Chicomecóatl pop-up chef and 2018 Eater Award winner Maricela Vega is the new executive chef at 8ARM on Ponce de Leon Avenue. She takes over for chef Keith Remes, who left in February to lead the kitchen at Golden Eagle in Reynoldstown.
“We’ve been so impressed with Maricela’s work on her Chicomecóatl pop-ups, as well as her relationships with local farms and the work she’s done to reinvigorate local foodways by applying her own, deeply personal philosophy of food,” a statement sent to Eater Atlanta reads. “We are lucky to have her grace and creativity, and we look forward to having her lead our staff into this new, exciting chapter at 8ARM.”
Vega, whose previous work includes Empire State South and Sun in My Belly, first began selling tamales under the name Chicomecóatl two years ago. This lead to a highly successful pop-up of the same name hosted at The Spindle Kitchen in the Old Fourth Ward and her La Casita supper series. Both focus on modern Mexican cuisine and vegetable-based dishes, highlighting the techniques, traditions, and recipes of Mexico.
The chef continues to sell her tamales at the newly-owned Third Street Goods market at The Beacon in Grant Park. Vega teams up with Minero executive chef Arnaldo Castillo for her next pop-up to be held at the Ponce City Market restaurant.
In addition to her pop-up, Vega is highly involved in the local food movement in Atlanta and in food justice work throughout the United States. She’s taught cooking classes at area schools in underserved communities, like Peace Prep Academy on English Avenue, while providing them with nutritious meals.
Eater Atlanta reached out to Vega for comment and her plans for the menu.