Haikus, tattoos, and no BS in the kitchen, Watershed on Peachtree chef Zeb Stevenson isn’t afraid to bring his methodical intensity and creativity to the plate. Looking more like a tall drink of New York City artist, Stevenson’s quirky sense of humor coupled with a Cornell art education creep into his dishes nightly. His natural proclivity toward pushing boundaries (hello, 2013 blood dinner) and his stunning plating skills were honed in some of Atlanta’s finest restaurants.
Stevenson debuted on the Atlanta scene nearly 20 years ago starting as most ambitious young chefs do, sweating it out on the line. A voracious student of his craft, Stevenson mastered charcuterie, butchery, and sauce-making while under the direction of chef Harold Marmulstein of now defunct Dick and Harry’s in Roswell and later for world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Spice Market. His hard-earned executive chef positions began in 2009 at The Livingston and Edgar’s Proof and Provision before departing in 2013 for Parish. And, let’s not forget the time he totally owned the winner’s circle on Food Network’s Chopped.
In 2015, Watershed called Stevenson to replace the departing Joe Truex. His mission? Recapture the legacy chef Scott Peacock had conceived 17 years ago in Decatur. Stevenson’s earnestness and artistry in the kitchen have garnered him the reputation as one of the city’s most thoughtful and forward-thinking chefs, who’s likely to bear hug the hell out of you rather than wave you away like yesterday’s stale bread.
Dolce Vitta fruit cup and a coffita at LottaFrutta will cure whatever ails ya!
Steamed buns at Simply Seoul.
Daddy D’z. Recognize.
It will and always has been salt and pepper shrimp at Octopus Bar. Pro tip: Peeling the shells prior to eating is highly suspect and, in some circles, downright frowned upon.
Cocktail or beer of choice
The "Breathe Deep" at Ticonderoga Club is the truth.
Fancy night out
I define fancy as putting on a suit so, the last fancy night I had was at Staplehouse. I’d get fancy (or un-fancy) there any time.
Smoked chicken on the Little Green Egg, sweet potatoes, and beer.
Out-of-town favorite (regional)
Cúrate in Asheville. I could eat everything on that menu and never tire of it.
Out-of-town favorite (national)
Longman & Eagle in Chicago. It’s masterful.
Well, my all-time out of country fave was Inopia in Barcelona, but it has been closed for some time. I’ll have to check out Tickets the next time I’m there.