A chef from a popular Atlanta restaurant will represent the city in the first Professional Cooking Competition at the Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival.
Andrew Smith, chef at West Egg Cafe in Westside Atlanta, will compete with other Georgia chefs for the title of "Georgia's Best Shrimp & Grits" at the fest, which runs from Sept. 16-18 in the National Historical Landmark District on the barrier island . In addition to duking it out for the title, the winner will also have the opportunity to cook the dish for Governor Nathan Deal and his wife, Sandra. The winner will receive $2,000, while the runner-up will get $1,000 and the third place contestant will win $500.
Competitors were chosen through an online poll from a list of nominees. Up to three restaurants were nominated in each region, and visitors could vote for nominees in any and all regions.
Georgia native Smith joined West Egg in August 2015 after working at Atlanta restaurants including Horseradish Grill, Atkin's Park and Ormsby's.
Other chefs competing include:
- Historic High Country Region: Chef Zach Kell, Goin’ Coastal, Canton
- Northeast Georgia Mountains Region: Chef Matt Leonard, American Catch Seafood Exchange, Blairsville
- Historic Heartland Region: Chef Jeremy Collins, The National, Athens
- Magnolia Midlands Region: Chef Robert Shaffer, Deano’s Italian, Dublin
- Plantation Trace Region: Chef David Scarbrough, The LOCAL Kitchen:Bar, Tifton
- The Coast Region: Chef Kate Buchanan, Indigo Coastal Shanty, Brunswick
- The Golden Isles Region: Chef Dale Ford, Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Jekyll Island