Q. I remember speaking with you 5 or 6 years ago and you mentioned that you were working on your own restaurant. In that conversation, you described the concept I see in your restaurant today. How long has this project been in the works?
A. My wife and I have been working on this project for about 5 years. But has been a dream of mine for the past 15 years. We worked closely with Dan Maas and Jillian Paul of Ai3, to make our vision a reality. We wanted to have a restaurant that we could serve a well executed meal in a casual, social environment. I had started my career in fine dining establishments and I grew tired of the stuffiness and pretentiousness!
Q. You’ve said that the name “Foundation Social Eatery” has a lot of personal meaning to you. Could you please fill us all in?
A. When I decided to become a chef, I told myself, “if am gonna do this, I am gonna put myself around the best people and restaurants!” I wanted to give myself a STRONG Foundation. And the “Social” part is that I wanted to give our guests a social environment- like when we have have friends over to our home. Everyone ends up standing around the kitchen, talking, eating, and drinking. We also hoped that some of the design elements of the restaurant would be conversation starters, just as the open kitchen. This way, I actually get to interact with some of our guests.
Q. Looking at your resume, you have worked for numerous rock star chefs at several “big time” restaurants. Which chef and/or restaurant was the biggest influence for you?
A. By far the biggest influence was Chef Philippe Verpiand. He was the chef de cuisine at Tapenade in La Jolla CA. He taught me how to “work” in a kitchen, gave me the knowledge to “Build” flavor and instilled a strong knowledge of meat fabrication, (his father was a butcher in the town he grew up in). And the other was Chef Daniel Porubiansky of Century House Tavern. What I gain Daniel was the importance of seasonality! I credit them for the Cook that I am today!
Q. I read and hear a lot of your customers raving about the octopus small plate you prepare. Do you really imagine when putting the menu together that suburbanites would fall head-over-heels for octopus?
A. I learned a big lesson while working at Century House Tavern; never underestimate your clientele! Those who live in Roswell, work in Buckhead and dine there also! We are giving them the “in-town” dining experience without the drive and the cost! We are noticing a huge response to items on the menu that I was a little worried about serving but has turned into our best sellers!
Q. What should we expect from you and Foundation Social Eatery in the near future?
A. We will be making another menu change at the end of June, the second since we’ve been open. We have just recently added lunch service, Tues-Fri 11:30-3:00 and Sunday 12:00-9:00pm. We have a few wine dinners planned, which we will be announcing on FaceBook and our Blog. And we will eventually be adding live music, Sundays on the patio.