Like many of the chefs who stumble their way into the business, Terry Koval began his restaurant career at the age of 15, working as a dishwasher at John Paul’s Armadillo Oil Company in Greenville, South Carolina. Rather than head to culinary school after those classically sudsy beginnings, Koval looked west to San Francisco, in hopes like many teenagers, of becoming a skateboarder. And it was on the west coast that he had his first introduction to local, seasonal produce and farm-to-table cuisine.
When the skateboarding career he hoped for didn’t work out, Koval came back to the South, refreshed and inspired by the west coast’s culinary prosperity. He worked his way up the Georgia culinary food chain to the position of executive sous chef under mentor Chef Gary Mennie at nationally acclaimed Canoe in Vinings. He later joined Concentrics Restaurants as the sous chef of Lobby at TWELVE and became executive chef of Room at TWELVE, which was awarded a three-star review from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution under his tenure.
Koval eventually returned to his roots in sustainable cuisine with his expertly crafted, seasonal grass-fed burgers at Farm Burger
. It may be burgers, but Koval understands the importance of refined, fresh flavors, no matter what the vessel. As one of the 2012 Atlanta Rising Stars, he has big plans to return to the finer side of dining in the near future.