Alpharetta - Meet Our Chefs 0 Classes
Talk of the Town & Other Experts
Ford Fry’s culinary inspirations cover many years and much of the country: from eating out with his family as a child in Texas, to studying at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, to spending time as a fine dining chef in Florida, Colorado and California—and eventually as a corporate chef in Atlanta. Although the corporate chef position didn’t stick, Fry’s love for Atlanta stuck with him and it has proved a recipe for success so far. Accolades for Fry and his restaurants include:
October 2012 – The Optimist named the Best New Restaurant of the Year by Esquire magazine. October 2013 – Fry named a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards for Outstanding Restaurateur.
June 2013 – The Optimist named one of the 70 Best Restaurants in the World by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. September 2013 – The Optimist was on the cover of Bon Appétit and named the seventh Best New Restaurant in the country by the magazine. October 2013 – King + Duke selected as one of the Best New Restaurants of 2013 by Esquire magazine. November 2013 – Fry wins seventh annual Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Award for Restaurateur of the Year. November 2013 – Fry named Empire Builder of the Year by Eater Atlanta. Invited to cook at the Beard House on multiple occasions
In January 2007, Fry put down roots in Atlanta with the opening of his first restaurant – JCT. Kitchen & Bar – a place that's as warm and friendly as its owner. The menu at JCT. is reminiscent of traditional family favorites and features ingredients from regional fields and farms. Regulars love JCT.’s refined comfort food, from fried chicken with bacon mac and cheese to deviled eggs with country ham to the restaurant’s famous “angry” mussels. The upstairs bar serves up small plates, cocktails and amazing views of the Atlanta skyline for a more casual dining experience. JCT. Kitchen & Bar is the kind of place locals take their out-of-town guests for a classy Southern experience.
Fry’s culinary vision always begins with ingredients and dishes that are central to the Atlanta community and Southeastern region.
Fry opened his second restaurant, No. 246, in Decatur, Georgia, in 2011 with executive chef/co-owner Drew Belline. No. 246 presents guests with an Italian-inspired dining experience that is influenced by seasonality and local products. The restaurant offers pizza that is cooked in an oven imported from Naples and handmade pasta.
His third restaurant, The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist, opened in 2012 in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood. The Optimist serves sustainable seafood prepared in a wood-burning oven, while the attached Oyster Bar at The Optimist is a more casual, “fish camp” style spot for raw and roasted oysters and a specialty punch menu.
Fry’s King + Duke opened in May 2013 in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. The restaurant uses primitive techniques such as hearth and open fire cooking to create dishes with bold and smoky flavors.
In 2014, Fry opened St. Cecilia. The restaurant’s name not only pays tribute to the patron saint of music, it also represents Fry’s love of music and the sirens of Greek mythology whose songs coaxed mariners to shore. Inspired by the southern European coast, the menu features light olive oils, wood-roasted fish, simple, yet perfect pastas and local produce.