City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Atlanta’s culinary ‘Rising Stars’ announced 2012 Atlanta Rising Stars

Back row: Peter Dale, Seth Roskind, Miles Macquarrie, Todd Immel, Chrysta Poulos, Aaron Russell, Anthony Gray, Andy Carson Front row: Robert Phalen, Ryan Smith, Whitney Otawka, Brian Lewis, Shane Devereux, Adam Evans, Tyler Williams, Taria Camerino, Terry Koval (Not pictured: Guy Wong, Richard Blais)

It’s awards season — that time of year when chef and restaurants are recognized for their achievements. The James Beard winners will be announced next month and has announced its 2012 Atlanta Rising Stars.

Each year chooses four cities around the country for which they name Rising Stars, the future leaders of the culinary scene. This year, the group conducted interviews and personal tastings with 80 of Atlanta’s culinary professionals before selecting award winners. In a press release, editor-in-chief Antoinette Bruno said, “We’ve found a creative, eclectic and burgeoning culinary landscape in Atlanta. It’s the heart of farm-to-table, artisanal product and historical cooking. This city is the epitome of Southern cuisine.”

Atlanta’s 2012 Rising Stars include:


  • Andy Carson, Bacchanalia
  • Shane Devereux, The Lawrence, The Sound Table and Top FLR
  • Adam Evans, JCT Kitchen
  • Robert Phalen, One Eared Stag
  • Ryan Smith, Empire State South
  • Tyler Williams, Abattoir
  • Guy Wong, Miso Izakaya


  • Aaron Russell, Restaurant Eugene
  • Chrysta Poulos, Woodfire Grill


  • Terry Koval, Farm Burger


  • Todd Immel, Star Provisions’ Meat Department


  • Anthony Gray, Southern Art and Bourbon Bar at the InterContinental Buckhead


  • Richard Blais, HD1 and Flip Burger


  • Taria Camerino, Sugar-Coated Radical


  • Brian Lewis, STG Trattoria and Bocado


  • Seth Roskind, 4th & Swift


  • Miles Macquarrie, Leon’s Full Service


  • Peter Dale, The National


  • Whitney Otawka, Farm 255

These individuals will be recognized at the Rising Stars Gala on June 13 at the Goat Farm Arts Center. It will be hosted by chef Zach Meloy of Pushstart Kitchen and will feature tastings by the Rising Stars paired with beverages prepared by the winning mixologist and sommelier.

During the gala, additional awards will be presented, including Restaurant of Distinction for “beautiful plating with singular style,” the Mentor Award given to “one influential chef who has shaped a new generation of local culinary talent,” the Artisan Award and coffee/brewer awards. Guests at the event will also vote for their favorite dish of the evening, determining the winner of a Jade Range 18” commercial plancha.

Congrats to the Atlanta talent recognized! Is there anyone else you think should have been included?

Rising Stars Gala: 6-9:30 p.m. June 13, The Goat Farm Arts Center. Tickets $85, $125 VIP. Purchase tickets online.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

22 comments Add your comment

The Real Foodie

April 25th, 2012
8:33 am

It’s 2012 and what is wrong with this picture?


April 25th, 2012
9:09 am

You tell us Foodie.

Throw out some names for consideration.


April 25th, 2012
9:42 am

Missing is Kevin Clark of Home Grown GA and Christina Weems formerly of Woodfire as rising stars.


April 25th, 2012
10:39 am

Congratulations to all the Rising Stars!


April 25th, 2012
11:04 am

A really stellar group, all very deserving.


April 25th, 2012
12:50 pm

Ryan Smith is destined for bigger things. He is pretty much running the show at ESS as Hugh is out on book tours/TV comittments/splitting time between his numerous restaurants. Congrats to everyone though, all well-deserved!!

jack trent

April 25th, 2012
1:04 pm

i guess the blog moderator got lazy and forgot to hit the extra “enter” button between Williams and Wong.


April 25th, 2012
1:14 pm

I guess Atlanta foodies prefer all white chefs and food artists…..WOW!


April 25th, 2012
1:32 pm

Only small minds try to shine a racist light on a subject, Jeffrey.

Riley Cepatha

April 25th, 2012
3:40 pm

wow, so much typical Atlanta mentality hitting hard here …let’s all remember that while there are more and more cooks and chefs in our community that deserve recognition, events like this and numerous other silly “foodie” dog and ponies will never fully or accurately depict the breadth of what ours or any one city actually has to offer. On the flip side, just as is the way of the world, there is always an inextricable political slant . … whether it be about who barks the loudest and toots one’s own horn, onto the “ride the laurel” effect whereby media becomes enchanted with a chef or restaurant to the extent that the writing, reviews and critiques could literally be just cut and pasted from one to the other,..its amusing to see how outside parties like Star chefs view and feature the best we have to offer. There are bartenders that flex in the mirror over their ability to mimic Dale DeGroff or even cocktails that have been around for 100 years as if it was a brand new creation and, …and,…plenty of goof ball operators that open half assed places that dress hot dogs and burgers like scantily clad tourists on Collins Ave. SOBE with every intention to attract the same animalistic, drooling that might a well shaped, bronzed cleavage or taught hamstring. Yeah, it gets a little old to see the same people in limelight but really,..i mean really, …who cares? People will never read stop signs, there will always be bees on clover in a meadow, high heels and bad cologne.


April 25th, 2012
3:42 pm

Jeb Aldrich, 4th & Swift


April 25th, 2012
3:45 pm

First off, congrats to Sugar Coated Radical! Besides community recognition, the pastries and caramel are quite delectable.

What do you mean by that Tool175? I don’t think Jeffrey or anyone who is making a point about race in this article is saying these chefs and culinary artists don’t work hard and deserve to be recognized for their contributions. They do. But why are there no people of color represented here? This is similar to the Creative Loafing fiasco in 2010 that only profiled white artists in the “Artists to Look Out For” section. People got upset by that article because Atlanta is not a city full of white people contributing to music, art and food. But based on these images, one would think so.

So why is this photo of culinary stars all white? Is it because only look within their own social circles for winners, or is it because there are no people of color who are making contributions to the culinary world in Atlanta? I have a hard time believing the latter point is true, and the whitewashing of the culinary world in Atlanta as presented by this website is disturbing. Unfortunately, I do not go out to eat a lot and prefer to learn cooking techniques on my own and sharing my food with people in less expensive situations than going out to eat. This means I can’t offer much by the way of suggestions of who StarChefs should be paying attention to.


April 25th, 2012
4:09 pm

If you think a particular chef (or race) has been slighted, this is the perfect venue to express that opinion. But you need be able to offer some suggestions of chefs that are worthy of inclusion. Otherwise, you end up looking a fool.


April 25th, 2012
5:17 pm

Could you link the previous entry on this — I think there was one on who was nominated?


April 25th, 2012
6:54 pm

Now we should be required to have Affirmative Action when it comes to chef awards? Could it be ever-so-possible they picked who they felt were the best in their category without regards to race or gender, and it just so happened that, since the majority of higher-performing chefs in Atlanta are Caucasian, that Caucasians are the majority on this list (Guy Wong is certainly not Caucasian, so there goes your ethnic discrimination theory).
Give the “race card” crap a rest, already. Sometimes when a group is named it is just going to be a majority of one race. For anyone to automatically claim “racism” is absurd. Would it be racist if, when making a list of the highest-performing basketball players that the overwhelming majority on that list would be black? Would it be racist not to have any Asians on that list?

Try to stop seeing the world in black or white and just see PEOPLE. And if you can’t, at least ST*U about it.

taria camerino

April 25th, 2012
7:34 pm

i’m white?
first i want to thank everyone for this, it is an honor for me, and i have worked incredibly hard
in this industry, especially in atlanta, i have stood by my principles in an industry that makes it hard to do, i have understanding for the idea of injustice, but for me, this really means alot.

Fernand Point

April 26th, 2012
9:30 am

It’s not about the fact that the chefs are all white in the picture but the fact that someone recognized the talent and hard work that they have shown and given them a chance to advance in their careers. There are many persons of color in the Atlanta restaurant industry that do not get that chance no matter how good they are.


April 26th, 2012
10:29 am

Okay Martyl, pls throw out some names of chefs that are of color that should be in here. I did not make this about color or race. You jump out there and give some speech about how different organizations pass over chefs or artists of color in Atlanta, then you admit, that you really don’t know much about the chefs in Atlanta b/c you don’t go out and try different restaurants. Come on if your gonna call people and organizations out, have some alternatives to suggest. Grats to all winners and anyone even considered for the awards.

stephen eighmey

April 26th, 2012
2:06 pm

You forgot gabe and greg from holeman & finch and restaurant eugene. some of the best mixologists ever

Doc Hollidawg

April 27th, 2012
4:46 pm

The only thing I see wrong in the picture is that bridge is way too low for a train to pass under. That’s an accident waiting to happen.

Doc Hollidawg

April 27th, 2012
4:47 pm

..and congratulations to the Rising Stars. Doc has enjoyed several of your creations and can’t wait to try the others.


April 29th, 2012
8:34 pm

Get over yourself Jeff. Why do you have to bring race into this. Maybe the govt should make the AJC choose a man of color. Seriously people. Grow up. You don’t live in the 60’s anymore. You don’t hear Jews holding grudges with Germans. Time to start viewing people as all from one god.