Ford Fry

Ford Fry


About Ford Fry

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.


  • Nominee for Outstanding Restauranteur
    James Beard Foundation
  • Best New Restaurants (King + Duke)
    Esquire magazine
  • Hot 10 Best New Restaurants in America
    Bon Appétit
  • 7 Chefs to Watch
    Creative Loafing
  • Four Stars
    Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Hottest New Upcoming Chefs in America
    Aspen magazine
  • TV appearance ("Angry Mussels")
    The Best Thing I Ever Ate
  • ChefsFeed Winner
    One of the Best Things to Eat in ATL

Where I Go Out

At My Venues

$$$, Outdoor Seating, Full Bar, Italian, Downtown Decatur
"No. 246 makes all of their pasta in-house, and it shows. The best agnolotti I’ve ever had was at No. 246, stuffed with a sunchoke purée served in a shrimp broth. The preparation and ingredients change depending on the season, but it's always delicious."
$$$, Outdoor Seating, Full Bar, Italian, Downtown Decatur
"Genius is all I can say about this dish. The fresh-made pasta is tossed with oyster mushrooms and roasted sweet corn kernels in a corn milk broth, then topped with tarragon and a dollop of goat cheese. It’s a great appetizer or an accompaniment to any main dish."