Originally from Powder Springs, Georgia, Joey Ward graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in 2005. He began his career in the South as the sous chef at the St. Regis Atlanta but eventually left the hotel to work under Woodfire Grill’s former executive chef and Bravo “Top Chef” alum, Kevin Gillespie. After two years of guidance under Gillespie, he moved on to become the executive chef at H. Harper Station.
Ward joined Gillespie as a “kitchen dude” when Gunshow opened in May 2013. He was soon promoted to chef de cuisine in January 2014 and became executive chef in December 2014.
Ward is responsible for the overall vision and direction of the restaurant, including the kitchen and front of house. Every part of the guest experience is funneled through his creative imagination. Ward strives to create more involved ways to include guests in an exciting dining experience.
In 2016, The New York Times praised Gunshow as Atlanta’s “best food to rival New York’s.” Eater included Gunshow in its “The National 38” list in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, he was also named Jezebel’s Best Rising-Star Chef and an Eater Young Guns semifinalist. Zagat named him to its list of 30 Under 30 People Redefining the Hospitality Industry. In 2016, he led the Gunshow team to first place victory at the JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival and was the runner-up in the James Beard Foundation’s Fish to Fork competition.
Accolades & Publications
- James Beard Foundation – 3rd Annual Fish to Fork Competition Runner-up (2016)
- JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack Killer Tomato Festival – Judges Choice Best Tasting Dish Award (2016), People’s Choice Best Tasting Dish Award (2014)
- Jezebel – Best Rising-Star Chef (2015)
- Eater – Young Guns semifinalist (2015)
- Zagat – 30 Under 30 People Redefining the Hospitality Industry (2015)