Ford Fry

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Ford Fry (born June 17, 1969) is an American chef and restaurateur based in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] His team consists of 11 restaurants in Georgia, three restaurants in Houston, and one in Charlotte.[2] [3]Fry's portfolio of restaurants includes JCT. Kitchen & Bar, no. 246, The Optimist, King + Duke, St. Cecilia, The El Felix, Superica, Marcel[4] State of Grace, BeetleCat,[5] and La Lucha.[6] Several of Fry's restaurants have received various accolades. In October 2015, CBS This Morning described Fry as "one of the most prolific chefs and restaurateurs" in the United States.[7]


Fry was raised in Texas and in his early life he studied at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. He then worked as a chef in fine dining in the U.S. states of Florida, Colorado, California, and Georgia. In January 2007, he based himself in Atlanta and opened his first restaurant, the JCT. Kitchen & Bar. Fry currently resides in Roswell, Georgia, with his wife and two sons. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar and spending time with his family.[8]


Fry was a semifinalist for the 2013,[9] 2014[10], 2015, 2016, and 2017[11] James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurateur Award.[12] Eater Atlanta named Fry as the "Empire Builder of the Year" in 2013, and Fry also won the Georgia Restaurant Association's seventh annual Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Award for Restaurateur of the Year in 2013.[13]

The Optimist restaurant was selected as Esquire magazine's Best New Restaurant of the Year in 2012.[14][15] Fry has been asked to cook at the James Beard house numerous times.[16] and Condé Nast Traveler named the restaurant one of the 50 best new restaurants in the world.[17] Bon Appetit magazine named it the #7 best new restaurant in America in 2013.[18] Esquire magazine named King + Duke restaurant as one of the best new restaurants of 2013.[19]

In 2017 the firm that designed St. Cecilia, Meyer Davis, won the James Beard award for Outstanding Restaurant Design in North America (76 seats and over).[20]


  1. ^ Abney, Kate. "QuickBites". Creative Loafing.
  2. ^ Eater Staff. "Ford Fry's State of Grace teases Oyster Bar". Houston Eater.
  3. ^ "Chef Ford Fry | The Restaurants | Employment Opportunities". Chef Ford Fry | Ask about restaurant careers,. Retrieved 2018-09-21.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  4. ^ Malone, Tess. "What's one restaurant Ford Fry wouldn't open?". Atlanta Magazine.
  5. ^ Fuhrmeister, Chris. "BeetleCat, Ford Fry's Fifth New Restaurant of the Year, Opens Next Week". Atlanta Eater.
  6. ^ "Chef Ford Fry | The Restaurants | Employment Opportunities". Chef Ford Fry | Ask about restaurant careers,. Retrieved 2018-09-21.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  7. ^ "The Dish: Chef Ford Fry chef and owner of acclaimed restaurants". CBS This Morning. October 31, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  8. ^ Howard, Blake. "Ford Fry". Creative Mornings.
  9. ^ Cooper, Carly. "Cardamom Hill, Bacchanalia, and Ford Fry Among James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists". Atlanta Magazine.
  10. ^ Raposo, Jacqueline. "Kitchen Close-Up: Inside Chef Ford Fry's Atlanta Kitchens". Serious Eats.
  11. ^ "James Beard Foundation". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  12. ^ Mah, Evan. "Breaking down Atlanta's James Beard Award nominees for 2015". Atlanta Magazine.
  13. ^ "Publix".
  14. ^ Mariani, John. "Best New Restaurant". Esquire.
  15. ^ Couret, Jacques (October 5, 2012). "The Optimist named Esquire's 'Best New Restaurant of the Year'". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  16. ^ Blake, Howard. "Ford Fry". Creative Mornings.
  17. ^ Wenk, Amy (July 19, 2013). "Developers eye Ironworks". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved January 10, 2016. The Optimist has been named one of the world's best new restaurants by luxury travel magazine Condé Nast. (subscription required)
  18. ^ Knowlton, Andrew. "The Optimist - #7 Best New Restaurants in America 2013". Bon Appétit.
  19. ^ Mariani, John. "The Best New Restaurants". Esquire.
  20. ^ "The 2017 James Beard Award Winners". Retrieved 2017-08-15.

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