With the influx of culinary competitions, programs and reality shows, Americans have become quite familiar with some of the best chefs in the country due to seeing their faces and witnessing their skills displayed across our television screen as a means of entertainment. By far the most popular of the culinary domination in television belongs to that of Bravo’s Top Chef that has not only taught many amateurs the proper techniques for preparing fine dining, but it has also created a new generation of celebrity chefs who see their own restaurants or ones that they head up, shoot to the top of the “must eat” list before they have even exited the popular show. Ironically, here in Atlanta we have a few celebrity chefs that not only reside in our Southern metropolis, but are also Executive Chefs and owners of some of the hottest restaurants in the city and just so happen to be Top Chef Alums. If you like a little famous sparkle with your food, enjoy the list of the top celebrity chefs in Atlanta. Bon Appétit!
1 Richard Blais
Shortly after finishing in the runner-up position on Season 4 of Bravo’s hit reality franchise Top Chef, super Chef Richard Blais began to get hard at work on his concept restaurant in Atlanta’s Midtown district called FLIP. Blais has described the idea of the restaurant as “a burger joint under the guise of fine dining,” and it expertly combines the best elements of both to create a one of a kind culinary experience that has the whole city buzzing about its innovative and creative dishes and plating techniques. Along with co-owners Barry Mills and Ron Stewart, Blais has singlehandedly turned the classic burger concept on its ear to delicious results. Last fall he opened his second location to his popular restaurant FLIP with a new Buckhead address.
1587 Howell Mill Rd.
3655 Roswell Rd. NE
2 Kevin Gillespie
Another Top Chef contestant, this time from Season 6, Executive Chef and co-owner Kevin Gillespie saw the patrons at Woodfire Grill, where he cooks ups culinary feasts of wonder, nearly triple after he finished taping the reality hit. Customers were not only curious to sample his delicious food, but also wanted to get a glimpse of his infectious personality that entertained viewers every week. The culinary theme of Woodfire Grill is seasonally influenced, ingredient-focused cuisine that incorporates the seasonal offerings of small local farms and purveyors as well as sustainable beef, lamb, pork, poultry and seafood for simply prepared cuisine. Food is the fire-roasted and grilled for an unforgettable culinary experience that keeps foodies coming back for more.
1782 Cheshire Bridge Rd.
3 Kevin Rathbun
Owner of two of the most highly frequented and critically-favored restaurants in Atlanta, Rathbun’s and Kevin Rathbun Steak are owned by Atlanta’s culinary superstar Kevin Rathbun. His restaurants are known for having exceptional service, exquisite food and rarely are customers disappointed. A past winner of the popular Food Network program Iron Chef, Kevin Rathbun delights fans and foodies with his delicious cuisine and light-hearted personality. Rathbun’s is the first restaurant he opened and the concept incorporates his take on Modern American Cuisine with a menu that expands to over fifty menu items along with specials every night. His insight to what his guests’ desire turned most of the menu items into staples. The signature items are the scallops, the lobster taco, the 20 oz. Ribeye with blue cheese, and the veal chop with sweet corn Gouda. Not one to rest on his laurels, Kevin Rathbun Steak followed with an emphasis on incorporating more seafood, alternative meats, new and creative appetizers and a list of over fifteen sides. Additionally Rathbun also owns Krog Bar which is a cozy little wine bar with small tapas plates. In short, if you’re eating in Atlanta, chances are it’s courtesy of Kevin Rathbun
4 Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Located inside the W Atlanta Midtown and spearheaded by the culinary talents of world-renowned French Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Spice Market Atlanta boasts some of the best food in Atlanta and it is largely due to popular Chef Vongerichten. He also has restaurants in Las Vegas, London, Paris and Shanghai. With other locations of Spice Market in New York and Doha, the concept is inspired by the vibrant street life of Southeast Asia and enchants Atlantans with fun and adventurous flavors. The menu displays complex blends of seasonings and layers of flavor that ignite the taste buds. Exotic curries and spices are uniquely tweaked, creating tantalizingly bold dishes. Chef Vongerichten has filled a culinary niche that food enthusiasts can’t seem to get enough of.
188 14th St. NE
5 Jason Hill
Wisteria is where owner and Executive Chef Jason Hill can deliciously delight his customers with his culinary flair that is a welcomed addition to the crowded culinary landscape of Atlanta. Wisteria is one of the most talked about, and equally popular, restaurants in Atlanta, and with good reason. The concept was to create a menu reflective of Southern culinary traditions, yet ambitious enough to attract sophisticated diners that want a modest comfortable atmosphere and dinner that is simply delicious. An example of the great food is a little peek into some menu highlights: iron-skillet chicken over
corn pudding and collard greens and fried catfish atop a ragout of okra, greens tomatoes, and crawfish. It’s comfort food with a twist!
471 North Highland Ave.