Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Jim Monast Joins Bellina Alimentari as General Manager

For more information:
Emily Connolly or Morgan Dyches
Melissa Libby & Associates

Monast Brings 30 Years of Restaurant Leadership Experience to Italian Eatery
Opening Late Summer at Ponce City Market

ATLANTA (June 1, 2015) – Bellina Alimentari owner Tal Postelnik Baum has hired Jim Monast to be the general manager for her Italian-inspired market and eatery opening this summer in the Central Food Hall at Ponce City Market. Monast joins the forward-thinking team that will bring an authentic representation of the Italian gastronomic experience to Atlanta. Bellina Alimentari will feature a gourmet market, eatery, wine bar and culinary club, and Monast's first order of business is hiring the management and cooking professionals who will help bring this vision to life.

“Jim is so passionate about food, and he believes in our motto of doing something the best way we can or not at all; we agree there is no halfway,” says Baum. “And as someone who grows their own vegetables at home, Jim fully supports our focus on seasonality and fresh, healthy cuisine.”

Monast has more than 30 years of food management experience leading restaurants through start-up, survival, turnaround and growth modes. But his real fascination lies in how dishes are made, staying true to the recipe, growing as many ingredients as possible and the art of shopping for the rest. This inherent curiosity and fervor will aid him in educating Bellina Alimentari’s guests on the menu and working with executive chef David Berry to create an experience that demonstrates a passion for freshness and authenticity in every detail.

“I have a deep respect for the role that food and drink play in every culture and, specifically, how that translates to love and family within Italian cooking and entertaining,” says Monast, who has hosted all of his family’s holiday gatherings for the last 17 years.

Monast embarked on his culinary journey at the tender age of 14 in an Italian bakery, where he used old-fashioned iron weight scales to measure ingredients for batters and dough. During college, he became the general manager of the student-run, full-service restaurant at the University of Rhode Island while earning his degree in business management. Monast honed his skills in general manager and managing partner roles at several national casual dining concepts, including Brio Tuscan Grille, McCormick & Schmick's, LongHorn Steakhouse and Houlihan’s Restaurant and Bar, earning several awards and accolades along the way.

As a civic-minded leader, he believes in bringing food to community and community to food – by being faithful to both, Monast guides the way for true collaborations inside and outside of the restaurant.

Bellina Alimentari is located at 675 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE, in the Central Food Hall of Ponce City Market. For restaurant updates, follow Bellina Alimentari on Facebook. For additional information, visit bellina-alimentari.com.


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