Chef-owner Art Smithis proud to announce the acclaimed culinary team of his anticipated Atlanta debuts Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, opening Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Executive chef Anthony Gray will helm the kitchen of the Southern-inspired restaurant, accompanied by pastry chef Meredith Miller, head mixologist and bar manager Brian Stanger, and general manager Alain Zemmour.

“I am thrilled to have the quality and experience of each of these culinary professionals to lead Southern Art and Bourbon Bar,” Smith says. “They all have a passion and dedication to what Southern Art and Bourbon Bar are all about – serving guests Southern-inspired cuisine and cocktails in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere with true Southern hospitality.”

Executive Chef Anthony Gray

Influenced by his Southern upbringing, which included much hunting and fishing with his father and his family’s emphasis on cooking and sharing food, executive chef Anthony Gray greatly appreciates food’s ability to bring people together. Prior to joining Southern Art, Gray was the executive chef of the Maverick Southern Kitchens restaurants High Cotton in Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina. Under his direction, the restaurants were featured in The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Boston Globe and numerous other national and regional publications. Gray moved to Greenville from Charleston in 2009 after being promoted to executive chef of both restaurants in 2008. One year earlier, Gray became chef de cuisine of High Cotton in Charleston following his nine-year role as a sous chef when it opened in 1999. Gray first joined the Maverick Southern Kitchen family in 1997 when he worked alongside executive chef Frank Lee at Slightly North of Broad while attending Johnson & Wales University in Charleston.

Pastry Chef Meredith Miller

Pastry chef Meredith Miller embraces and showcases her family’s Southern roots by creating regional classics, including buttermilk chocolate cake, mockingbird cake with crushed peaches and Georgia pecans, and summer peach pie, all which are showcased on the restaurant’s vintage pie table. Spending more than 15 years in the restaurant industry, Miller has garnered experience as the pastry supervisor at The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, where she worked alongside renowned chef and her personal mentor, Stephane Treand, for three years. Prior to her time with Treand, Miller served as a pastry cook at The Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia, and also at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California. She earned a bachelor’s degree of professional studies in baking and pastry management at the distinguished Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

Head Mixologist and Bar Manager Brian Stanger

Head mixologist and bar manager Brian Stanger, who changes his drink menu every three to four months, tailors his libations for each season and enjoys featuring styles from every era. He joins Southern Art and Bourbon Bar from his most recent position as manager and mixologist of Atlanta’s Top Flr, where his “bloody stanger” mix awarded him a placement on Creative Loafing’s “100 Things to Eat in Atlanta Before You Die” list. Stanger also served as the bar manager and mixologist at Abattoir for two years, during which he was named Mixologist of The Year 2010 by Creative Loafing. During his time in Atlanta, Stanger also worked at Shaun’s and Beleza, where he first concentrated on perfecting his mixology skills. Stanger spent time as a bar back at Copa Cabana while living in Manhattan after he first entered the hospitality industry as a breakfast cook at Quinn Luncheonette in Beacon, New York, in 1987.

General Manager Alain Zemmour

General manager Alain Zemmour joins Southern Art from his most recent position as general manager at 10 Degrees South. Before spending two years at the acclaimed restaurant, he spent time at The St. Regis Atlanta and The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Zemmour’s familiarity with and knowledge of the Atlanta hospitality community also includes experience catering with Prestige Gourmet Catering and owning L’Assiette French Bistro. Zemmour also worked many years for Club Med, during which his various positions took him to more than 10 different countries spanning four continents. Zemmour first joined the restaurant industry at a very young age while working in family-owned restaurants in his native country France.

Southern Art and Bourbon Bar is the Atlanta debut of acclaimed chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Art Smith, and combines a hip, urban eatery with classic Southern charm, offering Southern-inspired cuisine and cocktails in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. Southern Art is located at 3315 Peachtree Rd. in Atlanta’s bustling Buckhead business district.

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