Co-Chairs

Chef Kevin Rathbun  |  KR SteakBar

"One of the Top New Restaurants in the United States", "One of the Best Steakhouses in America", "Best Overall Restaurant in Atlanta". These are just a few of the phrases critics have used to describe Kevin Rathbun's phenomenal and award winning restaurants. After 30 years in the restaurant business working and learning from other great chefs and restaurateurs such as Bradley Ogden, Emeril Legasse and Stephen Pyles, in 2004 Kevin Rathbun opened his namesake restaurant, Rathbun's, then Krog Bar (2005), Kevin Rathbun Steak (2007) and the newest addition to his fleet KR SteakBar (2013). In February 2008 Kevin and his brother, fellow chef Kent Rathbun, defeated Chef Bobby Flay for the Iron Chef America Elk Cook-off. Since opening his very first restaurant Kevin has received accolades from publications such as Creative Loafing, Details Magazine, Gayot Online, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, has been featured on shows like The Early Show, TODAY SHOW, Good Morning America, CNN and Food Network, and print media such as Food & Wine, Wall Street Journal, O the Oprah Magazine and Southern Living. No matter the venue Kevin continues to be a pivotal and driving force in the local and national restaurant scene.

Chef Gerry Klaskala  |  ARIA

Gerry Klaskala is the chef and owner of Aria, the award-winning Buckhead restaurant known for its modern take on fine American cuisine. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and is the co-owner of Canoe, one of Atlanta's most celebrated dining establishments located on the Chattahoochee River. Prior to his time at Aria and Canoe, Klaskala served as the executive chef at The Buckhead Diner and also spent 10 years in the culinary division of the Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Boston and Savannah. His top-notch, sophisticated cuisine has been featured in highly acclaimed publications like Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Esquire, Food & Wine, The New York Times, Southern Living, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Zagat. Klaskala frequently donates his time to culinary events to benefit organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank, American Cancer Society, Georgia Organics, High Museum of Art, Open Hand and Share Our Strength.

2022 Chefs
Chef Peter Kaiser  |  Kaiser's Chophouse

Chef Peter Kaiser has been a part of the Atlanta dining scene for over 30 years, working at some of the top-rated restaurant groups and with the best chefs in the city. His impressive history of success and outstanding reviews has made Peter Kaiser one of the most respected and sought-after chefs in Atlanta. In 2017, Kaiser fulfilled his lifelong dream of opening a restaurant with his own namesake, Kaiser's Chophouse, in collaboration with friend of over 20 years and esteemed chef, Kevin Rathbun. Located in the heart of Sandy Springs, the restaurant focuses on sourcing the highest quality and freshest ingredients while providing unforgettable service in a luxurious, yet comfortable environment. Kaiser's culinary expertise has led to numerous television and radio appearances. Most recently, his endeavor Kaiser's Chophouse has been recognized as one of Atlanta's 50 Best Restaurants by Atlanta Magazine as well as one of 14 Must-Try Atlanta Steakhouses and one of Atlanta's 10 Most Important Restaurant Openings of 2017 by Zagat. He is an active volunteer with local food non-profits like Open Hand Atlanta, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Meals on Wheels.

Chef Zeb Stevenson  |  Redbird

Chef Zeb Stevenson and Ross Jones are excited to introduce Redbird, the most anticipated new Atlanta restaurant of 2019. The two first met when Zeb became the head chef at Watershed, formerly owned by Ross and Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers. When Zeb arrived on the scene, he and Ross quickly became friends and developed a strong professional relationship based on their shared enthusiasm for excellent food, wine and hospitality. It was this alliance that led Zeb and Ross to team-up and open Redbird, an expression of their mutual desire to create a free-spirited environment that encourages everyone to work from a place of inspiration, thoughtfulness and purpose. An approach they believe creates a connection between food and guest for a fun, tasty and happy dining experience. The name Redbird is deeply personal to Zeb and Ross and comes from a fascination the two have with cardinals. To them, the redbird represents strength, great energy and enthusiasm which is at the heart of this exciting new restaurant.

Chef Chris Hall  |  LOCAL THREE

Chris is both chef and managing partner at Local Three, which is why he has the least hair of the three partners. A self-taught cook, Chris worked in kitchens from Philadelphia's Le Bec Fin to Atlanta's Canoe and 4th & Swift. He grew up around the corner on Peachtree Battle Avenue and thus really is a local. Chris now lives in Smyrna with his wife Julie, who you'll see in the restaurant frequently. An avid Georgia Tech fan, Hall considers home game Saturdays religious ceremonies.

Chef Christopher Bischoff  |  LITTLE ALLEY STEAK

Executive Chef Christopher Bischoff leads the team at Little Alley Steak Buckhead. Executed on a grand scale the likes that Atlanta has never seen, Little Alley Steak Buckhead welcomes you to 9000-square-feet of understated, intimate opulence, boasting a seductive lounge and bar with over 400 bottles of the finest bourbon, whiskey and Scotch, multiple dining rooms, an outdoor climate-controlled bar and sprawling terrace as well as a secluded private dining room. Menu highlights include a wide variety of wet-aged, dry-aged and USDA prime steaks as well as the freshest hot and cold seafood in the southeast.

Chef Eddie Hernandez  |  TAQUERIA DEL SOL

Eddie Hernandez was born in Monterey, Mexico. As a child, Eddie learned to cook from his grandmother in her restaurants in Mexico. At age 16, he moved to the United States to pursue his dreams of becoming a famous drummer. After deciding it was not the life he wanted to live, he moved to Atlanta in 1989 and found work at a Mexican restaurant south of Atlanta.

He quickly made his mark in the kitchen, laying the groundwork for his business partnership with Taqueria del Sol CEO Mike Klank. They opened the first Taqueria del Sol on Atlanta's Westside in 2000, creating a menu inspired by Hernandez's native country and Klank's experiences in the American Southwest. Along the way, Hernandez was introduced to traditional Southern ingredients.

Today, Eddie's spicy Turnip Greens, Memphis Pork Barbecue Tacos, and Blue Plate Specials draw crowds stretching to the sidewalks at three locations in Atlanta and their newest venue in Athens. These recipes have garnered him recognition in publications including Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Southern Living, Garden & Gun, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Forbes and many others. He and Klank have been named semi-finalists in the James Beard Foundation Awards for Excellence's Outstanding Restaurateur category for three years in a row.

Chef Steven Herman  |  ARNETTE'S CHOP SHOP

With a passion for cooking and an innovative approach to modern American cuisine, Chef Stephen delights locals with a haven for extraordinary cuisine. Herman has been a part of the celebrated culinary team since the restaurant's grand opening in 2003, and became a partner 2012. His focus is on locally sourced and seasonal food products that affords him the creative ability to blend American cooking with southern influences. Growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, Stephen would watch in awe as his mother, an exceptional baker, would spend hours in the kitchen. This sparked Stephen's love for cooking at a young age, and he has never looked back. Inspired by his mother, Herman decided to pursue a culinary career.

Chef Jamie Adams  |  IL GIALLO

After years of being enamored by virtually every aspect of Italian culture, Jamie Adams spent nearly five years honing his craft at some of the finest restaurants in Italy. While there, he learned from many highly acclaimed chefs (as well as Italian Grandmothers!) not only the nuts and bolts of the cooking, but more importantly about the culture, the people and the traditions behind the flavors.

Upon returning to Atlanta, Chef Adams began his twenty-year relationship with the prestigious Buckhead Life Restaurant Group and Pano Karatassos, where Adams achieved the reputation as one of Atlanta's preeminent Italian Chefs. In 2000 at the age of 41, Adams became, as he refers to it, "the lucky recipient of 4 Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts (CABG), fondly referred to as "Cabbage" aka, quadruple bypass. Faced with such a life altering (or ending...) event, Adams paid attention to the "wake-up" call and began a new life of healthy diet and exercise, primarily in the form of road cycling. It also rekindled in him the desire for a new platform to express his many influences, from the beautifully hand crafted pastas learned in Piemonte and Emilia-Romanga, to the wonderful variety of the Italian coast from Venice to Genoa.

Chef Matthew Basford  |  CANOE

Shortly after taking his first restaurant job in his late teens, Matthew Basford knew that he was headed for a career in the restaurant business. Growing up in Australia, Basford was exposed to cooking techniques that drew influence from Pan-Asian cuisine. He started his culinary journey at Pear Tree Cottage in Greenock, followed by Vintner's Bar and Grill in Angaston. After completing his four year apprenticeship, Basford was officially a "Qualified Chef", and travelled to the United States. In December 2002, Basford moved to New Orleans and began working at Dominique's, at the Maison Dupuy Hotel in the French Quarter. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Basford was relocated to Atlanta. Within a week, Basford found himself in the Canoe kitchen. He started as line cook, and worked his way up the ranks from sous chef to executive sous chef, to chef de cuisine, and finally in 2013, Basford was named executive chef of Canoe. He continues the legacy of the city's longstanding bastion of fine dining. His commitment to serving fresh, seasonal ingredients marries well with the rich tradition of Canoe.

Chef Laura Orellana  |  CASA ROBLES

Dan and Ryan Pernice, the brother duo behind Table & Main, Osteria Mattone and Coalitions Food and Beverage, have opened a new concept in Roswell, Casa Robles. With the new opening, the brothers have brought over Laura Orellana to head the kitchen. Orellana previously served as the sous chef for Osteria Mattone for 10 years. She is a native of El Salvador but received her culinary training in Spain at the Escuela de Hosteleria de Sevilla. Upon finishing her training, Orellana remained in Spain, working in restaurants throughout the country for five years before moving to Atlanta. In Atlanta, Orellana began her culinary career at Table & Main where she worked as a line cook, but she quickly worked her way up the ladder to Osteria Mattone's sous chef, planning a menu at the James Beard House, and becoming a 2018 Rising Star. Drawing inspiration from her El Salvador upbringing and time in Spain, Orellana curated a menu for Casa Robles that focuses on traditional Spanish Tapas and dishes from El Salvador and Mexico.

Chef Ian Winslade  |  MISSION + MARKET

Chef/Partner Ian Winslade is at the helm of Tre Vele and Mission + Market. He has forged his culinary path at some of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in the country, and has been a mainstay in Atlanta's dining scene for over two decades. Winslade, who came to the United States from Great Britain at age 22, began his career at New York's Le Bernardin, widely recognized as one of the world's finest restaurants. Winslade worked his way from the bakery to the kitchen as a sous chef under Eric Ripert, until he was recruited out west by a former Le Bernardin chef to open Opus. It was during his time in California when he began to immerse himself in multicultural cuisine and experiment with the abundance of fresh regional produce on offer at local farmers markets. "I always try to bring flavor and depth to everything I do," he says. Winslade made his way to the South in 1994 and has worked in the kitchens of some of Atlanta's most recognized institutions, including Bluepointe, Spice Market and Market by Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Sachi Nakato Takahara  |  NAKATO

Sachiyo ("Sachi") Nakato Takahara, the third-generation female owner of Nakato Japanese Restaurant, serves as a bridge to the past and future. The restaurant was founded by her grandmother in 1972 and since taking the helm of the restaurant 17 years ago, Sachi's gracious warmth has personified this Japanese culinary cultural landmark. Sachi has made an indelible mark on Atlanta's quintessential Japanese Restaurant. In addition to travelling to Japan several times a year to bring back the latest culinary trends, she has seen to it that she and the majority of the servers at Nakato are all "Certified Sake Advisors;" gathering a vast amount of information about Sake, which they can pass along to their guests, enhancing their overall dining experience.

Chef Doug Turbush  |  SEED KITCHEN AND BAR

Doug Turbush is carving out a niche for himself within the East Cobb community, creating approachable neighborhood restaurants that feature local ingredients prepared simply and elegantly. The acclaimed chef opened Marietta's Seed Kitchen & Bar in 2011, serving chef-driven, modern American cuisine. He followed that with Stem Wine Bar in 2013, featuring European small plates and a variety of Old World and New World wines. Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar was added to the roster in 2016.

His menus reflect the flair of an international traveler who has lived and worked in Bangkok, Thailand, and has traveled extensively to bring bold and exciting tastes to his tables. Experience, and particularly his tenure at Bluepointe, helped hone the commitment to high-quality ingredients that has become a hallmark of the menus at all three of his restaurants.

"The driving force has always been quality," he says of his career. "I never let my guard down as far as my standards and what we let in the back door of the kitchen. As a chef, you can have the greatest menu in the world, but it doesn't mean a thing if you don't have the very best ingredients. Making sure we have that commitment to local sourcing and local ingredients is my top priority."



Chef Jon Novak  |  TINY LOU'S

Chef Jon Novak has 14 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry at just 30 years old. His story is a unique one. Novak moved to Germany when he was 3 years old and from his travels all over Europe he gained a lifetime of experience with flavors and dishes that other American taught chefs may not have. Novak chose to start his career not in school, but as a bus boy where he instantly fell in love with being part of a team and the hustle that comes with working in a restaurant. Novak was the sous chef at TORC Napa for 2 years and attributes a bulk of his experience to working under the executive chef Sean O'Toole. Novak says, "I can't explain how much this man means to me and my career. I would truly be nothing without him. He saw the talent and skills I possessed and he took me under his wing and shaped me into a warrior."



Justin Anthony  |  YEBO

A self-described serial entrepreneur and founder of 10 Degrees South, Justin Anthony reached his calling in the hospitality industry through some of Atlanta's most popular and exotic restaurant concepts. Since opening 10 Degrees South in 1998 alongside his parents, Derek and Diane, Anthony has pursued various opportunities in the world of food and wine. In 2012, Anthony opened YEBO Restaurant & Bar, with a similar yet trendier, eclectic style of 10 Degrees South. A recipient of Atlanta Business Chronicle's prestigious "40 Under 40" award, Anthony's unlikely path toward the restaurant business proves his true talent and passion in creating culturally unique dining experiences.

Anthony was born and raised in South Africa, attending the University of South Africa as well as earning a diploma from the London Business School prior to relocating to the United States at age 23. A natural-born soccer star, he hoped to pursue a soccer career after playing professionally across the globe, however was forced into early retirement with a knee injury, thus following a future in a different passion - the restaurant business.

Desserts


Anthony DiNardo   |  HENRI'S BAKERY

An icon of Atlanta, Henri's Bakery was founded in 1929 by Henri Fiscus, a chef and native of France. His Southern adaptations of European delicacies became an instant hit and a permanent standard for every item created by the Henri's bakers today. Henri's Bakery has been a Buckhead fixture since locating to its current home on Irby Avenue in 1969. Its cheese straws are required eating for exclusive Buckhead cocktail parties, and cakes produced there have graced countless celebrations.

"My sisters and I are dedicated to continuing the traditions that have made Henri's a beloved Atlanta institution for the past 89 years while introducing it to a new generation. While we oversee the future of Henri's, the past is what we're most grateful for. It isn't just our great-grandfather's longtime recipes that we carry on; it is his generous spirit and his commitment to the community that inspires our vision for Henri's."



Shirley Hughes  |  SWEET CHEATS

Sweet Cheats was created by a National Level Figure Competitor, Shirley Hughes, along with her husband Robert Tubbs and with the help of many friends and family. During her 3 years spent training for her NPC competitions, Shirley was only allowed to eat certain foods and wasn't always able to have what she was craving. She began taking notes on these cravings, and turning them into little treats for herself when her strenuous dieting for each competition was over. While in training, one "cheat" meal was allowed per week, and hers were usually sweet concoctions. She then decided on a whim to turn her favorite treats into cupcakes not only for herself but for fellow teammates, the RocStarzz, as personal gifts. From there, requests started coming in and the demand was on. It was an instant success! As you can see (and taste!), the "Sweet Cheats" name comes directly from Shirley's competition background. Shirley still promotes health and wellness and is still very active in the gym, but makes sure that if you are going to spend your cheat calories on one of her desserts, it's going to be worth it!



Chef Lindsey Poehner  |  MURPHY'S

As well as an excellent restaurant, Murphy's is also a fantastic bakery. Pastry Chef Lindsey Poehner creates scrumptious desserts such as the Bonzo Cake and Tollhouse Pie.



Chef Chris Marconi  |  THE GENERAL MUIR

Pastry Chef Chris Marconi creates amazing seasonal baked goods as well as TGM classics like cinnamon rolls, danish, coffee cake, and cookies.

Patron Reception
Chef John Metz  |  THE WOODALL

As the executive chef, co-founder and CEO of several Atlanta-area and Florida concepts, including the Woodall, Marlow's Tavern and Sterling Spoon Culinary Management, Metz has over 30 years of restaurant and hospitality experience. Metz began his career at some of New York's finest restaurants before serving as executive chef and executive director of research and development for Carlson Restaurants Worldwide.

Chef Christopher Gianino  |  HOBNOB

Coming from a family with a strong culinary tradition, HOBNOB's Executive Chef Chris Gianino has literally been in the kitchen since before he could walk. Working in restaurants from the age of 15, what began as a way to support himself through school quickly became a career as he left graduate school to pursue his passions. With a goal of learning every aspect of running a successful restaurant Chris waited tables and managed FOH operations by day, and worked as a baker at night, owning and operating a small wholesale bakery in Western North Carolina. His work as a baker led him to an opportunity to run the culinary operations at the 1906 Pine Crest Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast in Tryon, NC, which he successfully ran for several years. These initial ventures opened up worlds of possibilities and allowed Chris to open successful restaurants in Brooklyn, NYC, Nashville, and Grand Rapids as well as opportunities to work with Sean Brock and other top chefs. He now works with the team at Big Table Restaurants including HOBNOB, and other restaurant concepts on menu development and BOH operating systems.

Chef Charmaine Ware  |  TINY LOU'S

Chef Charmain Ware has been in the restaurant and hospitality industry as a pastry chef for 10 years. Ware's passion for becoming a chef started while she was bed ridden and wanting a change after being in a terrible car accident 20 years ago. Through her recovery, she spent endless hours watching cooking shows and days in the kitchen she realized food was her passion. This prompted her to apply and be awarded the opportunity to attend the 180 Kitchen Culinary Program at City of Refuge in Atlanta under Le Cordon Bleu instructors. From there, she has worked for Cirque Du Soleil as a prep and pastry chef, the Brasserie Cafe at Parish as garmache and pastry chef, and for the last five years at the Porsche Experience Center as pastry chef. When asked why she chose pastry, Chef Ware said, "what painting is to Picasso, pastry is to me-it brought me solace and gave me purpose."

Chef Robbie Pacheco  |  WHITE OAK KITCHEN & COCKTAILS

Growing up outside of Atlanta, Robbie Pacheco has always had a unique connection with food. Whether creating artistic menu design with diverse flavors or working with local farms and purveyors, Pacheco understands the art of the dining experience. His passion for culinary arts began with his interest in global spices and the intricate art of plating to highlight the texture, taste, and diversity of each plate. Today, his culinary creations are for the mind body and soul while embracing wellness and health.

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