Nick Leahy, an Atlanta-based Chef, is most notably known for his work at Saltyard, a tapas style restaurant in the affluent Buckhead area of the city. Since opening, Saltyard has gained much recognition in publications such as The Atlantan, Zagat’s, and Jezebel Magazine, where it most recently landed on the Top 100 Hottest Atlanta Restaurants list. Nick has also made a name for himself within the culinary community. Most recently, he was the winner of the Taste of Atlanta VIP Chef’s Cook-Off competition, as well as, the “Golden Ticket” recipient for the Atlanta Battle of the Burgers. Additionally, he has appeared on several television shows and local channels, including Atlanta and Company, and CBS 46. Prior to his work at Saltyard, Nick honed his skills while working for some of the biggest culinary names in Atlanta, including Concentrics, Chef Chip Ulbrich, and 5th Group, as well as, working as the Executive Chef for Daylesford Organic in London, England.
From an early age, Nick was exposed to many cultures, which is apparent in his cooking style. Born in Bermuda, and partially raised in Europe as a child (and recently returning from another stint abroad), Nick refers to his cooking as “globally inspired with an emphasis on using local and regional ingredients.” His passion for food and culture is apparent at Saltyard, where the menu samples may include Spanish-style boquerones (marinated anchovies) or Italian burrata, to name a few. While always experimenting with international flavors, Nick is also passionate about using local, organic ingredients whenever possible. As a true believer in the farm-to-table movement, he works daily with local farmers to source the best possible ingredients. It is this combination of global fare with local ingredients that best represents Nick himself, a man with both international and southern roots.
Nick’s passion for food extends beyond the restaurant as well. In September 2014, he was the first Chef ever to be elected to the Board of Trustees for Meals on Wheels Atlanta (MOWA), a charitable organization that provides daily meals to senior citizens in need. Since becoming involved, Nick has facilitated a partnership between the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market and MOWA, which enables MOWA to purchase organic produce directly from the farmers at a discount, while allowing the farmers to liquidate their leftover goods. Most importantly, the partnership provides the MOWA seniors all the benefits of eating locally grown produce.
When not in the restaurant, you will find Chef Nick reading, hiking, walking his two dogs (a basset hound named Tater and a corgi named Lily-Bean), or cooking for his wife.