Rising Star Chef Adam Evans of The Optimist - Biography

Atlanta, GA

June 2012

Growing up in Alabama—where seafood is the “bread and butter” of any respectable diet—Adam Evans spent his childhood days fishing in local lakes and rivers with his family. But it wasn’t until he landed his first job in a kitchen, as chef’s apprentice at The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama, that he began to understand how to turn his catch into culinary delights.

After leaving Alabama, Evans headed to New Orleans (another seafood haven) to Baco, where he focused on learning technique, speed, and consistency. He then landed at La Petite Grocery in 2004, when the restaurant earned a four-bean review in the Times-Picayune. In May 2005, Evans moved north to New York City, becoming sous chef at Craft. Evans was eventually sent to open Craftbar in Atlanta as chef de cuisine, with a menu highlighting local Southern flavors. During Evans’ tenure, the restaurant was named “Best New Restaurant” by Atlanta Magazine.

Evans next teamed up with local favorite, 2007 Rising Star Chef Ford Fry, at JCT. Kitchen & Bar, where he was names a 2012 StarChefs.com Atlanta Rising Star. And in spring 2011, he was promoted to open Fry’s highly anticipated seafood eatery, The Optimist, where Evans creates seasonal, wood-grilled offerings for the menu and oversees (naturally) selection of the day’s catch.