Restaurants take great pride in offering memorable dining experiences to their patrons. From carefully choosing their restaurant’s décor to planning menu items that are delightful and exciting, restaurants are always looking for ways to satisfy their customers and provide them with exceptional service.
To help promote the various produce that Georgia has to offer, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) have created a Georgia Grown Executive Chef program as an extension of the Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown campaign. The goal of this program is to highlight the collaborative efforts of Georgia’s restaurant industry and Georgia’s farms while increasing awareness for both restaurateurs and consumers about which local Georgia products are available for the cooking season. The program also aims to highlight and involve public school culinary education and school food nutrition in terms of increased opportunities for Georgia Grown products, training and recipe development.
Each year, executive chefs from around the state are encouraged to apply for the Georgia Grown Executive Chef program, a position that is marked with honor and distinction. As a Georgia Grown Executive Chef, chefs serve to represent Georgia Grown at various events and help promote the program via various means.
Now entering its fourth year, the program is once again seeking executive chefs to apply to become part of this prominent group of Georgia Grown Executive Chefs. The current Georgia Grown Executive Chefs include:
- Chef Holly Chute, Executive Chef, Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program
- Chef Michael Deihl, CEC CCA AAC, Vice President of Culinary Innovation, A Kitchen Kalamity
- Chef Kevin Gillespie, Owner, Gunshow in Atlanta
- Chef Hilary White, Executive Chef, The Hil, A Restaurant at Serenb
- Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, Executive Chef & Owner, Your Resident Gourmet, LLC in Atlanta
- Chef Linton Hopkins, Executive Chef, Restaurant Eugene/Resurgens Hospitality in Atlanta
- Chef Ahmad Nourzad, Executive Chef, Affairs to Remember Caterers in Atlanta
- Chef David Snyder, Chef/Owner, Halyards, Tramici Restaurant and Halyards Catering in St. Simons
- Gary Coltek, Senior Director, Kennesaw State University Culinary and Hospitality Services in Kennesaw
- Chef Roberto Leoci, Executive Chef, Leoci's Trattoria in Savannah
- Chef Marc Taft, Executive Chef, Chicken and the Egg in Marietta
- Chef Virginia Willis, Executive Chef and Food Writer, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc. in Atlanta
As the Georgia Grown Executive Chef program continues to grow and make headway in the state, it will create a pathway for consumers to find Georgia Grown in their communities in order to support local, seasonal foods when dining out. Executive chefs throughout Georgia are encouraged to apply for this program and share why they should be chosen as the next Georgia Grown Executive Chefs.Karen Bremer is the Executive Director of the Georgia Restaurant Association.