Atlanta Restaurant Scene

Wesley True is the new executive chef at the Optimist

This morning, Atlanta chef/restaurateur Ford Fry (JCT. Kitchen, No. 246 , King + Duke, St. Cecilia, The El Felix, Superica) announced Wesley True as the new executive chef at his Westside seafood destination, the Optimist .

True will take over for executive chef Adam Evans, who opened The Optimist in May 2012, but  recently resigned , effective August 14.

Adding to the chef shuffle drama, True recently  parted ways with  Concentrics Resturants , and stepped down as executive chef at The Spence.

True was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award “Best Chef South” and has been featured in publications including Southern Living, Garden & Gun, and USA Today. He took over at The Spence in March of 2015, replacing chef Richard Blais of “Top Chef” fame, who moved on to open a restaurant in California. Recently, True took time off from The Spence to film an upcoming season of “Top Chef.”

In a press release Fry said: “I am excited that Wesley is coming on board with us. We became friends when he was thinking of moving to Atlanta and continued our friendship while he and his family settled in. Wesley and Adam have worked together on a few special events and hit it off well so it will be a natural for Adam to introduce Wesley to the staff, the kitchen and be by his side over the next couple of weeks before Adam’s departure.” Ford continued to say, “Wesley's cooking style and philosophy are not unlike Adams, Wesley loves big bright flavors and "not cooking" fish –meaning he has an affinity for crudo. I’m personally stoked to be working with Wesley as well as pumped to watch Adam grow even bigger and better out there!”

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True said: “Honestly, the minute I met Ford I felt an automatic connection. We seem to have very similar core values, meaning, how to grow our people and treat our people. Seems Ford’s company philosophy is a match for me. I’m very excited to take the reins and continue to help The Optimist be an Atlanta success.”

For more on True's cooking style, check out John Kessler’s late May two star review of The Spence  here .

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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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