Ryan Smith, Empire State South

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If you like food, and enjoy the ritual of eating, then you need to dine at Empire State South.  It’s ridiculously good, a perfect combination of straight-up deliciousness and genuine hospitality.  Empire State South’s Executive Chef is Ryan Smith, a man who is equally adept at curing a ham as he is answering five questions for A Is For Atlanta

Q.  Hidden Atlanta gems? 

A.  Hiro Endo, he runs the sushi bar at Shoya Izakaya. He’s great to chat with.

Q.  You’re granted a magic wand to put an end to one food trend, and to start another.  What’s on the agenda?

A.  Fernet Branca. I like Fernet, it serves it’s purpose as a digestif, but the trend of shooting it at bars is really annoying. I wouldn’t so much start a trend but take the next step to restoring the culture and heritage of our roots with how food used to be made. Like using what is available and not poisoning our soil.

Q.  Favorite Atlanta neighborhoods?

A.  Decatur, Little Five Points, Inman Park.

Q.  You’ve got 24 hours left in Atlanta.  Where are you going, and what are you eating? 

A.  I’m going to Buford Highway and eating everything I can.

Q.  You’ve got 24 hours to eat at Empire State South.  What are you eating?

A.  Country Ham.

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