Leon's Full Service has new blood running the kitchen. Cameron Octigan is on board as executive chef, Leon's partner Ryan Gallagher confirmed Thursday morning, taking over for Eric Ottensmeyer. Ottensmeyer had been with the restaurant since it opened in 2009, but he left in April for Marietta's Paper Mill Grill.
"I love Atlanta. My family is here. This is our home," Octigan said in a prepared statement. "I want to focus on the great produce grown and meat raised in our state at local farms, and on bringing that product to our community in interesting ways at a price and in an environment that is accessible for everyone."
Octigan's culinary career has taken him across the country, from Blair's and Cook's County in Los Angeles to Momofuku and Selamat Pagi in New York. More recently, the chef has local experience cooking at Ford Fry's St. Cecilia and No. 246, and he plans on making his mark on the Leon's menu.
"Leon's is about to make some changes. Some you may notice, some not," Octigan said. "We will continue with an even greater focus on local foods, a more international and yet focused menu, but always thinking of ways to make great food that you love to go with drinks you love.
"While menu favorites like the warm chickpea cherry salad and the brisket with frites won't be going anywhere anytime soon, you can expect new items like Painted Hills beef tartare and a baked half Grassroots Farm chicken cooked to order with a skin so crispy you would swear it was fried."