May/June 2023

2023 STARCHEFS ATLANTA RISING STARS AWARDS Atlanta, you’re booming. Let’s take a look at the evidence. You’ve had massive population growth and serious investment from major industries. With 65,000 new residents in 2022, bars and restaurants are opening up from Grant Park to Buckhead. Handling that increase in volume is no small feat. But Atlanta is ready for it, and ready to evolve its culinary scene to more accurately reflect the culture and people of the city.Pop-ups have been a part of the landscape in Atlanta for quite some time, but with climbing rent and changing state and city ordinances, we found an even stronger network of pop-up businesses. Through a Discord channel, chefs across the city are supporting each other and sharing resources. It’s not easy to start a pop-up, much less a brick-and-mortar, but people here have figured out that there is strength in numbers, especially amongst chefs of color, whose efforts within the city’s kitchens and bars have not always been recognized. A rising tide floats all ships, and with the growth in population and commerce, that tide is coming in fast. Investment in Georgia’s agriculture, from both the State House and small businesses, is also at an all-time high. And how could we not mention the bar scene? Put plain and simple, this city is ready to go out and party, and that’s creating opportunities for a wide range of bars. From technique-driven cocktail bars, to industry-friendly dives, to well-resourced restaurant bars, the people behind the stick are fired up and flexing their creativity. There’s something happening in Atlanta. This is a city where art, food, beverages, and culture are meeting each other head-on, with no signs of slowing down. So please, keep booming Atlanta: keep innovating, growing, and celebrating the diversity that makes you special.

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