Art Smith (chef)

Art Smith (chef)

Art Smith
Born March 1, 1960 (1960-03-01) (age 51)
Jasper, Florida
Cooking style Southern cuisine
Education Florida State - Tallahassee
Official website

Charles Arthur "Art" Smith (born March 1, 1960)[1] is an American chef who has worked for former Florida governor Bob Graham and Jeb Bush and until 2007 was personal chef to Oprah Winfrey.[2] His expertise is Southern cuisine.

While attending Florida State University he completed culinary internships with The Greenbrier and the Walt Disney Magic Kingdom College Program.[3]



Smith has published two cookbooks, Back to the Table and Kitchen Life, about home cooking and family life. He edits a monthly article on and contributes articles to O, The Oprah Magazine.[4]


Smith founded the non-profit charity Common Threads, which focuses on teaching children about different cultures through food and art. Common Threads has served over 750 children and served 2,000 healthy meals to children in 2006. He serves on the board of directors of “Kids Café”, a nutrition program, for children in Minneapolis. Smith owns and runs a highly successful restaurant in Chicago called TABLE fifty-two as well as Art and Soul in Washington, D.C.[5][6] In 2009, Smith raised $10,000 for Common Threads as a participant on the television show Top Chef Masters, Season 1.[6][7]

Acclaimed chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Art Smith opened the doors to Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, his first restaurant concepts in the Southeast, on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Smith’s highly anticipated debut in the heart of Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood combines a hip, urban eatery with classic Southern charm, offering Southern-inspired cuisine and cocktails in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere.

Executive Chef Anthony Gray

Influenced by his Southern upbringing which included much hunting and fishing with his father and his family’s emphasis on cooking and sharing food, executive chef Anthony Gray greatly appreciates food’s ability to bring people together. Prior to joining Southern Art, Gray was the executive chef of the Maverick Southern Kitchens restaurants High Cotton in Greenville and Charleston, S.C. Under his direction, the restaurants were featured in The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Boston Globe and numerous other national and regional publications. Gray moved to Greenville from Charleston in 2009 after being promoted to executive chef of both restaurants in 2008. One year earlier, Gray became chef de cuisine of High Cotton in Charleston following his nine-year role as a sous chef when it opened in 1999. Gray first joined the Maverick Southern Kitchen family in 1997 when he worked alongside executive chef Frank Lee at Slightly North of Broad while attending Johnson & Wales University in Charleston.

General Manager Alain Zemmour

General manager Alain Zemmour joins Southern Art from his most recent position as general manager at 10 Degrees South. Prior to spending two years at the acclaimed restaurant, he spent time at The St. Regis Atlanta and The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Zemmour’s familiarity with and knowledge of the Atlanta hospitality community also includes experience catering with Prestige Gourmet Catering and owning L’Assiette French Bistro. Zemmour also worked many years for Club Med, during which his various positions took him to more than 10 different countries spanning four continents. Zemmour first joined the restaurant industry at a very young age while working in family-owned restaurants in his native country France.

Pastry Chef Meredith Miller

Pastry chef Meredith Miller embraces and showcases her family’s Southern roots by creating regional classics, including buttermilk chocolate cake, mockingbird cake with crushed peaches and Georgia pecans and summer peach pie, all which are showcased on the restaurant’s vintage pie table. Spending more than fifteen years in the restaurant industry, Miller has garnered experience as the pastry supervisor at The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort where she worked alongside renowned chef and her personal mentor Stephane Treand for three years. Prior to her time with Treand, Miller served as a pastry cook at The Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., and also at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Calif. She earned a bachelor’s degree of professional studies in baking and pastry management at the distinguished Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

Head Mixologist and Bar Manager Brian Stanger

Head mixologist and bar manager Brian Stanger, who changes his drink menu every three to four months, tailors his libations for each season and enjoys featuring styles from every era. He joins Southern Art and Bourbon Bar from his most recent position as manager and mixologist of Atlanta’s Top Flr, where his “bloody stanger” mix awarded him a placement on Creative Loafing’s 100 Things to Eat in Atlanta Before You Die list. Stanger also served as the bar manager and mixologist at Abattoir for two years, during which he was named Mixologist of The Year 2010 by Creative Loafing. During his time in Atlanta, Stanger also worked at Shaun’s and Beleza, where he first concentrated on perfecting his mixology skills. Stanger spent time as a bar back at Copa Cabana while living in Manhattan after he first entered the hospitality industry as a breakfast cook at Quinn Luncheonette in Beacon, N.Y., in 1987.

The Cuisine

The menu at Southern Art is a blend of Smith’s Southern cooking heritage, true love for Southern comfort food and strong commitment to serving traditional classics prepared with his light, modern approach. Embracing farm-to-table and regional cooking, Smith encourages diners to celebrate comfort and health. The menu also is reflective of Smith’s own family traditions with roots deep in the South, featuring a few select custom-aged steaks from the Smith family’s 100-year-old cattle ranch located in Hamilton County on the border of south Georgia and north Florida.

Sample appetizers include baked oysters with crispy Benton’s bacon, spinach and charred lemon, Smith’s mother Addie Mae’s chicken-and-dumpling soup, heirloom squash soup with lemon thyme, spiced pumpkin seed and brown butter and Georgia white shrimp and grits with Benton’s bacon, hominy, butter beans, spiced tomato broth and Anson Mills grits. Entrée selections range from Carolina black rice “risotto” with forest mushrooms, fennel, lemon and Flat Creek Lodge asiago, North Carolina catfish with creamy Anson Mills cheddar grits, grilled green tomato-apple relish and bacon crumble and Chef Art’s buttermilk fried chicken with Springer Mountain chicken, creamed butter ball potato, Brussels sprout leaves and Nancy’s red eye gravy to six-ounce center cut filet mignon with sautéed spinach, roasted sweet potato puree and SA steak sauce and grilled heritage pork chop with pig pickin’ pork and beans, buffalo pig eats and bourbon mustard glaze. For a complete Southern dining experience, guests can savor classic side dishes such as sweet potato casserole, three cheese mac and cheese and greens and pot licker.

Artisan Ham Bar

Further embracing Southern culinary traditions, Southern Art features an artisan ham-and-charcuterie bar to showcase the strong craft and long-standing traditions of regional country hams. Carved to order and served with piping hot biscuits or crackling skillet corn bread and house-made butter and pickles, the artisan ham bar is a unique focal point for the dining room and a distinctive beginning to any meal.

Pies and Cakes

In addition, guests can peruse delectable house-made desserts from a vintage pie table from which classics such as blueberry cobbler, buttermilk chocolate cake, 12-layer red velvet cake, mockingbird cake with crushed peaches and Georgia pecans and summer peach pie will be served. Guests can order a house-made pie, baked to order, to enjoy in house or to take home for friends and family to share.

The Space

In keeping with the hallmark of Smith’s acclaimed restaurants, Southern Art strikes the balance between comfortable and sophisticated, combining a hip, urban eatery with classic Southern charm. Guests are greeted by a vintage pie table resplendent with antique cake stands and white daisies. A unique collage of artwork is suspended from the ceiling and floats over guests like a cultural cloud. Each piece reflects the diverse imagery of the city itself. The juxtaposition of chair styles and patterned textiles adds personality and character to the restaurant, encouraging guests to relax and linger over Southern-inspired cuisine. Beautiful glass chandeliers are hung between the artwork, adding vibrancy to the aesthetic, while a custom damask wall paper hung above a painted wainscot creates a charming library feel.

Bourbon Bar

With seating for 74 guests, Bourbon Bar serves as both a meeting place for after-work and post-dinner gathering in a convivial, friendly atmosphere. The Southern-inspired bar features a well-cultivated selection of American bourbon distillers, focusing on small-batch producers and featuring select bourbons only available at Bourbon Bar through exclusive agreements. In addition to more than 70 bourbon offerings, guests can sip on an array of cocktails which showcase distinctive twists on American classics from the pre-Prohibition era that are available only in the bar. Bourbon Bar features large communal tables, a rich tobacco-colored wall covering and a bronze and linen pendant fixture. The impressive artisan ham-and-charcuterie bar lures visitors to the 92-seat main dining room which is complete with a large private dining room that seats up to 40 people. Guests are also invited to dine al fresco on the 48-seat outdoor terrace along bustling Peachtree Road in the heart of Buckhead’s business district.

Southern Art is an Atlanta debut of acclaimed chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Art Smith and combine a hip, urban eatery with classic Southern charm, offering Southern-inspired cuisine and cocktails in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. Southern Art is located at 3315 Peachtree Road in Atlanta’s bustling Buckhead business district. Southern Art serves breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Brunch is served Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The artisan ham bar is open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about Southern Art, please visit, or call 404.946.9070.


Smith has cooked for many celebrities and heads of state, including Barack Obama and the current King of Sweden.[8] In addition to being chef for Florida Governor Bob Graham, he cooked for Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Romero Britto, film stars Ali Landry and Eduardo Verástegui amongst many others. He has also appeared on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.[9]


  • The 2002 James Beard Award for Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family.[10]
  • 2001 Gourmand World Cookbook Award - Category, “For Human Values.”[10]
  • Humanitarian of the Year, 2007, James Beard Foundation[11]


Smith lives in Chicago, Illinois with his partner of ten years, Jesus Salgueiro, a painter; they donate their time to many causes, from children's cooking classes to humanitarian aid.[12]

Shortly before his 50th birthday, Smith was diagnosed with diabetes. In response, he changed his diet and lost 85 pounds to reverse the diagnosis.[13]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ (Sept 19, 2007). "Cooking with Chef Art Smith". Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  3. ^ Chef2Chef (Sept 19, 2007). "Chef Art Smith". Chef2Chef. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  4. ^ (Sept 19, 2007). "Art Smith Wants you". Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  5. ^ ABC Chicago (Sept 19, 2007). "Chef Art Smith Opens New Restaurant in Chicago". ABC Chicago. Retrieved 2007-09-30. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b Gray, Joe (July 23, 2009). "Art Smith feels the love on 'Top Chef Masters'". 
  7. ^ "Call It Art". July 23, 2009. 
  8. ^ Per Top Chef Masters shown July 23, 2009
  9. ^ Aaron Glickman (2007-03-13). "Chef Art Smith Cooks for star studded crowd". Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  10. ^ a b Chef2Chef (2007). "Chef Art Smith Wins James Beard Award". Chef2Chef. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  12. ^ Art Smith: A Slice of life Tracy Baim. September 12, 2007; Windy City Times.

External links

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