As the chef and owner of 4th & Swift, Jay Swift has established his namesake restaurant as the pioneer dining destination in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Jay and his talented culinary team utilize the freshest ingredients from their on-site garden, nearby micro-farm and several local and regional sources to create seasonal, ever-changing market menus, as well as a chef’s tasting menu. Since opening in 2008, the restaurant has received continuous praise including three four-star reviews in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A Baltimore native, Jay started out in the restaurant business at the age of 14 and financed his high school and college English education through restaurant work. After college, he decided to follow his passion and palate and he switched gears to head back to the kitchen. Jay enrolled in the American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship Program and graduated first in his class. During his apprenticeship, he worked under Certified Master Chef Rudy Speckamp. Upon graduation, Jay worked at the venerable Mayflower Hotel and in the kitchen of noted restaurateur Bob Kinkead’s 21 Federal in the nation’s capital.
Boston was the next stop in his carefully crafted culinary career where he worked as line chef for Lydia Shire at Biba. Jay eventually returned to his native Maryland, where he worked at both the Polo Grill and Windows at Baltimore’s Renaissance Harborplace Hotel. His next move was to New York City to become the opening chef for Foley’s Fish House at Times Square. Jay then headed south and took the reins at South City Kitchen in Atlanta. He won raves for his successful overhaul of the restaurant’s contemporary Southern menu and South City Kitchen was designated one of the top twenty restaurants in Atlanta by the Zagat Guide during Jay’s tenure.
As a member of Georgia Organics and supporter of the local farmer’s markets, Jay remains actively engaged with Atlanta’s progressive culinary community. In 2012, he was named Restaurateur of the Year at the 6th Annual Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) Crystal of Excellence Awards. In addition, Jay serves on the board of directors for the GRA. Jay also supports Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger and the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier through his ongoing participation in fundraising events for both organizations. He is a founding member of Staplehouse and supporter of The Giving Kitchen and has been honored with several invitations to cook at the renowned James Beard House in New York City and elsewhere.
Jay now brings his commitment to unparalleled dining experiences to the Peachtree Corners area with the 2016 opening of Noble Fin.