5Church, the Charlotte-based restaurant that soon will open an Atlanta outpost in Midtown, has a new executive chef on board. RJ Cooper will run the kitchen upon opening, and he'll collaborate with 5Church partner Jamie Lynch to execute the restaurant's menu.
"RJ's cooking philosophy aligns very closely with our management style — we all seek to challenge the culinary status quo," 5Church managing partner Ayman Kamel said in a prepared statement. "He knows his way around the culinary landscape of Atlanta, and his pioneering skills will serve the city's discerning diners well."
Cooper comes from a Marriott hotel restaurant in Charlotte, and he previously operated two now-shuttered restaurants in the Washington, D.C., area. He brings an impressive resume to the 5Church. In Atlanta, he served under Guenter Seeger at The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead and Gilbert Le Coze at Brasserie Le Coze. He's also worked with Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin in New York City. In 2007, as the executive chef at Vidalia in D.C., he won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.
When it opens, 5Church will attempt to draw a decidedly swanky clientele in the former Shout space at 1197 Peachtree St. NE. In addition to the Charlotte original and forthcoming Atlanta location, 5Church operates a restaurant that opened in Charleston last November.