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Park 75
Four Seasons Hotel
75 Fourteenth Street
Atlanta, GA 30309

February 3rd & 4th, 2012

6:00 PM for the Cocktail Party
6:30 PM for the Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner


One of Atlanta's favourite destinations for dining and cocktails,Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta offers a lively atmosphere that attracts local residents and visitors alike. The focus is on the third floor, where Park 75 offers three distinctive settings – Restaurant, Lounge and Terrace – overlooking the lobby's dramatic three-storey atrium.

With business, shopping and the arts all at its doorstep, Four Seasons is dynamic Atlanta's premier hotel address – and the only five-star, five-diamond luxury hotel in the city. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Piedmont Park, Georgia Tech and upscale Buckhead shopping are all conveniently located near the Hotel. Enjoy Midtown views, ultra-spacious rooms and peerless meeting space and dining, along with service that lends new distinction to Southern hospitality.

An attentive Southern host, Four Seasons is Atlanta's premier address for special events – the only five-star, five-diamond luxury hotel in the city. Nestled in the green heart of Midtown, enjoy acclaimed, restaurant-calibre cuisine created by our internationally experienced culinary team, along with meticulous service from attentive, expert staff.

Magnificent, residential-style function spaces include Atlanta's only ballroom with a sunlit, skyline view. Unique spaces for intimate gatherings range from Savannah Hall, with its tobacco-leaf ceiling, to an outdoor terrace overlooking the city.

Walking distance from the Botanical Gardens and Piedmont Park – the Central Park of the South – Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta is set in the heart of Atlanta's art district.

RESTAURANT 610 Magnolia, Louisville KY

Chef Edward Lee's story – and his food – could only happen in America. One part Southern soul, one part Asian spice and one part New York attitude, Lee is a Korean-American who grew up in Brooklyn, trained in classical French kitchens and has spent the better part of a decade in Louisville, Kentucky.

It is, after all, what brought him to Louisville from a successful career in New York City. In 2001, on a cross-country road trip, Lee wound up in Louisville during Derby Week, the busiest dining week of the year. On a tip from a friend, he sought out the eccentric chef of a little-known gem of a restaurant called 610 Magnolia, finagling an invitation to work in the kitchen for the week. Impressed with Lee's passion and skill, the chef offered him the restaurant less than a year later. The rest is something like history.

Chef Lee's idiosyncratic culinary style draws inspiration from his heritage, his classical training and his adoptive hometown, while celebrating the best ingredients from local farms. But far from relegating him to the realm of the outsider, Lee's patchwork cuisine has attracted attention and acclaim. A three-time James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast, he has been featured in Gourmet, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Southern Living and many other national publications. He has challenged culinary royalty on Food Network's "Iron Chef America" and appeared on the CBS "The Early Show" preparing an eclectic three-course meal for a family of four for under $40.

Chef Lee continues to seek adventure, whether fishing bare-handed in a Kentucky creek, hunting for venison, working in a slaughterhouse, or dropping in on a friend's restaurant to cook for a few days. He approaches his professional and culinary life with candor, humor and, most importantly, the same spirit of adventure that was the original impetus for his success.

RESTAURANT Bettola, Birmingham AL

James Lewis is the owner of Bettola, an Italian restaurant located in downtown Birmingham on 2nd Avenue South and 29th Street. Originally born in Montreal, Canada, his family is from Birmingham and this is where he lived until he was nine. They moved to California where he resided until he finished business school at the age of twenty one. He has owned Bettola for four years. James sat down with me for a few minutes to share how he got his start and a little about the restaurant.

"I decided at a very young age (17) that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. My father has been an entrepreneur my whole life. The deciding factor for me was being who I want to be, when I want to be it and creating my own universe, if you will, and being able to control what is going on in my life, instead of having other people control it."

"Being an entrepreneur and making my own decisions lets me make the restaurant what I want it to be, everything from the food to the decor. It permeates in every aspect of what I do. I helped build the tables here in the restaurant…they have a significant background. I don't do things because I just want to make money. You'll make good money if you believe in and love what you do and share that with other people. I cook because I want to people to experience what I love and give them a piece of what I like to do and people know that. You don't have to tell them that–they see it and they feel it. I am not here just to make food to sell to make money because I need money. I don't even think about the money aspect. I know that God will provide that for me because I am working from a place of honesty, not from a place that doesn't have any truth to it."

RESTAURANT City Grocery, Oxford MS

John Currence was born and raised in New Orleans, LA to a family that loved to cook and spend time in the kitchen.  His mother's travels with his father during his childhood, combined with the family's several years in Europe, brought the dishes of the world to their dinner table, while time spent hunting and fishing in South Louisiana began the education in the foods of his home.

Currence's first cooking job was while working offshore as a deckhand on a tugboat in the Gulf of Mexico, though he saw his first restaurant job while in school at UNC where he started washing dishes at Bill Neal's Crook's Corner.  An immediate fascination with the business prompted several supplemental jobs (baking bread at an Italian restaurant, butcher shop at a local grocery store, cutting salmon and bluefish at a local smokehouse, etc).  He worked his way up through the Crook's kitchen and after three years, Currence returned to New Orleans at the behest of a high school friend, Larkin Selman, to open Gautreau's, where he worked as Selman's sous chef.  After several years, Currence moved on to the Brennan family of restaurants to help open Bacco before finally settling in Oxford in 1992 and opening City Grocery.  In the time since, the City Grocery Restaurant Group has seen a number of openings, including Nacho Mama's, Kalo's, Ajax Diner, City Grocery Catering Company, Bouré, Big Bad Breakfast and Snackbar.

Currence was recipient of both Restaurateur Of The Year and Chef Of The Year awards from the Mississippi Restaurant Association in 1998.  In 2006, he received the Southern Foodways Alliance Guardian of Tradition Award and won the 2008 Great American Seafood Cookoff in New Orleans. In 2009, he was awarded the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef South and was a winner of Charleston Food and Wine Festival's Iron Chef Challenge.

He is a contributing editor for Garden and Gun magazine and an avid outdoorsman who enjoys bird hunting of all varieties, fishing and golf.  John is active in the community, having served as chairman and president of the Mississippi Restaurant Association and president of the Yoknapatapha Arts Council.  He is active with St. Jude Children's Hospital, Memphis Ballet, Lafayette County Animal Shelter and is a sitting member of the SFA Board of Directors, for which he has served as culinary director from its inception in 1996.

Current projects include: a cookbook and Adventures of The Big Bad Chef video series, trips through the lesser known food spots of the Deep South.

He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife Bess.

HOST OF TV SHOW U Cook with Chef Bob

Fusing Lowcountry cooking and his own French-influenced technique, Chef Bob Waggoner creates contemporary and sophisticated new southern haute cuisine using seasonal and regional ingredients. On an ordinary day, Chef Bob Waggoner dishes up panned seared lamb sweetbreads over truffled grits, local young zucchini blossoms stuffed with Maine Lobster, or sautéed Smoky Mountain golden trout with Lowcountry crawfish tails. Capturing attention by producing menus that combine unusual ingredients with classic techniques, he continues to enhance and expand Charleston's appreciation for fine cuisine. His commitment to supporting local farmers and encouraging them to cultivate new and unusual products has won Waggoner praise from both the agricultural community and his guests. This is evidenced in his new cookbook, "The Charleston Grill Cookbook", where he recommends using local ingredients and provides a purveyor's list for those specialty ingredients.

His talents have also been recognized in leading culinary publications. Every year Chef Bob was at the Charleston Grill, it was awarded AAA Four-Diamond and the Mobile Four-Star award. The restaurant was also the only one in the area to be included in the Nations Restaurant News Fine Dining Hall of Fame and in the book, The Elite 1000. He has received, Wine Spectator's "Grand Award," Food & Wine's "Reader's Favorite Chef in America Award," the Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award, Santé magazine's "1999 Restaurant Wine & Spirits Chef of the Year," 1999 James Beard Rising Stars of the 21st Century," an Honorary Doctorate from Johnson and Wales University, and is one of the few Americans to be Knighted with the "l'Odre du Mérite Agricole" from the Government of France. Chef Bob Waggoner has also been featured in Saveur Magazines "100 Favorite Things", Artisan Books' Top 50 Chefs in the United States and been invited to participate in the 2002 Winter Olympics Chefs program. In 2001, Waggoner was nominated by The Beard Foundation for the Best Chef in the Southeast Award.

A California native, he received his formal training with Michael Roberts at Trumps in Los Angeles from 1981 to 1983, and later in France at a constellation of Michelin-rated restaurants with chefs Jacques Lameloise, Charles Barrier, Pierre Gagnaire, Gerard Boyer and Mark Meneau. At 23, he took on his first chef position at the private club "Members" in Caracas, Venezuela. Chef Bob Waggoner returned to France at age 24 to become chef of the Hotel de la Poste in Avallon for three years. Then, in 1988 at age 26, in the town of Moneteau in Burgandy, he became the first American chef to own his own restaurant in France, the much acclaimed Le Monte Cristo.

In 1991, Waggoner was offered the opportunity of Chef de Cuisine with Chef Jean-Pierre Silva, the two star Michelin, at Le Vieux Moulin in Beaune, France. After 11 years in France, he returned to the States in 1993 to cook at the award-winning Turnberry Isle in Florida, before joining The Wild Boar in Nashville, where he earned the restaurant a coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator.

Throughout the twelve years Chef Bob served at the Charleston Grill, Chef Waggoner gained a reputation as a media-savvy cooking expert, having appeared on "Gourmet Getaways with Robin Leach," "Great Chefs of the South," "Ralph Emery Show," "Dave Eckert's Culinary Travels," "Flavors of America," The Television Food Network's "In Food Today," "Ready, Set, Cook," and "The Best of." He also taped a series of segments with television food reporter Burt Wolf, which appeared on The Travel Channel, CNN and PBS stations nationwide.

His most recent accomplishments include an Emmy for his television show "Off the Menu" with Turner South, and filming the pilot for a new travel show, "Bob's World," a showcase of Orient Express Luxury Properties. Currently, he is the host of a weekly cooking segment for an ABC television affiliate that highlights Charleston's sophisticated culinary scene. In all of these instances, Chef Waggoner has captured attention by producing menus that combine unusual ingredients with classic techniques. He also makes guest chef appearances at many fine dining establishments across the country, including the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

Chef Bob is now pursuing his dream of launching the television series, "U Cook with Chef Bob".

RESTAURANT Blackberry Farm, TN

It all comes down to the details. The perfect placement for the final piece of fennel on an afternoon masterpiece or the flawless purity of a simple Bartlett Pear, Blackberry Farm Corporate Chef Josh Feathers understands the importance of details in world-class cuisine. An East Tennessee native who grew up with an appreciation for the region and its land, Chef Feathers understands and appreciates the flavors that the South has to offer, while adding touches of elegance he learned through his world-wide travels. Finding his culinary inspiration and initial training in Naples, Italy, Chef Feathers discovered his passion for culinary arts while stationed overseas with the United States Navy. As sous chef for the Commander in Chief of Southern Forces in Europe, Chef Feathers prepared formal dinners and ceremonies for numerous dignitaries. He found inspiration in the culture and cuisine of Italy and its passion for food. From Naples to the Pentagon, Chef Feathers moved back to the United States to begin his next assignment with the Secretary of the Navy. Heads of State, Senators, Foreign Ambassadors and the Navy's distinguished guests have all experienced the gastronomic talents of Chef Feathers. Chef Feathers joined the Blackberry Farm culinary team nine years ago, serving as Pastry Chef, Sous Chef and Executive Sous Chef, rising to Corporate Chef in 2007. As Corporate Chef, Josh oversees the operations of both the Larder, to include the operations of the preservation kitchen, cheese room and butcher shop, as well as the Main House Dining Rooms, creating the breakfast and lunch portion of the guest experience.

RESTAURANT 5 & 10, Empire State South - Atlanta, GA

Hugh Acheson is the chef/partner of Five & Ten, the National, Gosford Wine and Empire State South. Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada he started cooking at a young age and decided to make it his career after taking a very long time to realize that academics weren't his thing. At age 15, he began working in restaurants after school and learning as much as possible. Today, Acheson's experience includes working under Chef Rob MacDonald where he learned stylized French cuisine, wine and etiquette at the renowned Henri Burger restaurant in Ottawa, and in San Francisco as the chef de cuisine with Chef Mike Fennelly at Mecca, and later as opening sous-chef with famed Chef Gary Danko at his namesake restaurant, where he found a love of the simple, pure and disciplined.

Taking these experiences, Hugh developed a style of his own forging together the beauty of the South with the flavors of Europe and opening the critically acclaimed Athens, GA restaurant Five & Ten in March of 2000.

Since 2000, Hugh has gone on to open Gosford Wine in 2004 with sommelier Ben Giacchino and The National in 2007 with fellow chef Peter Dale. Adding to his list of dining establishments, Hugh will open an Atlanta based restaurant, named Empire State South in the summer of 2010.

Acheson's fresh approach to Southern food has earned him a great deal of recognition including Food & Wine's Best New Chef (2002), the AJC Restaurant of the Year (2007), a four time James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southeast (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and a 2007 Rising Star from StarChefs.com. Chef Mario Batali chose Hugh as one of the 100 contemporary chefs in Phaidon Press' Coco: 10 World Leading Master Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs.

In addition to running two restaurants, a wine shop, and opening a new restaurant Hugh is writing a cookbook titled A New Turn in the South: The Cuisine of Hugh Acheson. This book is to be published by Clarkson Potter in the fall 0f 2011.

But that is to everyone outside of Athens. To Athens he is a guy who owns those restaurants, has one eyebrow, a wife far better looking than he is and two young children who are the apple of his eye.

HOST CHEF Robert Gerstenecker

For the past 5-plus years, chef Robert Gerstenecker has helmed the kitchen at Park 75, the flagship restaurant of the Four Seasons in Midtown. In addition to being an acclaimed fine dining spot, the restaurant has also garnered a good bit of attention for their tea service.

A Canuck by trade, the well traveled Gerstenecker has been with the Four Season chain since the early nineties. He has spent time working everywhere from his native land to the Chinese port conglomerate known as Hong Kong. It should be no surprise that Asian influences will sneak their way into the menu at Park 75. If you do decide to visit Gerstenecker, there is a chef's table in the kitchen. It's a friendly twist to a relatively upscale environment.

So while the seasons of our food lives continue to fluctuate, Gerstenecker keeps his nose to the ground and his food up to date. Though I have yet to weigh in on P-75, it's a place revered by many. Time to get to know the man behind the stove.

RESTAURANT The Spence, opening early 2012

Pastry Chef Andrea Litvin hails from the small Georgia town of Athens. She started her career working under several illustrious chefs in the Atlanta area including Gary Mennie and Richard Blais. During this time she learned much about the fundamentals of pastry and really found her calling. She then moved to New York City to be on the opening pastry team at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new critically acclaimed ABC Kitchen, where she learned how to integrate traditional French techniques and concepts into modern exciting American concepts. She also took the opportunity of being in New York to spend time in the kitchen of Johnny Iuzzini at the three Michelin starred Jean-Georges. After her tenure there, she moved back to Atlanta to take her first Executive Pastry Chef position at BLT Steak.

In early 2011, she spent time traveling the U.S. and Asia to broaden her horizons. Chef Litvin has recently accepted the position as the Executive Pastry Chef at Richard Blais' forthcoming restaurant, The Spence, opening early 2012.