Georgia Department of Agriculture, GRA Announce 2018 Georgia Grown Executive Chefs

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black and Georgia Restaurant Association CEO Karen Bremer announced the 2018 Georgia Grown Executive Chefs on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 at the GRA’s 10th Annual Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception, held at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot.
This year, we received a tremendous number of applications from qualified candidates for this honorable program, making the selection process extremely difficult. The GRA is thrilled to announce the 2018 Georgia Grown Executive Chefs: Evan Cordes of Cast Iron, Zach Meloy of Better Half, Christian Rodriguez of High Road Craft Ice Cream, Jason Jimenez of Better Half, Brian Jones of Kennesaw State University and Todd White of Albany Technical College.
“Each chef chosen for this prestigious program brings a different perspective and unique talents to the Georgia Grown Executive Chef class of 2018. All six chefs possess a true passion for local, seasonal cuisine and strengthening their relationships with Georgia suppliers.” Bremer said. “These Georgia chefs do an outstanding job representing Georgia’s restaurants and we are proud to have them represent Georgia Grown.”
“We are pleased to welcome another group of talented chefs into this distinguished program that over the last several years has made great strides to bridge the gap between the farmers and consumers,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.  “We look forward to using these exemplary chefs as our culinary translators as we continue the mission of Georgia Grown.”
These six distinguished chefs will join the roster of 27 other Georgia Grown Executive Chefs. Now entering its seventh year, the Georgia Grown Executive Chef Program seeks to promote the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown campaign statewide. The program offers participating chefs a mark of honor and distinction, while increasing awareness for both restaurateurs and consumers about which local Georgia products are available for the cooking season.
As the program grows, it will create a pathway for consumers to find Georgia Grown products in their communities in order to support local, seasonal foods when dining out. It also aims to highlight and involve public school culinary education and school food nutrition in terms of increased opportunities for Georgia Grown products, training and recipe development. The chefs will participate in school demos, market demos, festivals, and other events at the Department of Agriculture.