Highlighting Award Winning Chefs and Dining in Atlanta

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It's no secret that Atlanta is home to some of the best chefs and restaurants in the southeast. In the past few decades, Atlanta has seen a large influx of award-winning chefs and five star restaurants, making Atlanta home to some extremely incredible and unique dining experiences.

Many of Atlanta's award winning chefs have been featured on Food Network's "Top Chef" and have continued their success by opening award-winning restaurants. Top Chef season 4's runner up Richard Blais has made a huge splash in the Atlanta dining scene with his innovative dining experiences. In 2008 Blaze opened FLIP Burger, burgers including the Louisiana shrimp, fauxlafel and the bun mi chicken. If the burgers weren't enough already, FLIPS also offers an array of mind-blowing original milkshakes including the Krispy Kreme milkshake, the Nutella milkshake and the Captain Crunch milkshake.

Since opening in 2008, FLIP has become so successful that Blaze actually opened up two sister locations. In addition to he FLIP expansions, Blaze introduced Atlanta to his most recent restaurant idea, HD1. Carrying on with the Americanized gourmet ideals expressed in FLIPS menu, HD1 is a gourmet hot dog restaurant located in the poncy-highlands. Unlike the typical hotdog joint, Blaze developed a menu that turns the every day ballpark frank into a gourmet meal.

Blaze isn't Atlanta's only Top Chef star. Kevin Gillespie, Eli Kirshtein, Hector Santiago, Janine Falvo, and Whitney Otawaka have all been featured on Food Network's "Top Chef." Kevin Gillespie, the fan favorite of Top Chef season 6, is currently in the process of opening his first restaurant, "Gunshow." Gunshow is projected to open in April of 2013. It is projected to be the most unique, innovative eatery to be presented in Atlanta. Rebelling against the traditional dining scene, Gunshow will not have servers or a set menu. The restaurants idea is to connect patrons with the food on a personal level. One way of doing this is having cooks serve the food.

Eli Kirshten, who was featured in Top Chef season 6; began as a fry cook under world-renowned Chef Kevin Rathbun's at the Atlanta's Buckhead door. After culinary school, Kirshten worked with Richard Blais at ONE midtown kitchen. He is currently developing a new Atlanta project while working as a culinary consultant.

Hector Santiago, also from Top Chef season 6, has spent the past 12 years developing his restaurant Pura Vida. Sadly, Pura Vita saw it's last night at service on New Years Eve 2012. Santiago has hopes to open a new restaurant sometime in the near future.

Janine Falvo from season 9 is currently the Head Chef at Brizo in Midtown. At Brizo, Falvo expresses a farm to table dining experience using only the freshest quality ingredients. Whitney Otawaka was also a contestant on season 9, and much like Falvo, she is currently leading a farm to table restaurant in Athens, Georgia called Farm 225.

When it comes to fine dining out in Atlanta, there are more than enough celebrity Chefs to ensure a meal that is much more than just your average dish!

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