Two Ten Jack, Chattanooga’s first izakaya, planned to open in Warehouse Row in mid March – has named George MacEwan as chef de cuisine for the new Chattanooga location.
Originally from England, Mr. MacEwan has worked in the restaurant industry since he was 15 years old. In 2006, he moved to Chattanooga where he saw an atmosphere developing, both culturally and culinarily. He worked his way up through the restaurant ranks, first working in Chattanooga at The Pickle Barrel as kitchen manager. Most recently, Mr. MacEwan served as the executive chef at the chef-inspired grocery store, Grocery Bar.
Mr. MacEwan first fell in love with Two Ten Jack’s izakaya concept as a patron. Now he said he is eager to introduce Chattanooga to a new kind of Japanese cuisine and dining experience from the kitchen.
“I’ve never encountered this level of energy, detail and authentic inspiration for Japanese comfort food in the South,” Mr. MacEwan said. “Even down to the ramen broth, which takes three full days to make, Two Ten Jack is clearly committed to the integrity of the food, the bar and the entire experience. I’m looking forward to being part of a concept that’s bringing so many firsts to Chattanooga, such as shochu –a Japanese distilled spirit— and agedashi tofu –a traditional Japanese fried tofu dish— in such an approachable way.”
Mr. MacEwan has been training under Jessica Benefield, the chef of Two Ten Jack’s Nashville location, to execute the izakaya’s small-plate driven menu, which features sushi and sashimi, yakitori skewers and signature kodawari (artisanal, handcrafted) ramen.
“Two Ten Jack Chattanooga will have its own identity unique to the city’s culture,” said Patrick Burke, CEO of Seed Hospitality, which owns Two Ten Jack. “That’s why George is the perfect fit for us. He’s a remarkably talented chef and he has been taking the pulse of Chattanooga’s evolving and expanding culinary scene for years, so he really understands the nuances of the landscape, the people who call Chattanooga home, and the universe of local ingredients that are so critical to our culinary philosophy.”
Mr. MacEwan admits that the city probably wasn’t ready for an izakaya and ramen house 10 years ago. But today, "Chattanooga, which boasts an energetic culture, a robust tech presence and discerning residents, is more than ready for this unique addition to the food scene."
“There’s so much happening in Chattanooga, and I’m excited to be part of a team helping to expand and elevate the city’s dining experience,” Mr. MacEwan added. “I’m certain guests will be as impressed as I was after their first taste of Two Ten Jack’s ramen, so there’s a lot to anticipate.”