Joey Ward has found a lot of inspiration in the chefs he admires, particularly his grandfather, who was a cook in the United States Navy and was as a father figure for Joey. He has fond memories of spending his Saturday mornings tuning into the cooking shows that followed children’s cartoons on PBS. Shows such as “Yan Can Cook” and “The Galloping Gourmet” had him hooked, and he’s been turning his creativity into inspired culinary creations ever since.
Originally from Powder Springs, Georgia, Joey graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in 2005 with an associate degree in culinary arts management. He began his career in the South as the sous chef at the St. Regis Atlanta but eventually left the hotel to work under Kevin Gillespie at Woodfire Grill. After two years of guidance under Chef Gillespie, he moved on to become the executive chef at H. Harper Station.
When Kevin left Woodfire Grill to open Gunshow, he immediately called on Joey to provide his keen eye for presentation and passion for creativity. Joey found Kevin’s new approach to the preparation of dishes and how they are served to be a breath of fresh air for the Atlanta restaurant scene and has never looked back. Beginning as a “kitchen dude” when Gunshow first opened in May 2013, Joey was soon promoted to chef de cuisine in January 2014 and moved into the executive chef role in December 2014.
As the executive chef, Joey is responsible for the overall vision and direction of the restaurant, including both the kitchen and front of house. He is in charge of daily operations, so every part of the guest experience is funneled through him and his creative imagination. In his role, Joey strives to create more involved ways to include guests in an exciting dining experience.
During his tenure as executive chef, Eater included Gunshow in its annual “The National 38” list of places to eat in America in 2015 and 2016. He was the runner-up in the James Beard Foundation’s 3rd Annual Fish to Fork competition in 2016. He led the Gunshow team to first place victory at the JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival in 2016 and won People’s Choice Best Tasting Dish award in 2014. In 2015, He was named Jezebel’s Best Rising-Star Chef and an Eater Young Guns semifinalist, and Zagat named him to its list of 30 Under 30 People Redefining the Hospitality Industry in 2014.
ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSE CAREER: Actor
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