Cole Pate modernizes Southern cuisine and style as executive chef of The Southern Gentleman.
When chef Cole Pate welcomes patrons into the Buckhead gastropub, The Southern Gentleman, he is intentional in creating an environment that mimics coming into his home. “For starters, our atmosphere is a beautiful space, and our ethos is not just centered around typical Southern food,” says Pate. “It’s also about the hospitality we offer, which is one of the staples of Southern culture. We want you to be relaxed and have fun.”
As this Asheville-raised chef makes his debut in the Atlanta culinary scene, he’s putting his own twist on things. At Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails at MV Boutique Hotel in North Carolina, he left a reputation for astonishing guests with regionally inspired seed-to-fork dining and contemporary Southern flavors. With his knack for innovation, Pate has contributed his own tastes and knowledge to The Southern Gentleman menu. “Guests will see a lighter, more refined version of Southern cuisine such as our pan-seared sea scallops with brown butter cauliflower purée,” he says. “We also are sourcing more ingredients from local purveyors and farms.”
The restaurant’s classics are still featured on the menu, such as the popular buttermilk fried chicken, although the newer items were prompted by Pate’s initiative for farm-fresh and vegetable-forward plates. Some of the recently added items include the honey-glazed duck breast served with griddled duck sausage, turnips and creamed turnip greens overlaid with a delicious duck jus; and Slow Cooked Pork Coppa paired with polenta, young kale, apple cider caramelized shallots, ramp vinegar, and pickled celery root.
Many components culminate together to create the unique experience of The Southern Gentleman. With Pate’s guidance on the menu and the aesthetics of the restaurant, he is able to herald a new era of Southern cuisine—one that plays to the common fixtures of the South, but understands the nuances that come with modern times.