Chef Kevin Rathbun  |  RATHBUN'S

"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.

Main Event
Chef Justin Anthony  |  10° SOUTH

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. 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.

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 Atlanta's Phipps Plaza staple, YEBO Restaurant & Bar, with a similar yet trendier, eclectic style of 10 Degrees South. His endeavors of YEBO, 10 Degrees South and the 2010 release of premier Napa Valley wine The King of Clubs, with developing partners Christopher King and winemaker Robert Mondavi, Jr., position him as not only an entrepreneur, but as the ultimate expert in South African food and wine in Atlanta as well as in the United States.

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.

Chef Shaun Doty  |  THE FEDERAL

Chef Shaun Doty's career has spanned the globe, but his passion lies in creating simply prepared contemporary fare in Atlanta. His extensive culinary experience is the driving force behind his newest concepts, Bantam + Biddy and Chick-a-Biddy, fast-casual chicken restaurants featuring local free-range and pastured chicken.

In May 2010, Doty founded YEAH! BURGER, an eco-friendly eatery serving customizable burger combinations in Atlanta's West Midtown and Virginia-Highland neighborhoods. Two years later, he sold his interest in YEAH! Burger to partner with Lance Gummere to open Bantam + Biddy at Ansley Mall in October 2012. The restaurant serves a mixture of regional, free-range pastured chickens. In July, Doty opened Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station, a modern diner with farm-fresh chicken, creative cocktails and fresh-pressed juices and smoothies. Both Bantam + Biddy and Chick-a-Biddy offer a number of gluten-free items as well as dishes that can easily be modified for guests with other food allergies.

When he's not in the kitchen, Doty is actively involved in fundraising for causes relating to Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. He is a member of several local organizations and charities, including Southern Foodways Alliance, Wholesome Wave, Project Open Hand, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Georgia Organics and Georgians for Pastured Poultry. Doty also serves on the advisory council of the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival.

Chef Gary Donlick  |  BISTRO NIKO

As a Buckhead Life Restaurant Group native, Executive Chef Gary Donlick's classic French training and passion for time-honored cooking techniques continually molds the creative menu of Bistro Niko. After graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Donlick worked closely with French Master Chef Girard Vulien for five years. After, Donlick moved to Atlanta and started working for Buckhead Life at Chops Lobster Bar, Pano's and Paul's and 103 West before his career at Bistro Niko. Donlick's passion for French food stems from the long history of culinary techniques being integrated into French culture. He describes his personal style as classic French charm with a modern Parisian Twist, using more American ingredients. Donlick participates in many civic and charitable events as part of his commitment to the industry and the community. He and his wife, Kim, reside in Alpharetta with their eight-year-old daughter, Katelynn. In his leisure time he enjoys organic gardening and managing a family horse farm in Athens, GA.

Chefs Jonathan and Justin Fox  |  FOX BROS. BBQ

Growing up in Texas, pitmasters and twin brothers Jonathan and Justin Fox were inspired by the open sky, the Texas heat and the Southwestern spice. Though not professionally trained, the identical twin brothers developed an early passion for cooking, testing recipes on family and friends. In high school, while their peers were hosting keg parties, the Fox brothers were inviting their friends over for seated dinners.

It wasn't until Jonathan moved to Atlanta in early 1998 that he began taking his hobby more seriously. Justin followed shortly after, joining his brother in Atlanta in 2000. Frustrated with what they perceived as a lack of good, Texas-style barbecue in Atlanta, Jonathan and Justin began to experiment with making their own through a "trial and error" approach. After many failed kitchen experiments, they decided to unveil their barbecue to their friends and neighbors at a friendly backyard gathering. The successful party became an annual event, growing larger each year, until they were cooking for more than 200 people. In 2004 the brothers were introduced to Dan & Beau Nolen and Mike Reeves of Smith's Olde Bar. The Fox brothers went from barbecuing in the parking lot of Smith's to having their own menu at the legendary venue, eventually cooking seven days a week. Even without a brick and mortar place of their own, the Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q began creating a lot of buzz in Atlanta - even being named runner up for "Best Overall Bar-B-Q" in the city by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It was around this time that Jonathan was laid off from his corporate day job. This turned out to be a blessing and the brothers teamed up with Reeves and the Nolens to take their catering gig to the next level and open a restaurant of their own.

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q was opened in 2007 and rapidly became a staple for Atlanta natives and out of town visitors. The restaurant has been featured on The Weather Channel, TLC, Fox News, and The Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives". It has earned top spots on national barbecue rankings from top publications including Eater, USA Today, Southern Living, and Maxim Magazine. In 2014 and 2015, Jonathan and Justin were invited to bring their 'cue to the big city as guest chefs at the prestigious James Beard House. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is the "Official Barbecue of the Atlanta Falcons" and, in 2015, they began serving barbecue to fans inside the Georgia Dome.

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 Ian Winslade  |  MURPHY'S

Incredibly talented and passionate about his work, Ian brings class, fortitude and innovation to Murphy's. His philosophy on food is straightforward, as is his style of cooking. He strives to be "true" to both food and flavor, using only top-shelf products to yield depth and simplicity. He acknowledges that our palates clearly identify three main flavors. Hence, by elevating and subtly accentuating the product, the final dish is true to its innate flavor and thus more appealing to the palate.

Chef Peter Kaiser  |  KAISER'S CHOPHOUSE

Chef Peter Kaiser has been 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. Growing up in Liechtenstein, Kaiser grew up with strong ties to the food community, with his family owning a popular cafe and grocery. It was natural for Kaiser to carry on a passion for the culinary arts.

In 2017, Kaiser is fulfilling the 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 served to guests in a luxurious, yet comfortable environment. At Kaiser's Chophouse, guests can expect to indulge in a delicious meal prepared with superior ingredients and receive hospitality from a service team that goes above and beyond to make guests feel welcome and comfortable. Kaiser's culinary expertise has led to numerous television and radio appearances. He is an active volunteer with local food non-profits like Project Open Hand, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Meals on Wheels. In his free time, Kaiser enjoys running, hiking, kayaking and being outdoors. He enjoys quality time with his wife, Valerie, and their two grown children, daughter Danielle and son Christian.

Chef Matthew Ridgway  |  COOKS & SOLIDERS

Matthew Ridgway brings more than 22 years of experience in the culinary industry to his role as executive chef at Cooks & Soldiers. From working in fine dining restaurants across the U.S. and France to running his own charcuterie business, Ridgway boasts an extensive background and unique perspective to the team.

After training at Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I., Ridgway started his career at The Fountain Room in Philadelphia's Four Seasons Hotel, where was mentored by chef Jean-Marie Lacroix. Under Lacroix's guidance, he rose through the ranks to become chef de cuisine and chef de restaurant at Lacroix at The Rittenhouse Hotel, named Esquire's "Restaurant of the Year." In 2001, Lacroix sent Ridgway to France to hone his skills at George V, a three Michelin star restaurant in Paris and Le Relais Sainte-Victoire in Aix-en-Provence. Ridgway returned to the U.S. to work under James Beard Award winning chef Joel Antunes at Joel Restaurant in Atlanta and as chef de cuisine at New York's acclaimed Oak Room.

In 2009, Ridgway founded PorcSalt, a small charcuterie business focused on producing local, sustainable and artisanal products from pasture-raised duck. Ridgway went on to become owner and chef of The Pass, a neo-French "roadhouse" in Rosemont, N.J., which opened to critical acclaim from The New York Times and was quickly and consistently recognized as one of the state's finest restaurants.

Ridgway returned to Atlanta in 2015 and became executive chef of Gypsy Kitchen and Southern Gentleman, located at The Shops at Buckhead Atlanta. In August 2017, he returned to his upscale, fine dining roots at Cooks & Soldiers. In his spare time, Ridgway enjoys exploring new flavors, ingredients and techniques. He currently resides in southwest Atlanta.

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.

For more information on chef Eddie and Taqueria del Sol, visit Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Chefs Fuyuhiko and Lisa Ito  |  UMI

With more than 28 years of culinary experience in both traditional Japanese and classic French restaurants, Tokyo-born chef and partner Fuyuhiko Ito leads the culinary team at Umi, a new sushi concept located in Atlanta's bustling Buckhead neighborhood. Umi embraces Ito's heritage along with his unwavering passion for high quality ingredients and offers a diverse menu with international influences and both classic and progressive approaches to Asian fare.

Ito began his restaurant career at the age of 17 at Chateau Lion in Tokyo where he handled fresh fish from the Tsukiji Fish Market daily. Over the next several years, Ito worked under master chef Kono in the United States and a top Yakitori chef at Toriyoshi in Nishiazabu, Tokyo. Throughout his culinary profession, Ito developed a great passion for his knives. Each day, he carefully fine tunes each to maintain its maximum performance by using at least three different grit sharpening stones. In addition, Ito only uses non-oxidizing knives enabling him to avoid oxidation while cutting the finest sushi ingredients, creating a new standard in sushi cuisine.

In 2007, Ito met his wife and Umi pastry chef, Lisa Ito. The couple now lives together in Roswell, Georgia, with their six children.

Chef Zeb Stevenson  |  WATERSHED

Over the years, executive chef Zeb Stevenson has risen through the culinary ranks to establish himself in Atlanta. Here at Watershed, he exerts a passion for experimental, ingredient-driven cooking, with a nod to soulful Southern cuisine in every dish.

Stevenson got his start as sous chef at the renowned Dick & Harry's restaurant in Roswell, where he honed his technical skills of butchery, charcuterie, pastry and sauce work. He then advanced his career as executive sous chef and opening Spice Market at the W Atlanta Midtown Hotel, while training under acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. This experience led Stevenson to become chef de cuisine at The Livingston, where he collaborated with chef Gary Mennie and was quickly promoted to executive chef. During his tenure at The Livingston, he won Food Network's "Chopped" cooking competition and opened Proof + Provision speakeasy, which became an immediate success.

Chef Todd Ginsberg  |  THE CANTEEN

Todd Ginsberg is a 2014 and 2015 James Beard Foundation Semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York. He started his career at The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta under Joel Antunes and Bruno Menard. He also led the kitchens at Asher in Roswell, Georgia as well as Madison's in Highlands, North Carolina. Later he spent time at Lucas Carton in Paris and at Alain Ducasse in New York. Upon his return to Atlanta, he worked for the Concentrics Restaurants Group, serving as chef at both TAP and Trois and was the chef at Bocado from its opening in 2009, until partnering with Jennifer and Ben Johnson and Shelley Sweet to open The General Muir in 2013, followed by Fred's Meat & Bread and Yalla, both in Krog Street Market, in late 2014, and TGM Bread in early 2016.

Chef Philippe Haddad  |  CAPE DUTCH

Philippe Haddad brings 37 years of global, culinary and hospitality experience to Cape Dutch and the Company, offering his innovative cooking techniques and recipe creations along with his life-of-the party character and passion for food and wine.

Prior to joining the Cape Dutch team, Haddad starred as guest consulting chef of a different concept from restaurateur Justin Anthony, Yebo, for the restaurant's Sunday brunch series, in addition to leading the kitchen at F&B Atlanta as executive chef for three years. A Bruges, Belgium native, Haddad began his culinary journey as a teenager, when he exhibited more than a passing interest in the culinary arts. At a young age, Haddad was accepted to the most renowned hotel institute in Belgium, Hotel School Ter Duinen after enrolling in a preliminary cooking school at age 14. Haddad's passion and elite training allowed him to find work in a myriad of regions and countries such as Belgium, the south of France, the United Kingdom, Bermuda, the West Indies, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the United States. Along the way, Haddad gained insight into the many customs and cultures that surround each country’s culinary traditions.

Chef James Burge  |  BARCELONA WINE BAR

James Burge has been building his career as a chef for over 10 years, starting as a sous chef at restaurants that covered a range of categories from American and BBQ to of Italian, Greek and Spanish cuisines.

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in 2009, Burge began his tenure at Barcelona Wine Bar in 2012, traveling around the country to cook in many of their kitchens. In fact, Burge has worked in 11 out of the 13 Barcelona locations. He now serves as Executive Chef of their Inman Park outpost in Atlanta.

Based on his lifelong passion for cooking, which he developed by watching his mother cooking and gardening throughout his childhood, Burge was drawn to Barcelona because of the creative control he is given in the kitchen. He enjoys the ability to use simple, yet unique ingredients like liver and bone marrow, and elevating them by incorporating fresh, vibrant flavors.

Aside from cooking, Chef Burge enjoys spending his free time reading, camping, hunting, and fishing.

Lauren Fernandez and
Kay Lynne Mitchell

Lauren and Kay Lynne are affectionately known as the "Atlanta Chicks" of Chicken Salad Chick, each owning and operating restaurants independently in the Atlanta area. Lauren is the president and co-founder of Origin Development Group, with Chicken Salad Chick locations in Buckhead, Alpharetta, Roswell, Kennesaw and Peachtree City. She has also expanded into Augusta and Athens with plans to double her footprint in Georgia. For Lauren, being a "Chick" is an opportunity to serve and lead others, and she catapulted Chicken Salad Chick into the hearts and appetites of Atlantans with a heart for quality southern fare. A passionate advocate for the fight against hunger, Lauren serves on the advisory board for the Atlanta Community Food Bank. If forced to choose a favorite menu item, Lauren is partial to the outstanding pimento cheese.

Kay Lynne owns the Chicken Salad Chick in Marietta. For Kay Lynn, being a "Chick" is a family affair. She is the aunt of Chicken Salad Chick's co-founder, Stacy Brown, and her restaurant has become a favorite in East Cobb. But you won't just find Kay Lynne in her restaurant, you'll also find her name as one of the popular flavors of chicken salad on the menu. With her fire-cracker personality and fiery red hair, she was the inspiration for Kickin' Kay Lynne, a chicken salad made with a bold combination of buffalo sauce, jalapenos, bacon, ranch, cheese and sriracha. As Stacy puts it "Kay Lynne has a way of lighting up a room and making everyone in it feel just wonderful!"

Anthony Vipond  |  WHISKEY BIRD

With almost 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Anthony Vipond brings his vast knowledge and skill to Whiskey Bird as the Co-Founder and General Manager. Vipond cut his teeth in the industry with some of the best restaurant groups in the country, including Hillstone Restaurant Group and Chopt. Vipond is now at the helm of Whiskey Bird, located in Atlanta's Morningside Neighborhood, and oversees the operations and bar program. When Vipond isn't working hard at the restaurant, he is either skiing, eating poutine, drinking rye whiskey or playing with his 5-pound dog named Ladybug.

Chef Keith Schroeder  |  HIGH ROAD CRAFT ICE CREAM

After nearly 20 years in professional kitchens, High Road Craft Ice Cream Founder and CEO Keith Schroeder took his culinary prowess into the laboratory, where he crafts exquisite ice cream, gelato & sorbet for luxury retailers and fine restaurants throughout the nation. After graduating top-of-class from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 1995, Chef Schroeder went on to work for some of Atlanta's finest chefs and restaurants, including the acclaimed Nikolai's Roof and Riviera Restaurant. Schroeder took his culinary skills on the road, leading top kitchens in New York, San Diego and Los Angeles, in addition to spending time as Executive Chef and Instructor at New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont. Schroeder completed his Executive MBA at Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University in 2010, earning a spot in the prestigious honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. While at Coles, Schroeder and partner Hunter Thornton won the 2010 International New Ventures Competition at the University of Nebraska, earning sufficient seed capital to open High Road Craft Ice Cream. Since launching the company in October 2010, Schroeder has led the company's rapid growth, seeing High Road Craft Ice Cream onto the shelves of retailers like Whole Foods Markets, Dean & Deluca, The Fresh Market, and Harris Teeter. High Road's products are quickly becoming staples at finer restaurants, resorts, and hotels around the world, and at sea as well. The company has been featured in EveryDay with Rachael Ray, People Magazine, USA Today, Southern Living, Dairy Foods Magazine, and was recently nominated for a sofi™ Award, the specialty food industry's top honor. Schroeder is a dedicated and unconventional leader, who always shares his passion for food, culture, entrepreneurship, personal development, and life well lived. He is married to the company's Chief Marketing Officer, Nicki Schroeder (which makes for a good time), and has two wonderful children, Madison (14), and Jackson (12).

Kristia Paz  |  ONE EARED STAG

At One Eared Stag, the only constant on the menu is change; that same rule applies to the dessert and brunch selections created by pastry chef Kristia Paz. Every two weeks, Paz wipes the slate clean and introduces three new plated desserts to be served with dinner. During One Eared Stag's famous weekend brunch, the changes come even quicker: Paz serves a pastry basket with four different baked goods that change every single week. That mandate for change might intimidate a lesser chef, but Paz appreciates the challenge - especially when paired with the creative freedom and trust granted her by owner and chef Robert Phalen. Paz's only real restriction comes in the form of the seasonal ingredients brought in by Chef Phalen, though those tend to serve more as inspiration than limitation.

For her part, Paz enjoys using classic pastry and baking techniques to create pairings that feel familiar to diners but are presented with an unusual twist. She draws on a well of experience from some of Atlanta's top dessert destinations, including Restaurant Eugene, where she was part of the opening staff and worked for three years. Prior to One Eared Stag, Paz spent seven years at The Little Cake Bakery, the beloved Buckhead cupcake shop where Jennifer Zyman of Creative Loafing Atlanta hailed Paz for her "wildly creative" creations. At One Eared Stag, her creativity has been allowed to roam beyond the land of cupcakes since 2013.

To see some of Paz's artful desserts, follow her on Instagram @kris_cha, where she displays a great eye and showcases her photography hobby. Away from work, she likes to relax and spend time with her family. On Sundays after she finishes brunch service, Paz can be found at a weekly dinner with her parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. She doesn't usually have to cook, but when she does, she's been known to create a full dessert buffet - whether it's at home or One Eared Stag, Paz never does anything halfway.

Chef Barbara O'Neill  |  THE COOKIE STUDIO

Barbara spent hours in the kitchen with her mom where she acquired the valuable baking skills she uses today to create the wonderful cookies and treats that are produced each day at The Cookie Studio. The inspiration for the business came in 2005 after reading a magazine article about three women who had left their careers and opened cookie businesses. Starting with nothing but an idea she has built a bakery café that produces scrumptious cookies and baked products as well as delicious breakfast and lunch selections.

The Cookie Studio has received innumerable awards including Best Cookies in Atlanta from The Atlanta Journal Constitution and Creative Loafing, Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookie from Atlanta Magazine and was named by Food and Wine Magazine as having one of the best chocolate chip cookies in the country. Each day The Cookie Studio features 18 varieties of cookies as well as brownies and bars, cupcakes, whoopie pies and a host of other delectable treats.

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