"Most important to me as a leader and chef is developing and inspiring those I work with to be the best version of themselves that they can be.”
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Stuart Rogers was born in Atlanta, GA and was raised in St. Petersburg, FL where he was exposed to the restaurant world at a very young age. His mother and godmother managed a beachfront restaurant for many years where he would have the unique opportunity to taste flavors from an array of worldly cuisines. He would spend his weekends watching and tasting new ingredients while familiarizing himself with the culture in a restaurant kitchen. “Being in that bustling environment was something that was very exciting and something I’ve always been fascinated by,” recalls Rogers.
At 17, Stuart moved back to Atlanta, GA and never looked back. He took the leap from interested observer to active participant while he was in college when he started working at a small Greek restaurant owned by a husband and wife team. There, he would peel shrimp, wash dishes and take in the incredible scenes and smells of freshly baked bread and scratch-made Greek dishes made with love. Most memorable was the sense of a family environment and camaraderie throughout the restaurant. “Since then I haven’t looked back and I was all in at that point “ says Rogers.
Upon graduating from Valdosta State University, Stuart took a position with Atlanta’s Buckhead Life Restaurant Group and he was officially on the food scene. There, he would lead daily setup for line and prep stations across three different restaurant concepts: Chops Lobster Bar, Pricci and Nava.
The next step in his journey was becoming Chef de Partie at Buckhead Village’s Aria Restaurant. There, he served as a direct report to the Executive Chef and was responsible for daily kitchen prep as well as leading the grill and saute stations. His penchant for people and leadership began to shine through as he would lead daily meetings with the team to organize and prepare them for the impending service.
In 2012, Rogers joined the teams of two of Atlanta’s busiest restaurants, Ford Fry’s JCT Kitchen and The Optimist. As Lead Line cook, Stuart would maintain all line station ingredients and materials and assist in final preparation of all dishes. Not coincidentally, soon after joining the team, The Optimist was awarded “Best Restaurant in the Country” by Bon Appetit magazine.
Rogers stepped into the Executive Chef role with his next move to The Indigo Restaurant group overseeing Oak Steakhouse and The McIntosh in Alpharetta, GA and Charleston, SC respectively. It was there that he could allow his natural passion for culture and leadership flourish. “The most important thing to me as a leader is people development,” says Rogers. “I expect the best from my team and they can rest assured I’ll always be at my best for them.”
In 2019, Rogers took on the esteemed role of Chef de Cuisine at Midtown Atlanta’s Lyla Lila. In his time in the role, the restaurant was a two-time James Beard award nominee and was included on the prestigious Top 50 restaurants list by The New York Times.
Now, AMP Up1 Hospitality is proud to introduce Chef Stuart Rogers as the Director of Culinary Innovation for Your 3rd Spot as it launches its first and flagship location at The Works in Atlanta’s Upper Westside. Chef Rogers will lead the culinary arm of Your 3rd Spot, an integral component to the company’s mission of connecting people and building community. His menu will be constructed of sharable small plates that are big on flavor and give guests something to talk about.
With vast and diverse experiences in the culinary and restaurant world, Chef Rogers has pulled inspiration from many places. He has had mentors at each stop in his journey who took the time to teach him how to master the complicated dynamics of a kitchen and how to build creative flavor profiles with proper technique. In addition to on-the-job experience and the early influence of his mother’s restaurant, he listed his grandmothers Josie and June among his biggest inspirations. Their lessons provide him with the strength, courage and confidence to take on any challenge.
In his free time, Stuart loves spending time with friends and family, attending concerts, deep sea fishing or catching a Braves or Falcons game.
Stuart’s journey continues…