Georgia’s food scene surpasses conventional taste while remaining rooted in southern tradition. From mouth-watering soul food to internationally inspired cuisines, the 2019 Georgia Grown executive chefs have transformed southern food culture. For the eighth year, Georgia Grown partnered with the Georgia Restaurant Association to select the crème de la crème of Georgia’s culinary professionals. Selected chefs earn the distinction of wearing a Georgia Grown chef’s coat and serve as ambassadors for the program indefinitely. Their experience as Georgia Grown executive chefs will culminate when they join Georgia Grown’s Senior Executive Chef Holly Chute at the legendary James Beard House in New York City this June to showcase southern fare. Get to know the 2019 Georgia Grown executive chefs:

Chef Deborah VanTrece, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours in Atlanta

Chef Deborah VanTrece is an accomplished food visionary who has enjoyed the pleasantry of experiencing global food culture for more than 25 years. Chef VanTrece launched her culinary career graduating at the top of her class at the Art Institute. A few years later, she emerged as a who’s who on the Atlanta food scene as an Executive Chef during the 1996 Centennial Olympics. Following her emergence, she opened Edible Art, a small restaurant and catering operation, based in East Atlanta. Edible Art spurred economic growth in the East Atlanta neighborhood, helping to elevate the community as a top destination on the Atlanta food scene. Chef VanTrece’s influence on southern food led to the opening of her latest restaurant, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours’ in 2016. As an award-winning culinary trailblazer and entrepreneur, Chef Deborah VanTrece continues to leave her creative twist on Georgia's vibrant food culture.

Chef Julio Delgado, New Realm Brewery in Atlanta

Growing up in a family where love was often expressed through food, Chef Julio Delgado was destined to become a renowned chef. Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico (PR), Chef Delgado carries a rich family heritage of food and the fond memories inspired by food. A top graduate from the Hotelier School of Puerto Rico, Chef Delgado began fulfilling his personal goals of creating food in some of Puerto Rico’s top kitchens, The Bankers Club of Puerto Rico, Augusto’s Cuisine and Compostela Restaurant. From the Food Network to the Ritz Carlton, Chef Delgado has revived taste buds with his Euro-Latin American Cuisine style for thousands. Today, Chef Delgado leads the creation of sophisticated flavors at New Realm Brewing in Atlanta. An award-winning chef with much more to accomplish, Chef Julio Delgado brings the joy of food and heritage to the plate.

Chef Thomas McKeown, Hyatt Regency in Atlanta

If you’ve relished in the many dining options at the iconic Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, including Polaris, Sway, Twenty-Two Storys or even room service, you’ve been fortunate enough to taste the culinary vision of Chef Thomas McKeown. Born and trained on the other side of the Atlantic, Chef Thomas McKeown launched his culinary career in Ireland at the Limerick Golf Club. Later he earned a master’s degree in Food Service Education from Johns & Wales University in Rhode Island. After redefining contemporary American cuisine as a Sous Chef in Boston, Chef McKeown relocated to Atlanta and influenced the dining experience for a few of Atlanta’s top hotel’s, including the Ellis and Grant Hyatt before taking over the menu at the Hyatt Regency. Likely, Chef McKeown is known for his involvement in local food initiatives, including the Peachtree Road Farmers Market and more than 70 local farmers, dairies and purveyors. Next time you’re looking for accommodations in Atlanta, you can rest assured that under the leadership of one of Atlanta's leading culinary geniuses Chef Thomas McKeown, the Hyatt Regency is using fresh and locally sourced ingredients in every meal.

More Chef bios coming soon.