Atlanta Restaurant Scene


OTP chefs reveal New Year’s kitchen resolutions

With the new year just around the corner, it got us wondering what some of our favorite chefs and restaurateurs outside the Perimeter were thinking about for 2019. Steal a peek at their kitchen restaurant resolutions here — and maybe it will prompt you to make a few of your own, too.


Libby Muldawer of il Giallo said her resolution is to digitize all her c-fold recipes and revisions. (CONTRIBUTED BY IL GIALLO OSTERIA & BAR )

Get organized
“My New Year's resolution is to type out and digitize all of my c-fold recipes and revisions.”

 — Libby Muldawer, pastry chef, il Giallo Osteria & Bar. 5920 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. 404-709-2148,

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Mel Toledo is executive chef and owner of Foundation Social Eatery. (CONTRIBUTED BY FOUNDATION SOCIAL EATERY )

Spend time with family
“My New Year’s resolution this year will be spending more time with my family, and less time in the kitchen. As crazy as it sounds, it helps me be more creative when I am at the restaurant!” 
— Mel Toledo, executive chef and owner, Foundation Social Eatery. 1570 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell.

Jason Stern, executive chef of Colletta, resolves to reduce food waste. (CONTRIBUTED BY HEIDI GELDHAUSER )

Reduce food waste
“My goal for 2019 is to continue to reduce food waste by turning what typically ends up being scrap food into dish components. I started last year, by freezing the roots and greens of winter vegetables to create a filling for the triangoli on the summer menu, but now I’m trying to push that initiative even further.” 
 — Jason Stern, executive chef, Colletta. 900 Third St., Alpharetta. 678-722-8335,

Stuart Rogers is executive chef of Oak Steakhouse. (CONTRIBUTED BY HEIDI GELDHAUSER)

Effective communication
“My New Year’s resolution for Oak, and myself as an individual, is to take more time developing effective communication systems, identifying our shortcomings, and building our team’s overall skill set to push the kitchen team to perform at a higher level.” 
 — Stuart Rogers, executive chef, Oak Steakhouse. 950 Third St., Alpharetta. 678-722-8333,

Chase D'Anella, owner of Chase's Grille and Wingery, plans to work hard and share knowledge. (CONTRIBUTED BY CHASE’S GRILLE AND WINGERY )

Work hard and share knowledge
“The New Year is almost upon us and, as a young restaurateur, I am thinking about my personal resolutions and my 2019 resolutions for Chase’s Grille and Wingery. I have already started on a personal note to educate myself on new and vintage culinary styles. I was taught at home, cooking with: grandma Audrey, mom (Ms. Audra), and, as many know, my South Philly great aunt Teresa (now deceased). I have acquired many recipes from them, and it is my plan to add their best to my talents. Chase’s Grille and Wingery will not only have some new foods and flair, but, with luck and wishful resolution, will have some new design changes. What is a new year without a resolute mantra: ‘Work hard, and share knowledge.’”
— Chase D’Anella, owner, Chase’s Grille and Wingery. 125 Lawrenceville St. NW, Norcross. 770-449-0229.


Alex Friedman, chef of Bistro Off Broad, is working to source all his food from Georgia farms. (CONTRIBUTED BY BISTRO OFF BROAD )

Source locally

"As the Bistro enters 2019, its third year in business, I've been looking back on all we have achieved, as both a restaurant and as part of the community. I am most proud of the relationships we have developed with local Georgia farmers. There are many restaurants that consider themselves farm-to-table, because they use a few products fresh from a local farm. In the new year, and years ahead, I want the Bistro to be the benchmark that all other restaurants hope to achieve, regarding local Georgia farm use, as we work toward our goal to grow our farm program to source 100 percent of our products from Georgia farms. We will continue developing personal relationships with our farmers, and showcasing their hard work and beautiful products, which result in wonderful selections for our guests to enjoy.” 

— Alex Friedman, chef, Bistro Off Broad. 16 E. Candler St., Winder. 678-963-5517,


Get creative
“To think outside of the box.”
— Pasquale Cardamuro, president, La Casa Italian Grill. 37 Old Roswell St., Alpharetta. 770-609-6311,


Build new relationships
"I am still fairly new to Atlanta — I moved down last year from New York, where I had a network of people I worked with in the Hudson Valley — but now it is up to me to build new relationships, and cultivate new friendships in the Atlanta area. So, my New Year's resolution is to do my part to get to know my local farms, farmers and farmers markets, so that I can support them, and, where I can, cook with the best ingredients Georgia has to offer in the peak of their growing seasons."

— Matty Hutchin, executive chef, Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar. 900 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. 678-266-6220,


Get personal and mix it up
“I will be creating more weekly specials, featuring small plates with steak-inspired dishes. I will be introducing the kitchen staff to our guests on a nightly basis. Our guests love it when we bring the kitchen to them, so now I plan on bringing them more chefs on a personal basis. I will be featuring more pop-up lunch specialties with pop-up lunch menus like lobster rolls and a complete barbecue lunch on specific days. Lastly, I will feature pop-up brunch menus on a monthly basis, with an emphasis on bloody mary brunches, where we incorporate the kitchen foods into the bloody mary drinks.”
— Thuan Nguyen, executive chef, Noble Fin. 5260 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners. 770-599-7979,

Alex Kim, executive chef of Local Republic, hopes to encourage kitchen staff to be proud of their craft. (CONTRIBUTED BY LOCAL REPUBLIC )

Be proud

“This year’s focus, for me, is about encouraging our kitchen staff to be proud of their craft. Whether they are new to it, or have done this for years, their pride should be evident in their plate. It’s sometimes easy to get in the mindset of ‘This is just a job,’ but what we do is more.”

— Alex Kim, executive chef, Local Republic. 139 N. Perry St., Lawrenceville. 678-205-4782,


Rob McIntyre is kitchen manager of Local Republic. (CONTRIBUTED BY LOCAL REPUBLIC)

Try something new
“In 2019, I would love to see everyone get outside of their comfort zone to try something new. We need to open up to new cultures and styles. Especially in the Atlanta area, we have so many diverse experiences to have represented in our communities and to learn from.”

— Rob McIntyre, kitchen manager, Local Republic. 139 N. Perry St., Lawrenceville. 678-205-4782,


Eric Brown, general manager of Strange Taco Bar, wants to focus on young people entering the culinary field. (CONTRIBUTED BY STRANGE TACO BAR )

“I’m going to focus on building excitement and passion for the culinary youth just entering the industry. Creating delicious dishes, and providing a stellar experience for guests, is so rewarding. I want to share that elation with Atlanta’s aspiring talent.”

— Eric Brown, general manager, Strange Taco Bar. 225 W. Crogan St., Lawrenceville. 678-869-5220,

Read the 2018 AJC Fall Dining Guide: Dining on Buford Highway 

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The Food & Dining Team offers reviews, previews, food news and fun bites food trends for metro Atlanta’s vast food and dining scene.

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