Georgia Department of Agriculture

Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Restaurant Association announce 2016 Georgia Grown Executive Chefs

Executive Chef

Date: Feb. 17, 2016

Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Restaurant Association announce 2016
Georgia Grown Executive Chefs

ATLANTA (Feb. 17, 2016) – Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black and Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) CEO Karen Bremer announced the 2016 Georgia Grown Executive Chefs on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 at the GRA’s 8th Annual Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception, held at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot.

This year, we received an outstanding number of applications from qualified candidates for this distinctive and honorable program and the selection process was extremely difficult. For the first time ever, we have chosen 5 chefs instead of 4. The 2016 class of Georgia Grown Executive Chefs includes David Larkworthy of Five Seasons Brewing, Savannah Haseler of Twain’s Brewpub and Billiards, Douglas Turbush of Seed Kitchen & Bar, Stem Wine Bar, and Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar, Seth Freedman of PeachDish and Derek Dollar of Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails and The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill.

“The five chefs chosen for this prestigious program have unique talents that they bring to the table along with incredible experience in this field. They strongly support and advocate for Georgia grown products.” Bremer said. “These chefs will strengthen the relationship between Georgia’s chefs and farmers and do an outstanding job representing Georgia’s restaurants and Georgia Grown.”

“The success of the Georgia Grown Executive Chef Program over the past few years has far surpassed our expectations,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. “We look forward to using this exemplary group of chefs as our culinary translators as we continue to bridge the gap between the farmers and consumers. We appreciate the partnership with the Georgia Restaurant Association that has allowed us to further foster these relationships,” Black said.

These five distinguished chefs will join the roster of 12 other Georgia Grown Executive Chefs. Now entering its fifth year, the Georgia Grown Executive Chef Program seeks to promote the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown campaign statewide. The program offers participating chefs a mark of honor and distinction, while increasing awareness for both restaurateurs and consumers about which local Georgia
products are available for the cooking season.

As the program grows, it will create a pathway for consumers to find Georgia Grown products in their communities in order to support local, seasonal foods when dining out. It also aims to highlight and involve public school culinary education and school food nutrition in terms of increased opportunities for Georgia Grown products, training and recipe development. The chefs will participate in a spring and fall school event, an organized farm tour, at least one seasonal cooking clip with the Department and at least one Georgia Grown cooking event designated by Black.

About the Georgia Restaurant Association
The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s restaurants in advocacy, education and awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. The GRA serves as the unified voice for over 17,000 foodservice and drinking places in the state of Georgia with total sales in excess of $18 billion which provides more than 438,900 jobs. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia.

About Georgia Grown
The Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program provides a powerful branding tool as well as education, marketing and business connections to expand agribusinesses and the agricultural industry throughout the state. Learn more or join Georgia Grown at

For media inquiries, contact Rachel Bell, director of marketing and communications, at (404) 467-9000 or




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