2018 Atlanta Rising Star Chef Brett Ashcraft of Queenie's

2018 Atlanta Rising Star Chef Brett Ashcraft of Queenie's
January 2018

Brett Ashcraft grew up in Lawrenceville, Georgia, surrounded by family and food. He helped his grandfather in the garden, accompanied his dad on hunting trips, and started working in restaurants at 16—moving up from milkshake guy at Steak & Shake to the kitchen at Grayson House in nearby Grayson, Georgia. After high school, he attended the University of Georgia and graduated with a marketing degree in 2009. 

Still enamored with the kitchen, Ashcraft worked at Hugh Acheson’s Five & Ten in Athens before moving to Atlanta to work in some of the city’s best restaurants: Craft, 4th & Swift, and Anne Quatrano’s Abbatoir. At Abbatoir, he learned charcuterie and butchery from Chef Josh Hopkins and then a more whimsical approach from Chef Tyler Williams before taking over as executive chef in 2013.

Around the same time, the grind of Atlanta traffic and the pace began to wear on Ashcraft, and he leaped at the opportunity to work in Woodstock as a sous chef for Daniel Porubiansky at Century House Tavern. While working there, he bought a home in Canton and started a garden of his own, selling excess peppers, turnips, beans, and more to a few restaurants, including Century House, and at the Canton farmers market. That’s where he met market regular and restaurateur Zack Kell, who wanted to open a Southern meat and three restaurant with Ashcraft as executive chef. In a few months the opportunity became reality, and Ashcraft helped launch Queenie’s, where he now makes resonant Southern comfort food with ample technique just below the surface.