Chef’s Corner with Jay Swift of 4th & Swift

You read the reviews, listen to the praises from friends and colleagues, or happen to catch one of your favorite celebrities exiting that very spot you’ve been meaning to check out.

You know what the folks on the outside are saying, but have you ever gotten the story from someone on the inside?

journeyPod goes behind-the-scenes in Chef’s Corner with some of the country’s most esteemed, critically-acclaimed, award-winning (and naturally, our favorite) culinary masterminds to get the real scoop!

journeyPod gets close and personal with Atlanta’s own culinary ninja – Chef Jay Swift. A Baltimore native, Swift brings his passion and modern approach to the traditional comfort food with the opening of 4th & Swift in the historic Old Fourth Ward.

Come with us as we check him out…

How did you get your start in cooking?

I cooked with my father after school sometimes as a kid.  He was a teacher and he got off work earlier than my mom. He would come home and start dinner.  My first kitchen job was in a crab house in Baltimore in 1976. I learned how to steam crabs and deep-fry just about anything. I realized I liked cooking when I worked prep at a high-end seafood restaurant at the beach in Ocean City, Maryland in 1980. I came back to Baltimore and worked at a couple of bars flipping burgers until I got the opportunity to start my apprenticeship with Certified Master Chef Rudy Speckamp in 1983.

Have you traveled anywhere that has influenced your flavors and recipes?

My travels have all been relative to jobs in restaurants, Boston, NYC, DC.

If you were ever on Iron Chef, what ingredient would you hope would be the themed ingredient for the cooking battle?

Pig or any fresh seafood.

Who do you admire in the culinary world?

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Laurent Tourondel, David Chang

What would we find in your refrigerator at home?

Lots of fruit and veg, bacon, hot sauce, cheese.

On your night off, where do you go to eat in Atlanta?

My deck! I love to barbecue at home. Panang, Tasty China, Shaun’s, Ecco,

Best advice you can give to a cooking enthusiast?

Use goods quality ingredients and let them sing.

About 4th & Swift:

Exposed brick, beams & concrete, accented with warm woods, rich fabrics and soft lighting, makes 4th & Swift stand out from the stucco-style eateries Atlantans are used to. The award-winning design team of ai3 [Holeman and Finch and FLIP Burger Boutique] has succeeded in creating the perfect backdrop for an amazing dining experience. Chef Jay Swift demonstrates his culinary artistry by creating a unique modern American menu (which changes daily and with the seasons).

journeyPod couldn’t get enough of the “Lasagna” of Braised Lamb Shoulder, 4th & Swift’s signature entrée – “Three Little Pigs” with Macaroni and Cheese and the addictive Truffle Butter & Parmesan Popcorn. What’s great food without great service? Swift does not have to worry here – the staff was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and seemed genuinely happy to be there. A must-try for food aficionados in Atlanta!


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