OUR CULINARY VISION

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  1. Start in our own backyard — We begin with dishes and ingredients that are central to our community and region, and prepare the food using classical European techniques. The result is a dish that’s approachable, but entirely new to our guests.
  2. Source locally for better tasting food — Using local ingredients is great for the communities where we operate, but that’s not why we do it. We source locally because it tastes better, and it allows us to partner closely with suppliers. Our menus are designed to change with the seasons and honor the local harvests.
  3. Let the food speak for itself — Technique is central to our kitchen, but we make it invisible to our guests. The food is uncomplicated, and it shouldn’t be advertised on our menus with pretentious culinary language. We want to serve the best tasting dishes possible, regardless of the techniques we use in the kitchen.
 
 

SELECTED PRESS

St. Cecilia September 2014

St. Cecilia
September 2014

King + Duke September 2014

King + Duke
September 2014

The Optimist September 2014

The Optimist
September 2014

St. Cecilia July 2014

St. Cecilia
July 2014

The Optimist September 2014

The Optimist
September 2014

 

MEET SOME OF OUR TEAM

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Chrysta Poulos
Creative Director of Pastry
JCT. Kitchen & Bar, King + Duke, no. 246, The Optimist, St. Cecilia


The precision and technicality of electrical work on B1B bombers in the U.S. Air Force unearthed something in Poulos – she realized the exactitude and science of baking was comparable. After leaving the military, Poulos felt drawn back to the restaurant kitchen, which she knew from various jobs growing up.

As Creative Director of Pastry, Chrysta designs the dessert menus for all of Ford Fry’s restaurants, bringing her military precision to the restaurant kitchens. After earning a culinary degree from the Art Institute of Atlanta, she rocketed to work in some of the city’s most highly-regarded kitchens, where the fine dining suited her favorite style of pastry creation. She started working with Ford as Pastry Chef upon the opening of King + Duke, the one restaurant Atlantans now know that they can find her signature sticky toffee pudding. Along the way, she’s amassed accolades and awards, including being named Rising Stars Pastry Chef.

 
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Crystal Kelly
Human Resources Director
JCT. Kitchen & Bar, King + Duke, no. 246, The El Felix, The Optimist, St. Cecilia, Superica

Crystal Kelly’s natural bent always drifted toward personal growth and development: even throughout her work in restaurant service, Kelly was studying philosophy – her intention set on becoming a certified yoga teacher. When Kelly applied as a server at Ford Fry’s JCT. Kitchen & Bar, her application was re-routed toward management, and two years later, Kelly was promoted to Assistant General Manager.

As Ford Fry’s empire grew, the need for a Human Resources department was imminent, and Kelly was suggested to help launch the department. “At the time, the department was only a thought, and truthfully, I had no idea what I was signing up for,” Kelly says. “They took a chance on me.” Kelly went on to obtain her Human Resources certification from Cornell University and now heads up the department, leveraging her insight to manage the HR needs of the company’s more than 500 employees.

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Drew Belline
Vice President of Creative
JCT. Kitchen & Bar, King + Duke, no. 246, The El Felix, The Optimist, St. Cecilia, Superica

Drew Belline’s passion for simplicity and locality melds with rustic techniques and creative execution, as he and business partner Ford Fry tackle menu creation for Ford’s award-winning restaurants. With leadership and culinary experience, Belline not only highlights ingredients that develop organically into innovative dishes, but highlights and mentors the company’s growing staff of culinary talent.

Upon graduation from Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, the native Atlantan headed to New York to sharpen his culinary skills. When he returned to the Southeast, Drew continued his training under renowned Atlanta chefs until Ford Fry’s team took note of his talent and brought him on as Chef and Partner at no. 246 in Decatur where he crafted an Italian-inspired menu, using simple wood-fired cooking techniques and composed of local, farm fresh ingredients. He has been featured in FOOD & WINE, Bon Appétit, and Southern Living and is an avid fly fisherman and keen forager.

 
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Mac Angulo
General Manager
JCT. Kitchen & Bar



The countries Mac Angulo claims as childhood homes extend from the U.S. to Honduras, Nicaragua to Panama, Columbia to Mali, and France to eventually El Salvador, with one parent employed by the State Department. A few years after graduating college from the Universidad Centroamericana Jose Simeon Canas, Angulo nabbed a restaurant job in Atlanta and realized his natural aptitude for the industry as he quickly progressed in management.

When his wife began working for Ford Fry’s no. 246, Angulo took a liking to Ford's company. “Eventually, after hearing from her how much the culture and philosophy under Ford aligned with my own, I applied,” Angulo says. He quickly moved up the ranks from Assistant General Manager to his position now as JCT.’s General Manager. “Our industry is never boring -- plus, it allows for great flexibility,” the new father says. “So I can have time to be around my family and friends.”

 
 
 

JOIN US

We’re always looking for great talent to join our team and grow with us. If you love food and drink, and have a passion for hard work, let’s talk!

Click on the city in which you're interested in working to see what positions are available and to start the application process.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

“I love finding talent in the region, and putting these people in an environment where they can learn and grow.”