International Influence at Taste of Atlanta

Guests: Andrew Litherland of Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, Doug Turbush of Seed and Ryan Costigan of Georgia Restaurant Association

Chef Doug Turbush

Chef Doug Turbush

Today, both chef/guests lived, worked, and married in Asia.  Between them, they have run kitchens in Osaka, Bangkok, Dubai, Miami, and of course Atlanta.  They share their insights from working overseas and how it has affected their dishes and businesses.

Seed

Chef Doug Turbush’s desire to learn every aspect of the restaurant business led him to a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Wisconsin in Stout, and later to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, graduating with honors from both universities.  He nurtured his love of Latin and Asian inspired American cooking by moving to Bangkok, Thailand, where he cooked both professionally and recreationally. Chef Doug joined the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group in 1999 as chef de tournant at Nava under Chef Kevin Rathbun. He was promoted to Executive Chef at Nava in 2001, and in 2005, he accepted the position of Executive Chef at Bluepointe. About a year ago now, he opened his first place of his own, Seed, which offers modern American cuisine in a neighborhood setting. Chef Doug explains, “Seed is a place where families and friends will meet to enjoy modern comfort food, unpretentious service, a sleek setting and excellent value. Sourcing locally has been core to my approach to food since I began cooking. I want to create a fun neighborhood restaurant with a reasonably priced menu, interesting cocktails, and great wine and beer programs.”

Atlanta Grill

The Atlanta Grill

Chef Andrew Litherland

Chef Andrew Litherland

Andrew Litherland grew up in New Zealand and started in the industry beneath the busboy!  You will have to listen to see what he means. He left for culinary school at 16, and upon completion moved to Japan to work in Olympic city Nagano, Japan. Unbelievably, he apply for a job at The Ritz-Carlton Osaka and got a job as a local, starting his tenure with the Ritz-Carlton Company.  Andrew is fluent in Japanese, certainly a help in getting the job! Promotions sent him to Dubai, California, Miami, Orlando, and now Atlanta.  He overseas all aspects of the downtown hotel food service, the Atlanta Grill Restaurant, all events, and banquets.  He and his wife have triplet sons.  Andrew’s views on international education, work, and travel are worth listening for and great advice to all parents.

And, we had our old friend Ryan Costigan in for his monthly GRA appearance. He updated the audience on latest GRA events and has some tips for the healthcare transition ahead. The GRA has a great website called http://healthcare.restaurant.org to help you navigate these issues. Also, look for a healthcare related article coming out Friday’s AJC.