Ford is the James Beard Foundation Award-nominated chef and restaurateur who heads acclaimed Atlanta destinations including The Optimist (named one of Bon Appetit’s 10 best restaurants in the country and Esquire magazine’s best new restaurant in America in 2012), King + Duke (named one of Esquire magazine’s best new restaurants in 2013), No. 246; JCT. Kitchen & Bar; St. Cecilia, The El Felix, Marcel, and the recently-opened Superica in Atlanta’s Krog Street Market in Inman Park, a lively, casual restaurant with wood-fired Tex Mex fare and a stage for live music. In fall 2015, the empire builder returned to his native Houston to open State Of Grace, his first restaurant outside of Atlanta. State Of Grace, located right across the street from Ford’s high school (where famed director Wes Anderson also went) recalls Ford’s childhood food memories, featuring nostalgic Texas dishes, wood-fired meats and fresh Gulf seafood with Vietnamese influences.