Maricela Vega, who runs the popular Mexican food pop-up Chicomecóatl, has been named the executive chef at Ponce de Leon Avenue restaurant 8Arm.
The eatery announced the appointment on its Facebook page:
8ARM is thrilled to announce that Maricela Vega is our new Executive Chef. We've been so impressed with Maricela's work on her Chicomecóatl pop-ups, as well as her relationships with local farms and the work she's done to reinvigorate local foodways by applying her own, deeply personal philosophy of food. We are lucky to have her grace and creativity, and we look forward to having her lead our staff into this new, exciting chapter at 8ARM.
Chicomecoatl has popped up regularly at locations including The Spindle off the Eastside Beltline, and Vega also runs the plant-based supper series La Casita at LottaFrutta in Old Fourth Ward.
Vega grew up in Dalton — about 90 minutes from Atlanta — after her family immigrated from Mexico to California and made their way to Georgia. She studied international law for two years before deciding to focus on food, and served at restaurants including Midway Pub and Empire State South before getting kitchen jobs such as overseeing the catering operations at Sun In My Belly.
She’s developed close relationships with and sources ingredients from local farms including Grow Where You Are, Mayflor Farms, Mena’s Farm and Community Farmers Markets.
8Arm opened on Ponce in 2016. It recently expanded with the attached project Ink, a cocktail bar that offers a small menu that includes caviar service and tinned and canned foods from Europe and Spain.
The restaurant was co-founded by Nhan Le and Angus Brown, who served as executive chef and passed away in early 2017.
Le also owns So Ba and Octopus Bar in East Atlanta and 3heart coffee roastery on the Eastside Beltline.
The AJC has reached out to Vega for comment.
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