Southern cuisine was never on Nicole Edwards’ radar until she arrived in Atlanta. “I wasn’t expecting to enjoy cooking Southern food so much,” she laughs at the unexpected path her culinary career has taken. “Now I love reading classic cookbooks with recipes that sound like they’re straight from a great-grandmother’s table. Those are the same types of recipes from Kevin’s childhood that inspire the food at Revival.”
Nicole’s earliest career experience, after earning her culinary arts degree and a Bachelor of Science in culinary nutrition from Johnson and Wales University, was with Operation Frontline Colorado/Share Our Strength in Denver. During this time, she organized and taught cooking and nutrition classes throughout the state while also working at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa. But once she experienced the energy of a restaurant kitchen, she never looked back. She later worked as s a line cook at Café Boulud in West Palm Beach, Florida. Her time in Florida also included two years working for Michelle Bernstein at Sra. Martinez and Michy’s.
Nicole then went on to work for chef Stephanie Izard at Girl and the Goat in Chicago as a line cook and then sous chef, where she developed the skills to feed 350-600 guests every evening in an extremely fast-paced environment. Prior to Girl and the Goat. Her love affair with Southern cuisine first began when she moved to Atlanta in 2014 and served as executive sous chef at Watershed on Peachtree. There, she was exposed to both Creole-style Southern food as well as more modern takes on traditional Southern flavor profiles.
Prior to arriving at Revival in the spring of 2017, Nicole worked at Gunshow and credits the restaurant for pushing her past her creative comfort zone. “When I first started at Gunshow, my ideas grew out of things I had seen at other restaurants but didn’t have a hand in, and now it’s morphed into exploring ways to use interesting ingredients that are available to me right now. Understanding seasonality has had a huge influence on me.”
Nicole considers one of the biggest highlights of working at Revival to be the tight-knit, welcoming community of people who work at the restaurant. Passionate about finding new ways to create flavor profiles and present her food, she aims to strengthen both her culinary and management abilities while collaborating with Kevin.