Chef Mark Alba has worked as a professional chef in many of Atlanta’s most beloved restaurants for more than 20 years. Born in Atlanta and raised in the thriving food scene of Baton Rouge, La., Mark developed a love for cooking at an early age – claiming that some of his earliest memories are of helping his mother in the kitchen. While he studied criminal justice at Louisiana State University, his appetite for cooking never diminished, and in 1996, he decided to move back to Georgia to gain a degree in culinary arts from The Arts Institute of Atlanta. He soon landed his first big role in the kitchen as sous chef at Hotel Nikko (now The Grand Hyatt), and then went on to work as sous chef at James Beard Award winning restaurant and longtime Atlanta hotspot Canoe.
Since then, Mark has led the kitchens as executive chef at renowned restaurants such as JCT Kitchen, The St. Regis Hotel, STK, The Optimist, Legendary Events, and most recently, 5Church. His strong and successful career is a reflection of his keen understanding of core cooking techniques, emphasis on fresh and local ingredients, and attention to detail. He approaches every dish he creates with the belief that all flavors, bold and subtle alike, should be invited to come forth in a place. He also loves the challenge of working with guests who have dietary or health related food restrictions, working to provide them with a dish that satisfies every sense.
Mark has dedicated himself to using the finest ingredients while following ever-evolving food trends to satisfy every guest’s palate. When not creating craveworthy dishes, Mark enjoys cooking for his wife and kids and spending time with them both in and out of the kitchen. You can often find him enjoying a smooth jazz song, browsing for information on exotic cars, or tuned into formula one racing. Wherever he is, Mark is always finding inspiration for mouth-watering culinary creations.