As most chef stories go, that of 28-year-old Jeb Aldrich isn’t as varied as many of his contemporaries. Cooking was never a fall-back position for this classically trained 2005 graduate of Johnson & Wales University; it’s what he’s always wanted to do, and his focused career brings an extensive professional background and refined talent to the 4th & Swift team.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Aldrich has been striving towards working with his father, chef-owner Jay Swift, since he was a boy. “I think my ultimate goal always was to work with my dad,” Aldrich said. “But I wanted to gain experience and confidence before taking a position with him full time.”
Aldrich worked at Peninsula Grill in Charleston, South Carolina, during his years at culinary school, and after graduating moved to Atlanta to work for his father at the much-lauded Rainwater restaurant, in Alpharetta, Georgia, for a short stint. He also gained invaluable experience working with noted Chef Carvel Grant Gould at Canoe
From 2006 to 2007, Aldrich worked for Joël Antunes at his eponymous restaurant Joël, one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in Atlanta’s history. From Antunes, Aldrich gained a deep knowledge and respect for the classic brigade system, a keen sense for procurement of the highest quality ingredients, and the art of choosing menu items that highlight the seasons. After working with Antunes, Aldrich’s desire to “see things in a new light” was heightened, and he gained extensive knowledge working at properties in Austria and Italy the following year.
For three years now, Aldrich has been working alongside his celebrated dad in 4th & Swift’s kitchen. “I love it, because I can talk to him about anything,” he said.
When he’s not in the kitchen, Aldrich enjoys playing basketball and mountain biking. He’s also participated in the American Liver Foundation fundraiser “Taste of Atlanta” for four years and in “Share Our Strength” in 2009.