Changes are afoot at the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta and Bar Margot with the appointment of Michael Patria as the new executive chef.
Patria, who replaces chef Robert Gerstenecker, has done stints at The Buckhead Diner and Alon’s Bakery. His most recent position was at the helm of both the airport and midtown locations of Fifth Group’s Ecco.
Hotel general manager Yvette Thomas-Henry said of Patria in a press release, “His commitment to quality and creativity will continue to put the spotlight on Bar Margot as one of the top destinations in the city for food, service and craft cocktails.”
Patria’s passion for local food has already begun to shape the kitchen and the menus of the hotel’s breakfast spot Park 75 and Bar Margot. He has created a terrace garden to grow “a variety of herbs and flowers used in food prep,” updated Bar Margot’s charcuterie program and arranged training for his kitchen staff with local butchers, and at markets around town to continue their education.
“Good food is a reflection of the relationships with the local food community. Fresh food simply tastes better,” said Patria. “There are fewer hands involved in harvesting, transporting and fabricating, so there is certainly a fresh factor that comes into play.”
Look for new additions to Bar Margot’s lunch and dinner menus which now include grilled Georgia shrimp, pan seared pork belly, farro fritters and grilled Spanish octopus.
UPDATE: After 25 years with the Four Seasons, Gerstenecker has retired from the kitchen and is now a teacher and mentor in the culinary department at Kennesaw State University. The chef helped to establish the university’s culinary apprentice program.