The Old Fourth Ward was created in the 1870s under the city ward system. Although city government moved from wards to districts in the 1950s, for residents the neighborhood name remains a source of pride. The Old Fourth Ward is famous as the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King as well as the location of Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Sweet Auburn District.
Its historic role is now being honored with the creation of the city's newest intown park, Historic Fourth Ward Park. Despite its rich history, it lacked green space and the development of the Historic Fourth Ward Park affirms the neighborhood's values and gives it a sparkling new green space worthy of its bright future.
His name notwithstanding, Swift's rise in the culinary field has been methodical and covers 30 years. A Baltimore native, Jay started out in the restaurant business at the age 14 and restaurant work financed his high school and college English education. After two and a half years of college, he decided to follow his passion – and palate – and he switched gears and headed 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.
Jay is also active in the Atlanta community. He serves as the chef co-chair for TheFlavors of Atlanta, a popular culinary event that benefits the Georgia Chapter of the American Liver Foundation. Jay also supports Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger with his participation in Taste of the Nation and Give Me Five event. And he has been honored with two invitations to cook at the renowned James Beard House in New York City.
Now Jay brings his passion and a modern approach to traditional American comfort food with the opening of 4th & Swift in the historic Old Fourth Ward.
As most chef stories go, Jeb Aldrich’s doesn’t read as varied as many of his contemporaries: Cooking was never a fall-back position for this classically trained 2005 graduate of Johnson & Wales University.
Originally from Baltimore, Jeb has been striving towards working with his father, chef-owner Jay Swift, since he was a boy. Jeb worked at Peninsula Grill in Charleston during his years at culinary school, and after graduating he moved to Atlanta to work for his father at the much-lauded Rainwater restaurant, just outside of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Ga.
Before then, he had gained invaluable experience working with noted Atlanta chef Carvel Grant Gould at Canoe, considered one of Atlanta’s finest dining destinations. From 2006 to 2007, he worked for Joël Antunes at his eponymous restaurant, Joël, one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in Atlanta’s history. From there, Jeb's desire to “see things in a new light” led him to working at properties in Austria and Italy throughout the following year.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Julie has been in the restaurant business for over 18 years. Over that span, Julie has worked through all the levels of the front of the house, rising from a food runner at Chicago's Steakhouse, to a server with Ray's on the River. She now joins us after having served the last five years as the Beverage & Floor Manager at Bacchanalia.
Julie brings a fresh perspective to the team here, led by her true talent for developing staffs with passion and energy.