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8ARM Taps Chicomecóatl Pop-Up Chef to Lead the Kitchen

Eater Award winner chef Maricela Vega is in as 8ARM’s new executive chef

Chef Maricela Vega
Chef Maricela Vega
John McDonald
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

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.

8ARM, cocktail bar INK, and adjacent coffee shop 3Heart Roastery are co-owned by chef Nhan Le (SoBa, Octopus Bar) and Skip Engelbrecht, who also owns Paris on Ponce next door.

Ponce City Market

675 North Avenue Northeast, , GA 30308 (404) 900-7900 Visit Website

The Local

4578 San Jose Boulevard, , FL 32207 (904) 683-8063 Visit Website

8 Arm

710 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306


710 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 Visit Website

Golden Eagle

904 Memorial Drive Southeast, , GA 30316 (404) 963-1703 Visit Website

The Spindle Kitchen

659 Auburn Avenue Northeast, , GA 30312 (404) 823-2046 Visit Website

Octopus Bar

560 Gresham Avenue Southeast, , GA 30316 (404) 627-9911 Visit Website


675 North Highland Avenue Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 474-0262 Visit Website

Sun in My Belly

2161 College Avenue Northeast, , GA 30317 (404) 370-1088 Visit Website

Next Door

2131 Pleasant Hill Road, , GA 30096 (770) 680-4371

Paris on Ponce

716 Ponce De Leon Place Northeast, , GA 30306 (404) 249-9965 Visit Website

Empire State South

999 Peachtree Street Northeast, , GA 30309 (404) 541-1105 Visit Website