Calling cooking show lovers, dining aficionados and anyone with Atlanta pride! Atlanta chefs need your vote.
ABC’s food show “The Chew,” in partnership with Channel 2 WSB-TV and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , is holding a competition that pits six chefs – one each from Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, Chicago and Boston – against one another in a televised cook-off.
The chefs will head to New York to compete in February. The winner will be crowned “The Chew’s Best Chef on the Block” and will receive a grand prize of $1,000 and the opportunity to cook one of their recipes on “The Chew” with the show’s co-hosts.
Which chef should represent the ATL?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution dining critics Ligaya Figueras, Wyatt Williams and Wendell Brock selected chefs Todd Ginsberg and Craig Richards as worthy contenders who could go head-to-head with other top toques from across the country. But only one Atlanta chef can trek to New York.
That’s where you come in.
Help us decide which Atlanta chef to send to “The Chew’s Best Chef on the Block” cooking competition by voting on our Facebook poll . The poll will close Jan. 12 at noon. The winner will be announced Jan. 12 at 5 p.m. on the AJC Dining Blog.
Need a bit of background on Ginsberg and Richards to help you decide? Check out their bios and video messages below.
Todd Ginsberg is a 2014 and 2015 James Beard Foundation Semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York. He started his career at The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta under Joel Antunes and Bruno Menard. He also led the kitchens at Asher in Roswell as well as Madison's in Highlands, N.C. Later he spent time at Lucas Carton in Paris and at Alain Ducasse in New York.
Upon his return to Atlanta, Ginsberg worked for the Concentrics Restaurants Group, serving as chef at both TAP and Trois and was the chef at Bocado from its opening in 2009, until partnering with Jennifer and Ben Johnson and Shelley Sweet to open The General Muir in 2013 , followed by Fred’s Meat & Bread and Yalla, both in Krog Street Market, in late 2014, and TGM Bread in early 2016. Most recently, in June 2017, Ginsberg and his partners opened their own food hall on Fifth Street in Tech Square called The Canteen , featuring second locations of Fred's Meat & Bread and Yalla, as well as the new TGM Bagel and Square Bar.
St. Cecilia executive chef Craig Richards began his culinary career as a line cook at Pachamama’s Restaurant in Kansas, cooking new American market cuisine and honing his skills. Trips to Europe began soon after, and multiple travels to Italy, driving across the country, working in kitchens, and sourcing products turned an initial knack into a true understanding of that nation’s culinary currency.
Richards trained for five years under renowned Italian chefs Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali, and then made his Atlanta debut in 2005 at La Tavola in Virginia-Highlands. After La Tavola, Richards worked at Midtown’s Ecco, expanding into Spanish, French and North African food. At Ecco, Richards had the opportunity to execute an event alongside renowned winemaker Marco Parusso, which received a standing ovation from the winemaker. Richards was part of the opening team when St. Cecilia launched in 2014. He quickly rose from sous chef to his current position as executive chef. Under Richards’ leadership, St. Cecilia was named No. 2 Best Restaurant in Atlanta in 2014 by Jezebel, Top 5 Most Exciting Restaurants of the Year in 2014 by The Atlantan; and one of Zagat’s 25 Most Anticipated Opening of 2014.