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Atlanta, GA


Ford Fry is the James Beard Award-nominated chef and restaurateur who heads nine acclaimed Atlanta destinations including The Optimist (named one of Bon Appetit’s 10 best restaurants in the country and Esquire magazine’s best new restaurant in America in 2012), King + Duke (named one of Esquire magazine’s best new restaurants in 2013), No. 246; JCT.Kitchen & Bar; St. Cecilia; Marcel; The El Felix; and Superica, which just expanded to its second location. In late 2015, the empire builder returned to his native Houston to open State of Grace, his first restaurant outside of Atlanta with nostalgic dishes that harken back to his childhood, and most recently, in January 2016 he opened BeetleCat (the sister restaurant to successful hotspot The Optimist), a casual cocktail lounge and restaurant inspired by late 70s and early 80s vintage shore-style.