Ryan Smith is the Executive Chef of Empire State South. Originally from Pennsylvania, Smith has called Atlanta home for the last 10 years. Ryan took an interest in cooking while working at Penn State, and chose to attend Culinary Institute of America. Ryan received his degree in 2000 and was drawn to Atlanta by a fellow chef, who heralded the emerging national fascination with Southern cuisine.
Since his arrival in Atlanta, Ryan has worked in the city’s most prominent restaurants including: Bacchanalia, Canoe and, most recently, with Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Linton Hopkins at Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch.
In the fall of 2010, Chef/Partner of Empire State South Hugh Acheson named Ryan the Executive Chef. “Ryan is natural chef with refreshing ideas and a great respect for this region.” says Hugh, “I look forward to what he brings to ESS.”