Thursday, February 25, 2016

Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar Sets Sail in Marietta on Feb. 28

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

Third Destination From Restaurateur Doug Turbush Features Chef-Driven Seafood
In an Upscale Casual Setting at The Avenue East Cobb

ATLANTA (Feb. 25, 2016) - Diners searching for upscale seafood in a casual setting have a new home port as Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar opens at The Avenue East Cobb on Sunday, Feb. 28. The latest dining destination from chef Doug Turbush, the restaurateur behind the popular Marietta restaurants Seed Kitchen & Bar and Stem Wine Bar, delivers a chef-driven approach to sustainable seafood, with a breezy yet sophisticated feel and the high level of service guests have come to expect from Turbush and his restaurants.

"The East Cobb community has been really good to us, and our whole team is excited to open the doors on this restaurant and welcome our loyal guests along with new friends and neighbors at The Avenue," says Turbush. "This area has become a true foodie destination, which has made it really fun for us to create this menu and come up with new flavor profiles to share."

Drift’s menu, which Turbush crafted with executive chef Brendan Keenan, is an appealing mix of shareable plates, raw bar favorites and delectable entrées. There is an impressive array of eight varieties of raw oysters, including Kumamoto from Washington, Beausoleil from Canada, Island Creek from Massachusetts, and Murder Point from Alabama. Dinner offerings range from Portuguese fish stew and Carolina trout with bánh mì flavors to seafood po’ boys and lobster rolls. Guests will want to start with crab beignets or Blue Hill Bay mussels and end with a French silk pie or pineapple upside down cake with homemade rum raisin ice cream from pastry chef Addison Dudek.

The 5,260-square-foot space, created by design studio ai3, includes a spacious 117-person dining room exuding an al fresco feel thanks to liberal use of exterior furniture and enhanced by a twinkling ceiling of string lights. The beach theme is also reflected in the “Oar Room,” which features approximately 100 oars and paddles hung from the ceiling. The restaurant's interior boasts a handsomely appointed 18-seat bar area with an extra-deep bar top beneath a cover of sail cloth, and an eight-seat oyster bar that backs up to a wood-burning oven.

There’s also ample seating on the outdoor patio, including table seating for 41 and an eight-seat patio bar. The patio area is surrounded by wood planters and is partially covered by a blue awning, further adding to the coastal feel. Capacity for the entire restaurant and bar is 192 guests.

Custom-built furniture and sculptures from local artisans accentuate the space and complement a collection of antique oyster cans on display. David Adams of Mill and Forge created fish-inspired curved steel sculptures in the dining room, while Skylar Morgan Furniture Design and John-Patrick McChesney of Dangerous Color Handmade built custom tables with nods to the nautical theme used throughout the restaurant.

In addition to Keenan, the team at Drift includes director of operations and sommelier Jason Raymond and bar manager Jose Pereiro. Raymond, who previously served in both roles at Seed Kitchen & Bar and Stem Wine Bar, has curated a wine list that emphasizes whites and lighter reds to complement the restaurant’s seafood offerings, as well as a selection of sparkling wines by the glass. Likewise, Pereiro has developed a program of craft cocktails that focuses on top-notch spirits and ingredients, living up to the same standard of quality set by Keenan’s menu.  Not to mention, the list of adult beverages is fun to read, with names like Oaxaca The Plank (mezcal, Gran Classico, banana, lime), Cut and Rum (Banks rum, Abuelo aged rum, Byrrh Grand Quinquina, Luxardo Amaro Abano) and Holy Mackerel (blended scotch, Foro Amaro, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, absinthe, Boker's Bitters).

Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar serves dinner nightly, with lunch and brunch service to follow at a later date. Drift is located in The Avenue East Cobb at 4475 Roswell Road in Marietta. For more information, call 770-635-7641 or visit


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Jeremy Miller Joins Ray’s Restaurants as Corporate Research & Development Chef

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

The Georgia Native Will Develop New Menu Items and Research Trends

ATLANTA (February 24, 2016) – Staying on top of food trends can be quite the challenge, but it’s no match for Jeremy Miller, Ray’s Restaurants newest corporate research and development chef.  Miller’s passion for creating unique and refined cuisine made him the top pick for the job.

“We pride ourselves in keeping our menus fresh and innovative. This vision works really well with what Jeremy strives to do in the kitchen,” says Ray's Restaurants founder Ray Schoenbaum. “It’s a great match.”

Miller first discovered his love for the restaurant industry while working as a busboy and dishwasher at a Cajun restaurant in Augusta. He attended culinary school at the Art Institute of Atlanta. During his final quarter, Miller studied abroad in Italy, including Rome, Florence, Assisi, San Gimignano and Sienna.

After graduating from culinary school in 2001, Miller worked in Atlanta for a year before accepting a job at Jean Georges in the Trump International Hotel in Manhattan. He lived in New York City for three years before moving to Napa Valley to work at French Laundry for a year, then spent a few months in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam eating local cuisine and doing short a stint at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. Once Miller returned to the U.S., he cooked at Winterlake Lodge, outside of Skwentna, Alaska for a summer.

Miller got married and moved to San Francisco in 2009 where he worked as the sous chef at RN74. He moved back to Atlanta a year later and worked as the executive chef at Bluepointe. In 2012, he took on the role of executive chef with the team that opened STK. He worked there for two years, and then went on to become the executive chef at American Food and Beverage in Fort Worth, Texas, and Atlanta.

In his new role at Ray’s Restaurants, Miller will refine and improve menu items, recipes and processes.  He will develop new ideas and culinary procedures while supporting new product and food trend research and testing product roll outs.

About Ray’s Restaurants
Ray’s Restaurants include Ray’s on the River, Ray’s in the City, Ray’s at Killer Creek and Ray's Rio Bravo. Ray’s on the River is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and is located at 6700 Powers Ferry Road in Sandy Springs; 770-955-1187. Ray’s in the City is open for lunch and dinner and is located at 240 Peachtree Street NW in Downtown Atlanta; 404-524-9224. Ray’s at Killer Creek is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and is located at 1700 Mansell Road in Alpharetta; 770-649-0064. Ray's Rio Bravo is open for lunch and dinner and is located at 6450 Powers Ferry Road in Sandy Springs; 770-612-2829. For more information, visit


Monday, February 22, 2016

Marlow’s Tavern Begins Construction in Marietta for May Opening

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

John C. Metz and Partners to Open New Location of Popular Tavern

ATLANTA (Feb. 22, 2016) – Marietta will soon welcome the newest location of Marlow’s Tavern, Atlanta’s favorite neighborhood tavern. With construction already underway for the May opening, Marlow's world-class hospitality, chef-driven fare and creative cocktails can be found in the Sandy Plains Centre at 2960 Shallowford Road with neighbors including Kroger, Bob Steele and Serious Tennis.

“We’re excited to become part of the neighborhood. Marietta has always been supportive of our taverns and we look forward to serving our new neighbors in the Sandy Plains Centre," says John C. Metz, executive chef and co-founder of Marlow’s Tavern.

Featuring crisp, cool salads, classic American burgers, fun food for the kids and more, the menu at Marlow’s Tavern focuses on fresh ingredients with seasonal, locally sourced items when available.

The beverage menu boasts wines from around the world and an enviable selection of draft, bottled and canned beers, including local craft brews and national favorites. Signature drinks start with fresh fruit juices, house-made simple syrups, fresh herbs and small batch liquors.

About Marlow’s Tavern
Marlow’s Tavern was established in November of 2004 with the opening of its first location in Alpharetta, Ga., and has continued to grow over the years, adding several Atlanta-area restaurants, three locations in Orlando, Fla. and one in Tampa. In 2013, Nation’s Restaurant News named Marlow’s Tavern one of its “NRN 50 Breakout Brands” for the year. The neighborhood restaurant concept is open for lunch and dinner daily, offering guests classic American tavern fare with an upscale twist. For more information and location addresses, visit  

Click here for construction photos.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Shamrock the Station Turns Up the Volume on St. Paddy’s Day Fun March 12

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

Live Music, Beer and Irish Cuisine Headline Atlanta’s Best Green Party
from Atlantic Station, Radio 105.7 and Meehan's Public House

ATLANTA (Feb. 19, 2016) – Get ready for an Irish celebration so fun you'll pinch yourself! Shamrock the Station, Atlanta’s premier St. Patrick’s Day music festival, will fill Midtown’s Atlantic Station on Saturday, March 12, with the sights and sounds of everyone’s favorite green holiday. Complete with live music, dancing, beer and delicious Irish cuisine, the festivities are courtesy of Meehan’s Public House, Radio 105.7 and Guinness.

"Shamrock the Station is hands-down the biggest and best St. Patrick's Day music festival in Atlanta," said Philip Roness, owner of Meehan's Public House. "We've got bands like The Strumbellas that you normally have to travel all the way to Austin to see at SXSW, but because of our event partners like Radio 105.7 and Guinness, they're coming to Atlanta to party with us."      

Guests of all ages will enjoy a day of high-energy live music starting at 1 p.m. from All The Locals, Transviolet, Declan McKenna, The Strumbellas, Grizfolk and headliner JR JR, all on the main stage in Atlantic Station’s Central Park. Bring the little leprechauns for a live Irish dancing demonstration courtesy of the Mulligan School of Irish Dance at 2:30 p.m. 

Best of all, you don’t need to spend a lot of green to enjoy this charming, all-ages neighborhood festival. Shamrock the Station is free and open to the public starting at 11 a.m. A $5 wristband allows adults 21 and older to purchase drinks outside in Central Park.

Festival-goers will also want to fuel up at Meehan's Public House throughout the day. Atlanta’s favorite authentic Irish eatery and watering hole is the perfect spot to enjoy a frosty beverage and a menu of classic Irish dishes elevated to the level of gourmet cuisine—without spending a pot of gold in the process. The restaurant is serving a limited menu of Irish specials and traditional fare like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and Meehan’s own corned beef Reuben, as well as drink specials featuring Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s, Guinness Nitro IPA, Absolut, Bacardi and Jack Daniel’s.

Shamrock the Station is presented by Atlantic Station, Radio 105.7 and Meehan’s Public House, and sponsored by Guinness, Guinness Nitro IPA, Absolut, Bacardi and Jack Daniel’s.

About Meehan's Public House
Located in the heart of Midtown, Meehan’s is Atlantic Station's favorite watering hole. The Meehan’s staff exudes enthusiasm and the good-hearted ambiance of the Irish – promising to keep your pints and stomach full!  Meehan’s is a great place for brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner, late night fun and both corporate and private events. Meehan’s Public House has four other locations in metro Atlanta including Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Vinings and Downtown Atlanta. For more information, call 404-214-9821 or visit

About Radio 105.7
Radio 105.7 is a leading media outlet in the Atlanta market and its programming and content are available across multiple platforms, including its broadcast stations; online via its branded digital sites; mobile; and social, with nationwide listening through iHeartRadio — with its more than 700 million downloads, more than 75 million social media followers and 87 million digital uniques across the network.

About Atlantic Station
A national example for sustainable mixed-use communities, Atlantic Station transformed an abandoned industrial site into a thriving entertainment district at the heart of Atlanta’s vibrant Midtown neighborhood. Opened in 2005, Atlantic Station is home to some of Atlanta’s most popular restaurants, retailers such as H&M and Dillard’s and leading employers such as Wells Fargo, Ogilvy & Mather and BB&T. Atlantic Station each year hosts dozens of community gatherings, charity walks and neighborhood forums. Susan G. Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure and other events at Atlantic Station have raised more than $50 million for Atlanta charities since 2005. In July 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, Atlantic Station hosted the BB&T Atlanta Open. A national leader in consumer engagement and technology, Atlantic Station has the No. 3 most followed Twitter feed among U.S. retail centers. 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

5Church seeks General Manager for Midtown Atlanta Restaurant


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

Talented Team Member Needed for Casual Yet Refined Dining Coming to Colony Square

ATLANTA (Feb. 17, 2016)– Restaurateurs Patrick Whalen, Ayman Kamel, Alejandro Torio and executive chef Jamie Lynch are opening a third location of 5Church in Midtown Atlanta in the spring and are currently hiring an Atlanta-based general manager to oversee the restaurant’s operations. 5Church, which originated in Charlotte and also has a Charleston outpost, is located at the intersection of 14th and Peachtree Streets and will serve dinner daily.

The team behind 5Church possesses a wealth of operations, marketing and culinary talent and credits their combined forces for the success of their restaurants. “We are big believers in the power of teamwork and are looking to find a manager who can help us blend our award-winning food and nationally acclaimed design with top-rate service for our guests in Atlanta,” says Kamel.

Kamel and his partners are in search of a general manager who can ensure the quality and presentation of 5Church’s technique-driven food and beverage menus and manage staff in accordance with the company’s established standards and procedures. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of five years experience in food and beverage management as well as an in-depth working knowledge of food preparation and presentation, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and staff training and development. Knowledge of basic accounting principles and practices is also necessary. Interested applicants can send their resumes to

5Church is located at Colony Square, 1197 Peachtree Street NE in Midtown. The restaurant offers private event spaces on the rooftop and downstairs, as well as on-site parking and complimentary valet. For updates, follow the restaurant on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. For additional information, visit


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails Celebrates a Bountiful Harvest with Return of Dinners in the Garden

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

Executive Chef Derek Dollar Serves What He Reaps at Popular Seed-to-Fork Events
Starting March 31

ATLANTA (Feb. 16, 2016) – Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails executive chef Derek Dollar really digs Milton’s Acre, the restaurant’s 1-acre garden, and relishes sharing straight-from-the-vine dining experiences with his guests every spring and summer. His increasingly popular Garden Dinner Series starts again in May, with the more casual Farmyard Chowdown returning to its regular monthly schedule in June. To officially kick off the garden season and whet appetites, Milton's has also set dates for a Spring and Vine celebration in March and a "sneak preview" Farmyard Chowdown in April.

Milton's has become synonymous with “seed-to-fork” dining in part because of its al fresco dinners, which allow guests to enjoy tantalizing recipes prepared from the approximately 90 different varieties of heirloom fruits vegetables and herbs tended in Milton's Acre. “While I thought the garden was nice when we started five years ago, I didn’t really understand its incredible value,” Dollar says. "Now I can’t imagine being without it. We plan on growing several thousand pounds of tomatoes this season, for example, which will be used in so many recipes. We’re fortunate we can find inspiration in what we harvest, rather than relying only on what purveyors have available.”

A Spring and Vine celebration to herald the start of the dinner-in-the-garden season is Thursday, March 31 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.  The four-course menu, complete with wine pairings, is $90 per person and includes gratuity. Tickets may be purchased online at “Guests will experience a preview of several dishes coming to our spring menu,” Dollar says. 

On Sunday, April 24 from 6 - 8 p.m., a Farmyard Chowdown beckons with a low country boil, fried chicken and more. Tickets are available at and are $40 per person, including gratuity.  Tax and $5 drink tickets are an additional fee.  Future Farmyard Chowdowns will be held one Sunday a month beginning in June.

The 2016 Garden Dinner Series kicks off soon after, with dates set for May 15, June 12, July 17, August 21, Sept. 18 and Oct. 9. Mouths typically start watering as soon as the first hors d’oeuvres and libations are passed during the evening reception.  During this time, guests have an opportunity to tour Milton's Acre. Then, it’s on to a memorable four-course meal of inspired comfort foods served family style under that stars accompanied by wine pairings and the soothing sounds of a cellist. Menu items may include delicate squash blossoms stuffed with prosciutto and cream cheese or pimiento cheese and crawfish; or roast duckling with fingerling sweet potatoes, oyster mushrooms, heirloom snap beans and candied pecan apple butter. Chef Dollar has only just begun to envision the plethora of possibilities for the yellow pattypan squash and the Romanesco tomatoes he’s planning to add to the garden this year.

“Nothing can compare to bursting-with-flavor vegetables harvested fresh from the garden,” Dollar says. “You can literally eat corn from our stalks – it’s so tender and sweet. The garden dining room itself adds a peaceful ambiance to the evening.” 

Tickets to the Garden Dinner Series are $135 per person, per dinner. Tickets are nonrefundable and include wine pairings, tax and gratuity. The dinners start at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m., depending on the sunset. To purchase tickets, visit

Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails is located at 800 Mayfield Road in Milton. For more information, call 770-817-0161.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Marlow’s Tavern Krewe Hosts NOLA Party Atlanta-Style

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

Special Menu, Trip Giveaway and Social Media Fun with #BayouNBourbon Celebration

ATLANTA (Feb. 11, 2016) – Starting Tuesday, Feb. 16 and lasting for six weeks, Marlow’s Tavern is bringing a tempting taste of the Big Easy to area diners with its annual Bayou ‘n Bourbon menu.

“I have always been impressed by Louisiana’s rich culinary heritage, which draws on French, German, Spanish, African and Native American influences,” says John C. Metz, executive chef and co-founder of Marlow’s Tavern. “We’ve been letting the good times roll in our kitchen creating appetizers, entrées and cocktails that show off that unique blend of flavors from New Orleans with a Marlow’s twist.  Let’s just say we're throwing our own parade for the palate.”

To kick up the local spice another notch this year, Metz’s team has added Classic Creole seasoning from Woodstock-based GG’s Fine Food to several of its recipes. “Linda "GG" Gibson learned to cook Creole the old-fashioned way - from her grandmother,” Metz says. “Her seasonings are very traditional in the classic Louisiana style.”

When the Cajun craving strikes, the Bayou ‘n Bourbon menu is ready and waiting for lunch and dinner. New items on this year's menu include the following:
  • Bayou Lump Crab Dip – Creole-spiced lump crab, andouille, spicy mustard, Asiago, Parmesan crust and toasty French baguette            
  • N’awlins-Style Po’ Boy – fiery spiced red fish, apple-cabbage slaw, shredded lettuce, Roma tomato and Creole rémoulade on toasted baguette                                            
  • “The Big Easy” Muffaletta – imported mortadella, Genoa salami, spicy capicola, GG’s secret recipe olive salad, melting provolone on pressed ciabatta bread                                         
  • Sweet Bourbon St. Rib-eye – blackened Jack Daniel’s Honey-blazed rib-eye, jumbo asparagus and a creamy crawfish pie          
  • A few of Marlow’s signature favorites include: Roasted Chicken & Shrimp Gumbo; Daily Flatbread From The Bayou P.D.; Deconstructed Jambalaya and Honey Bourbon Bread Pudding.

For guests who prefer to be spirited away New Orleans-style, Marlow’s has crafted a special menu of drinks and cocktails, which includes the following:
  • “Pat’s” Marlow’s Hurricane – a New Orleans tradition stolen from Pat O’Brien’s.  His secret recipe all “jazzed up” with Bacardi light rum, fresh orange juice and a floater of Bacardi. Hold onto your beads! 
  • Bourbon Rum Punch  – Old Forester, Meyer’s Dark Rum, vanilla, cream & nutmeg
  • Bourbon Street Lemonade – house-made  New Orleans original, Southern Comfort, lemonade, kiss of mint, fresh lemon & lime and a dash of simple syrup
  • Sokol Blosser Evolution, Oregon 16th Edition – unique blend of nine different white grapes, produced and bottled in Oregon with hand-selected Oregon, Washington & California fruit, bright straw, exotic tropical citrus, hints of spicy apple with lush, crisp, bright finish
  • ABITA® Turbodog-Draught – Turbodog Dark Brown Ale brewed with pale, caramel, chocolate malts and Willamette hops, rich flavors, perfect partner for all things Cajun! ABV: 5.6 
  • ABITA® Wrought Iron IPA-Bottle – Abita Wrought Iron IPA is the resilient, indestructible nature of New Orleans. India Pale Ale forged with intensity of apollo, equinox and mosaic hops, bright as iron from a fiery forge, perfect for a night on the bayou! ABV: 6.9 

During the celebration, one lucky winner and a guest will be Baton Rouge-bound thanks to a partnership with radio station 94.9 The Bull.  Marlow's and the station are giving away a trip for two to the Bayou Country Superfest to hear top country artists such as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and Lady Antebellum. Country music lovers are encouraged to enter the contest on the station’s website.

While online between Feb. 19 and March 17, Marlow's fans can enter their contact information on the tavern's Facebook page for a chance to win the Bayou 'n Bourbon sweepstakes. A grand prize winner will be randomly selected to win dinner for four ($100 value), with a second drawing for dinner for two ($50 value).  Finally, Instagram users are encouraged to share their Bayou ‘n Bourbon experience and tag @marlowstavern. Lucky winners will have their image regrammed and receive a complimentary Honey Bourbon Bread Pudding.

About Marlow’s Tavern
Marlow’s Tavern was established in November of 2004 with the opening of its first location in Alpharetta, Ga., and has continued to grow over the years, adding several Atlanta-area restaurants, three locations in Orlando, Fla. and one in Tampa. In 2013, Nation’s Restaurant News named Marlow’s Tavern one of its “NRN 50 Breakout Brands” for the year. The neighborhood restaurant concept is open for lunch and dinner daily, offering guests classic American tavern fare with an upscale twist. For more information and location addresses, visit   

Click here for food photos. 


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Le Fat Now Offers Lunch On the Go or Quick Counter-Seating Option

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

Guy Wong Changes His Lunch Service to Meet the Needs of Busy Customers

ATLANTA (Feb. 8, 2016) - Beginning Feb. 8, Le Fat chef/owner Guy Wong is transforming the café section of his popular West Midtown Vietnamese restaurant into a fast casual lunch option for customers on the go. 

Fans who lack the time but crave Wong’s chef-driven Vietnamese deliciousness, which received "Best New Asian" honors from Atlanta magazine, can now use the free parking garage adjacent to the restaurant at 935 Marietta Street and dash into the café for fresh, made-to-order takeout or limited counter seating.  

“We heard from many of our regulars and residents in the neighborhood that they are in a hurry at lunchtime and need food to go," explains Wong. "Like great Vietnamese street food, many of our dishes are highly portable, so making the switch to counter and to-go service makes a lot of sense.  We're excited to give our guests what they requested." 

The to-go or counter lunch menu features Le Fat’s banh mi with choice of grilled pork, ginger scallion chicken, fried chicken, seitan and lemongrass steak. Noodle soup options include chicken, spicy beef and a combination of beef flank, brisket and meatball. Customers can also choose from their favorite beverages, including Vietnamese coffee and bubble tea options of black milk tea, jasmine milk tea, Thai tea and taro milk tea. The popular banh mi $10 combo is still available and served with fresh cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrots, daikon and jalapeño on a fresh baguette with a choice of a small pho noodle soup or papaya salad.

Le Fat is located in West Midtown at 935 Marietta Street. Dinner is served nightly beginning at 5 p.m.  Lunch is now to-go only with limited counter seating and is available on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For more information, call 404-439-9850 or visit


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Doug Turbush Assembles Top-Shelf Team for Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar

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

Executive Chef Brendan Keenan, Director of Operations Jason Raymond and Bar Manager Jose Pereiro Help Launch New Seafood Destination at The Avenue East Cobb

ATLANTA (Feb. 4, 2016) – Doug Turbush did not have to look far to find the talent he wanted for his newest restaurant, Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar. The chef/restaurateur has stocked his forthcoming East Cobb venture with longtime team members Brendan Keenan, Jason Raymond and Jose Pereiro, who all previously contributed to the success of his other Marietta restaurants, Seed Kitchen & Bar and Stem Wine Bar. Although they have very different backgrounds within the hospitality industry, this management staff shares a very important trait with their respected leader: a passion for providing impeccable service and introducing guests to new culinary experiences.

Brendan Keenan has been serving as chef de cuisine at Turbush’s Marietta restaurants since 2011. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, his formative years were spent out West learning from some of the industry’s top talents, like James Beard Award-winning chefs Michael Mina at Aqua and Julian Serrano at Masa’s in San Francisco. A move to Atlanta brought Keenan to Woodfire Grill, The Sound Table and Bluepointe, which is where he first met Turbush and later reconnected for the opening of Seed.

“I have known Brendan for many years, and I trust him implicitly not only for his ability to create dishes that are both approachable and exciting, but also for his commitment to trying new techniques and flavors,” says Turbush. “From the very start, Brendan has been a major component of the high-quality dining experience that has made Seed and Stem successful.”

Turbush and Keenan plan to showcase the best seafood species that the East and Gulf Coasts have to offer at Drift. The menu of creative seafood dishes includes shareable plates and raw bar items as well as larger-format entrées. Offerings range from oven-roasted clams, chilled seafood platters and a selection of crudos to a variety of po’ boys and lobster rolls and entrées such as wood-grilled whole fish and rib-eye. Keenan also plans to put a new twist on classic seafood dishes like oysters Rockefeller and will use his extensive travels as inspiration for creating exotic flavor profiles and playful nightly specials at the new restaurant.

Joining Keenan in executing Turbush’s vision of a chef-driven restaurant with an approachable menu, modern cocktails and craft beer and wine are director of operations Jason Raymond and bar manager Jose Pereiro.

Raymond was born into hospitality management - his parents were restaurant owners - and also gets to indulge in his passion for wine as Drift's sommelier. “My job allows me to fill several roles that I really enjoy," Raymond says. "Training staff in the ways of genuine hospitality is very rewarding. I also love the entertainment value of wine; the way it brings people together.”

Raymond’s formal hospitality career began in 2002 after he earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel management and a master’s degree from Switzerland's Centre International de Glion. He spent three years as a private dining and restaurant manager at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, before moving to The Breakers, where he discovered his passion for wine under the tutelage of master sommelier Virginia Philip. “That’s really where I fell in love with wine,” he says.

In 2008, Raymond opened the City Fish Market in Boca Raton for the Buckhead Life Group before relocating to Atlanta to become the beverage manager for Bluepointe. A year later, he was hired by Turbush and finally got the opportunity to combine his management experience with his knowledge of wine as general manager and sommelier for Seed Kitchen & Bar and Stem Wine Bar.

At Drift, Raymond plans to focus heavily on whites and lighter reds to complement the seafood, along with “some really cool sparkling wines by the glass,” he says. He looks forward to broadening guests’ horizons when it comes to trying different varietals and removing the intimidation that diners often feel when tasting something new.

Complementing Raymond’s passion for wine is bar manager Jose Pereiro’s fervor for the art of mixology. He became acquainted with the hospitality industry while bartending in Venezuela. In 2006, he moved to the United States and began working at Rosa Mexicano in Atlanta, where his manager soon recognized Pereiro’s strong knowledge of and passion for spirits and placed him in a head bartender role at the restaurant’s new Miami location. Once in Miami, Pereiro became an active member of the craft cocktail scene, joining the U.S. Bartender’s Guild and participating in bartending competitions.

He continued to hone his craft cocktail knowledge and soon joined the bartending staff at Seed Kitchen & Bar.  The cocktails he crafted for the Marietta restaurant won first place at the 2012 Remy V cocktail competition and the 2014 Fernet-Branca cocktail competition in Miami as well as the 2015 Ketel One Master of the Mule competition in Atlanta. 

Pereiro is now bringing his talents to Drift, developing a complex craft cocktail program built around top-notch spirits and ingredients of the same superb quality as those found in the restaurant's cuisine.

Drift is opening in February for nightly dinner service, with lunch and brunch service to follow at a later date. The restaurant is located in The Avenue East Cobb at 4475 Roswell Road in Marietta. For more information, visit Updates can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here for a photo of the team (credit: Emily Schultz).


Nosh Talks Sets the Table for Atlanta Dining Industry Networking

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

Nosh Talks Sets The Table For Atlanta Dining Industry Networking
Inaugural Booze Schmooze Event at Monday Night Brewing on March 7

ATLANTA (Feb. 4, 2016) - Working in one of the most vibrant dining cities in the country, the thousands who make up Atlanta's restaurant industry are hungry for fresh networking opportunities to celebrate victories and dish on the latest trends. That’s why food and beverage industry veteran Karen Pagano is launching Nosh Talks, a new networking organization by the industry and for the industry.

“Working long hours in a busy restaurant can be isolating,” explains Pagano, a former Takorea and Saltyard server. “The goal of Nosh Talks is to bring our amazing restaurant industry together, from line cooks and servers to owners and chefs, to share war stories and victories. This is a way for Atlanta’s food and beverage professionals to eat, drink, learn and share together." 

Nosh Talks kicks off its regularly scheduled industry socials with "Booze Schmooze" on March 7 at Monday Night Brewing (670 Trabert Ave. NW in Atlanta) from 2 to 5 p.m. In addition to light bites and sips from Monday Night Brewing's signature suds lineup, Nosh Talks is hosting a beverage-centric panel discussion on the creative craft cocktail and burgeoning local beverage industry. Moderated by local liquor licensing attorney Dan Plevak, the panel features Aria’s Andres Loaiza, The Painted Pin’s Trip Sandifer, Monday Night Brewing’s Jonathan Baker and Charlie Thompson from American Spirit Whiskey.

Available online through Eventbrite, tickets are $10 for students, $20 for industry members and $40 for non-industry guests.

“Our city’s restaurant industry is not only a family but a group of like-minded people with the same goals and passions," explains Pagano. “Nosh Talks is a way to facilitate, moderate and create a home for our community to learn and grow.”

Nosh Talks also wants to be a mechanism for giving back to Atlanta’s food community and to serve as a vehicle to pair culinary students with mentors. Supporting the Nosh Talks mission is an advisory board that reads like a who’s who of Atlanta’s food and beverage industry, including:

  •      Archna Becker, Bhojanic
  •      Naomi Green, The Giving Kitchen
  •      Chris Hardman, Georgia Restaurant Association
  •      Shireen Herrington, The Optimist/Beetlecat
  •      Joe Kelly, Talent Served
  •      Gerry Klaskala, Aria
  •      Nick Leahy, Saltyard
  •      Melissa Libby, Melissa Libby & Associates
  •      Stephanie O’Rourk, CohnReznick
  •      Dan Plevak, Taylor, Feil, Harper, Lumsden & Hess
  •      Todd Rushing, Concentrics Restaurants
  •      Whit Whitmire, Brasstown Beef

Pagano recognizes firsthand the critical importance of sharing knowledge, experience and those all-important contacts. She previously worked at the restaurant tech start-up Orderly, and as she moves into more restaurant marketing and brand development roles, she believes Atlanta’s Southern hospitality makes it the perfect host city for Nosh Talks. "Our city is focused on giving, not receiving," Pagano says. "Above all, that sets us apart."

For more information and to discover ways to get involved, go to or follow Nosh Talks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Award-Winning Mississippi Chef Vishwesh Bhatt Comes to Gunshow March 13 and 14

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

Tickets for the Coveted Event Go on Sale February 13 at 8 a.m.

ATLANTA (Feb. 4, 2016) – Gunshow’s popular “Hired Guns” series is in its third year, and the 2016 lineup of guest chefs has already made a big bang with Kevin Gillespie’s friend and fellow “Top Chef” alum chef Brian Voltaggio. Next to visit is chef Vishwesh Bhatt of ​City Grocery Restaurant Group in Oxford, Mississippi, who will be making a guest appearance on Sunday, March 13 and Monday, March 14. Diners will have the opportunity to mingle with Bhatt and taste his cuisine while also experiencing Gunshow’s unique service style and innovative dishes.

Bhatt, a native of Gujarat, India, known for connecting Southern and South Asian foodways, serves as corporate chef of City Grocery Restaurant Group, overseeing the kitchens at City Grocery, Snackbar, Big Bad Breakfast, Main Event Catering and Lamar Lounge. He joined the City Grocery Restaurant Group in 1997 and under the direction of chef John Currence, Bhatt began working as a line cook at City Grocery. After a brief hiatus, Bhatt returned to the City Grocery Restaurant Group in 2001, as the catering chef and worked his way up, before going on to open Snackbar in 2009. His menu of French bistro fare married with Mississippi’s culinary traditions earned him a People’s Best New Chef nomination from Food & Wine in 2011 and a James Beard Awards finalist slot for Best Chef: South in 2014 and 2015.

“I’m really excited to work with Kevin and the Gunshow team,” says Bhatt. “We share a deep appreciation for where we come from, Southern cuisine and injecting other cultural influences and exotic flavors into classic Southern ingredients.”

Gillespie, along with Gunshow’s executive chef Joey Ward and the rest of the restaurant’s “kitchen dudes” will be cooking alongside Bhatt both nights. A limited number of tickets are available for purchase via Xorbia. The cost is $95 per person (not including drinks, tax and gratuity).

“The best part about Hired Guns is the way the guest chefs and the Gunshow team feed off of each other’s creativity,” says Gillespie.  “I think our guests can really feel how much culinary passion is in the room during these dinners; the excitement is tangible.”

The remaining 2016"Hired Guns" lineup is as follows:
  • May 22-23: Brian Baxter from HUSK in Nashville, Tennessee (Tickets on sale April 22 at 8 a.m.)
  • September 11-12: Brooke Williamson of Hudson House in Redondo Beach, California (Tickets on sale August 11 at 8 a.m.)
  • October 16-17: Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina (Tickets on sale September 16 at 8 a.m.)

Gunshow is located at 924 Garrett Street. The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. Reservations are accepted but not required. Guests may park in the Glenwood Park parking lot and on the street. For more information, visit or call 404-380-1886.

About Red Beard Restaurants
Red Beard Restaurants is the parent company that oversees Atlanta chef, restaurateur, speaker and cookbook author Kevin Gillespie’s food and beverage ventures, including his restaurants Gunshow and Revival, his BBQ pop-up Terminus City and all of his merchandise. The management company allows Gillespie to set comprehensive standards to ensure smart expansion, offer more internal growth opportunities for his team members and provide consulting services to other food and beverage start-ups. With the 2015 establishment of Red Beard Restaurants, Gillespie is able to continue his day-to-day interactions with diners while also pursuing his creative visions and impacting the culinary landscape of the South. The company’s offices are located in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit

Click here for photos of Vishwesh Bhatt.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tin Lizzy’s Delivers Disney Dreams through Partnership with Bert’s Big Adventure

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

Atlanta’s Favorite FlexMex Cantina Matching Donations During Feb. 8-29 Fundraiser

ATLANTA (Feb. 1, 2016) – A “Little Give” goes a long way. That’s the Tin Lizzy’s Cantina philosophy during an upcoming fundraiser to contribute dollars as well as delight to Bert’s Big Adventure. Starting Feb. 8 through Feb. 29, customers and Bert's Big Adventure supporters are encouraged to make a contribution online at to the “Little Give” campaign. During this time, Tin Lizzy’s will match contributions dollar for dollar.

Throughout the past seven years, Tin Lizzy’s has supported the Atlanta-based nonprofit, which sends children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families to Walt Disney World, through in-restaurant Cinco de Mayo celebrations, limited-time menu promotions and more.

“Families with children that have chronic and/or terminal illnesses so seldom get a break,” says Tin Lizzy's CEO Tory Bartlett. “What Bert’s Big Adventure provides is more than just a breather from their everyday challenges; it’s the adventure of a lifetime for so many of these children. When I see pictures of these families smiling and laughing together, I find it impossible not to smile myself.”

Bert’s Big Adventure co-founder Bert Weiss can’t help but smile, too, at the passion that Tin Lizzy’s demonstrates for the philanthropy. “In order to help these families, we need support from the community,” he says. “We refer to Tin Lizzy’s as a Magic Maker Partner with good reason – they are indeed making magic happen. We are endlessly grateful.”

About Tin Lizzy’s Cantina
Tin Lizzy’s Cantina offers delicious FlexMex cuisine. For the unfamiliar, FlexMex resembles Tex-Mex, but is comprised and influenced by many cultures, and is also an attitude or experience that evokes a feeling of belonging and pure awesomeness. Known for fun food with unique flavors, the Atlanta-born and -based restaurant and bar serves more than 25 soft tacos, quesadillas, specialty skillets and more. Diners can customize their meal with a variety of fresh ingredients and enjoy one of the many specialty margaritas or cocktails from the bar. For more information about Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, visit

About Bert's Big Adventure
Established in 2002, Bert’s Big Adventure is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World® for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families. To qualify for Bert’s Big Adventure, children must be between the ages of 5 and 12, live in “The Bert Show” radio listening area, prove financial need and have never been to Walt Disney World®. Following the annual trip, Bert’s Big Adventure provides year-round support through initiatives such as the Reunion Adventures, the Fairy Godparent volunteer program and additional charitable services. The trip and programs create a community of families that establish lasting friendships with others facing similar challenges. For more information on Bert’s Big Adventure, hit up