have opened a restaurant together. The 2020 winner was Sussex Farm, run by Jen Naylor. The 2021 winner was Basan, run by Naylor’s daughter Kelsey and her partner Anna Gardner. Now, they are are teaming up for one of the most anticipated restaurants in years.
Meaning “mother’s” in Korean, Umma’s is named in tribute both to Jen and her own mother, whom she credits for her love of cooking. A native of Korea, Jen was a longtime farmer’s market fixture selling produce from her farm and Korean dishes her mother taught her to make. Kelsey and Anna, meanwhile, cooked at top restaurants all over town (Naylor at Public, L’etoile, TEN, The Alley Light; Gardner at Public, The Ivy Inn, Junction, Oakhurst Inn), before their love of Japanese food took them to a year abroad, learning cuisine of Japan first-hand.
In the former home to Mono Loco, Umma’s draws on both passions – Korean and Japanese. “It’s the culmination of my grandmother’s influence, my mom’s influence, and Anna’s influence,” said Kelsey. “A snapshot of what brought us here.” There are pantry items to take away like Jen’s kimchi and pickled vegetables, plus ever-changing restaurant menus with influences from Korea, Japan, and whatever Kelsey and Anna dream up. Their curiosity is seemingly never-ending, so expect menu changes often, to accompany Sussex Farm staples like kimchi jeon, a bulgogi bowl, and a dumpling salad, along with Basan favorites like karaage and taiyaki. Below are the current menus, just as examples.