Visionary Dinner

We hope you had a great time at the 2021 Visionary Dinner, stay tuned in 2022 for the next installment!

Each year, Southface Institute convenes forward-thinking innovators who are committed to building an equitable and sustainable future, uniting them for an evening of thought leadership, exquisite food and fine wine pairings.  

Due to the challenges of 2020 and much of 2021, this year’s Visionary Dinner serves as our collective homecoming. Our opportunity to reunite as a community and family committed to building and growing a strong, resilient and sustainable future for all. Let us come together in celebration of where we have been and reestablish our Family Roots. 

Full COVID-19 vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results required to attend the Visionary Dinner. For guests who are not fully vaccinated, a negative COVID-19 test result must be obtained within 72 hours of attending the Visionary Dinner. If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines or to find a vaccination location near you, please visit www.vaccinefinder.org.

Our Chefs

Justin Dixon

Humble Mumble

Justin Dixon

Humble Mumble

Humble Mumble

Chef Justin Dixon is an Atlanta native; he began his career studying at the Art Institute of Atlanta and working at the famed Pano’s & Paul’s in 2007. From there Dixon went on to work under some of the best chefs in the city of Atlanta; the list of noted chefs that he had the pleasure to train under include Ian Winslade, Zeb Stevenson, Shaun Doty, and Chris Hall. In fact, it was with Chris Hall and Ben Barth at Local Three where he really honed his skills. He then went on to be sous chef at the Spence under Wesley True. Before being tapped, to take over the kitchen at The Shed at Glenwood and later opening Bully Boy to rave reviews. After his stint at Bully Boy, Chef Dixon took on the unique task of opening chef for Wonderkid serving updated takes on diner classics out of a 5000 sqft space that was open 7 days a week breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also included a Ice Cream Counter and 40 seat private dining room.

In 2020, the world went on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During that time he facilitated a food program that helped sustain the restaurant through the pandemic and rebuild clientele through implementations such as flexible menu options, special events, value driven purchasing, and guest interaction through social media.

In his spare time he is a proud plant dad and currently raising over 75 different species. Dixon confessed politics junky, Outkast stan, and lover of Coca Cola and Frosted Strawberry Pop Tarts.

Shirley Hughes

Sweet Cheats

Shirley Hughes

Sweet Cheats
Sweet Cheats was created by a National Level Figure Competitor, Shirley Hughes, along with her husband Robert Tubbs and with the help of many friends and family.  During her 3 years spent training for her NPC competitions, Shirley was only allowed to eat certain foods and wasn’t always able to have what she was craving.
She began taking notes on these cravings, and turning them into little treats for herself when her strenuous dieting for each competition was over.   While in training, one “cheat” meal was allowed per week, and hers were usually sweet concoctions.  She then decided on a whim to turn her favorite treats into cupcakes not only for herself but for fellow teammates, the RocStarzz, as personal gifts.  From there, requests started coming in and the demand was on.  It was an instant success!
As you can see (and taste!), the “Sweet Cheats” name comes directly from Shirley’s competition background.  Shirley still promotes health and wellness and is still very active in the gym, but makes sure that if you are going to spend your cheat calories on one of her desserts, it’s going to be worth it!

Justin Anthony

True Story Brands

Justin Anthony

True Story Brands

10 Degrees South, Biltong Bar, Cape Dutch, Yebo Beach Haus

Justin Anthony is the founder and owner of South African hospitality group,
True Story Brands. Headquartered in Atlanta, True Story Brands features a
variety of South African restaurant concepts, specializing in fusing
international dishes with traditional South African fare. As an entrepreneur
and restaurateur, Justin spearheads the group’s focus on sharing the
lifestyle and experience of South Africa through its four iconic Atlanta dining
destinations, including 10 Degrees South, Yebo Beach Haus, Cape Dutch
and Biltong Bar.

Born and raised in South Africa, Justin attended the University of South
Africa as well as London Business School prior to relocating to the United
States at age 23. He hoped to continue his career in professional soccer,
however due to an unfortunate knee injury, he was forced into early
retirement and looked to another passion — the hospitality industry.
In 1998, Justin opened the first South African restaurant in the United
States, 10 Degrees South, alongside his parents, Derek and Diane. In
2012, he expanded True Story Brands with the opening of Yebo Beach
Haus, providing a fresh take on the coastal lifestyle with a South African
flare. In 2015, Justin opened Cape Dutch Braai + Bar, introducing a more
modern, chef-driven dining experience to the city with an emphasis on
melding his hometown flavors with European influences. Biltong Bar is
Justin’s most recent addition to the group, opening in Ponce City Market in
early 2016 followed by a second location at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta
in November 2018. The restaurant specializes in dry aged beef jerky and
highlights South African street food as well as signature craft cocktails.

Justin and his wife Kelly, renowned interior designer behind Wolf Design
Group, currently live in Atlanta with their dog Dempsey. True Story.

Nick & Steven Carse

King of Pops

Nick & Steven Carse

King of Pops

King of Pops started with a couple thousand bucks, a used ice cream pushcart, and a whole lot of luck. Our success is due to amazing community support (which we’ve received since day one). We do our best to respond to that support with love, gratitude, and some laughs.

We work really hard to be an example of business doing good. Our purpose is to create Unexpected Moments of Happiness. Come have a pop, stop by our farm, or do some yoga with us. Mainly we just hope you’re doing great.

Mary Moore

The Cook's Warehouse

Mary Moore

The Cook's Warehouse

As founder and CEO of The Cook’s Warehouse, Mary Moore has combined her love of cooking and business. The Cook’s Warehouse is Atlanta’s premier gourmet store and cooking school with three convenient locations: Midtown, Chamblee/Brookhaven and East Cobb. These are complemented by an on-line store at cookswarehouse.com and a mail order catalog.

Moore opened the first The Cook’s Warehouse location in Midtown on Amsterdam Avenue in 1995, and under her leadership, the business has expanded to include a cooking school with more than 700 classes taught annually by renowned chefs in three kitchens.

In the spring of 2006, Moore re-launched Cookswarehouse.com to include a full retail section. Web offerings include top brands of cookware, cutlery, kitchen electrics and gadgets as well as new, unique and local products. In 2015 Moore moved the corporate offices and warehouse into a larger facility to house both and streamline operations.

In the fall of 2009, Moore moved her flagship store to Ansley Mall in a space formerly occupied by Piccadilly Cafeteria. This 6,500-square-foot space is 30% larger than her original Amsterdam Avenue location and features a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen and more than 15,000 items for the aspiring cook to professional chef.

Deborah VanTrece

Twisted Soul

Deborah VanTrece

Twisted Soul

Chef Deborah VanTrece doubles as one of Atlanta’s hottest chef personalities, creative
director and owner of Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours in West Midtown Atlanta and The
Catering Company by VanTrece. In March 2021, Chef VanTrece added published author to
her list of accolades with the release of The Twisted Soul Cookbook: Modern Soul with
Global Flavors (Rizzoli).

Chef VanTrece has been featured on the TODAY Show, The Rachel Ray Show, New York
Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, NPR, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Conde Nast
Traveler, American Way, HuffPost, and Buzzfeed, among others.
Prior to embarking on her culinary career more than 20 years ago, VanTrece was a flight
attendant for American Airlines, where her travels took her to destinations throughout
Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
Her travels had a profound influence on her culinary style, which she describes as modern
global soul food.

The intersection of food and culture is at the heart of VanTrece’s cuisine, which features
creative modern interpretations and global influences on traditional southern soul food.
Her childhood and her international travel have had the most significant influence on her
career and has helped her define her unique vision of modern global soul food.
"Every culture has its own version of soul food," explains Chef VanTrece. “A lot of people
associate soul food with the rural south, and that’s definitely where its roots are. But what I
have learned traveling the world is that the things we eat and share are the things that bring
us together. Bringing people together in the spirit of fellowship has always been at the heart
of soul food, and the menu at Twisted Soul reflects this philosophy.”

Mimmo Alboumeh w/ daughters Maya & Mariam

Botica

Committed to creating an unforgettable dining experience for each and every
guest, Mimmo Alboumeh’s contagious spirit has not only landed him a loyal
following, but it’s also earned him the reputation as one of Atlanta’s most
personable restaurateurs and chefs.

Chef Mimmo opened the doors of Botica Restaurant in 2021 to rave reviews.
Inspired by the flavors of Spain and Mexico, Botica offers elevated, chef-driven
Mexican cuisine. Located in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Botica
showcases Mimmo’s unique brand of hybrid gastronomy.

Chef/Owner of the highly successful Red Pepper Taqueria’s multiple locations for
12 years and Maya Steaks & Seafood for five years, Chef Mimmo boasts more
than 20 years experience in the culinary industry. Born in Lebanon, he grew up in
Spain and spent time in Italy before moving to Georgia, where he brings a
Mediterranean flair to his gourmet, freshly-sourced cuisine.
Chef Mimmo has become synonymous with made-from-scratch dishes bursting
with flavor, as well as freshly made craft cocktails and family-friendly environments
– – full of energy and fun. His loyal staff of front and back of the house
professionals has been with Mimmo for nearly 20 years.

With a giving spirit and benevolent heart, Mimmo is active in each community he
serves, and regularly hosts charitable events and participates in numerous
signature fundraisers in Atlanta. Mimmo is actively involved with Frank Ski Kids
Foundation, T.J. Martell Foundation, 100 Black Men, CURE Childhood Cancer,
Second Helpings Atlanta, The Giving Kitchen, National Black College Alumni Hall
of Fame Foundation, Inc. and the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Additionally, he
actively responds to local and national disasters with relief fundraisers, donating a
generous percentage of proceeds to designated charities.

Jonathan Rose, Argon Award Winner

Healthy Housing, Healthy Communities

When we think about family, we often think about home. A safe place, a place to be together, and a place to grow. At this year’s Visionary Dinner, Southface will honor Jonathan Rose with the Argon Award for decades of substantial contributions to the sustainable and equitable development of affordable housing across the U.S. and his leadership on the global transformation of cities to a more environmentally, socially, and economically just and resilient model.

Jonathan is president and founder of Jonathan Rose Companies, a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, project management, and investment firm that addresses the challenges of the 21st century — and one of the largest acquirers of affordable and mixed income housing in the nation. He helps lead multiple nonprofits and shape public policy, and he is the author of the book The Well-Tempered City. At the dinner, we will hear his insights on the steps the sustainability community can take toward our shared vision of a prosperous future.

Want to Sponsor Visionary Dinner?

The Visionary Dinner is an evening dedicated to achieving a sustainable future through a regenerative economy. Your support of this event enables Southface to advocate for innovative policies and promote solutions that advance resource efficiency; research and disseminate cutting-edge building science; and help build resilient communities with access to healthy, affordable housing. 

Please contact development@southface.org for more information on sponsorship opportunities.

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