Ford Fry’s latest restaurant, The El Felix is situated in Alpharetta’s Avalon development, and reckons a dive that you’ll find in the great state of Texas. Chef Ford Fry and Chef Kevin Maxey, together designed a “Mex-Tex” menu that plays to their own Texan roots, tracing the beginnings of the cuisine to the 1930s, as Mexican cooks first doctored up their dishes to suit a “Gringo” palate with Americanized elements, giving birth to the Tex-Mex dialogue. “Kevin and I wanted to do food we like to eat,” Fry said. “It’s natural for a chef to want to be true to a certain culture, and likewise, we wanted to do authentic Tex-Mex, because it developed where we’re from.”
Ford Fry’s culinary inspirations cover many years and much of the country: from eating out with his family as a child in Texas, to studying at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, to spending time as a fine dining chef in Florida, Colorado and California—and eventually as a corporate chef in Atlanta. Although the corporate chef position didn’t stick, Fry’s love for Atlanta stuck with him and it has proved a recipe for success so far. Fry and his restaurants have been included in numerous national and local publications, such as Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Chicago Tribune, Cooking Light, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Esquire, Food & Wine, Garden & Gun, Sky, Southern Living and the Washington Post.
Kevin Maxey’s talent as a true master of his craft will shine once again, but this time in Alpharetta at The El Felix — Ford Fry’s latest venue and first spot outside Atlanta’s city limits. Maxey worked for nine years wiith celebrity chef Tom Colicchio at the ever-popular Gramercy Tavern, and went on to support Tom Colicchio as opening chef of the Dallas location of Craft and helped to open Craft in Atlanta.
An easily convinced Maxey joined Ford’s quickly growing team as vice president of culinary, where he has launched menus for King + Duke, St. Cecilia, The El Felix, and Superica. In addition, Maxey concentrates on molding the new generation of cooks coming in to Ford’s venues who want to learn from his vast amount of kitchen experience. At The El Felix, he trains them in true Texas-style to be sure they serve up some of the most delicious Tex Mex this side of the great state from which Maxey hails.