Please note that we cannot be seated until all parties have arrived so please arrive on time.
The origins of the Iberian Pig date back to 2003 in a restaurant kitchen located on the campus of Cornell University.
Federico was a freshman in the School of Hospitality and Administration and decided that in order to stay out of trouble (or to minimize it at least) he needed to find a job. He was hired to work in the kitchen at Banfi’s, the restaurant in the Statler Hotel on campus, three nights per week. Day one on the job, he was assigned to the Garde Manger station (for those who are not familiar, this station prepares cold dishes such as hors d’oeuvres and appetizers) and was teamed up with another fellow freshman, Chad Crete. Over the course of the semester, Federico and Chad developed a friendship and came to mutually respect one another’s culinary talents.
That previous year, Federico and his father opened Sugo in historic Roswell. Sugo, a restaurant celebrating the cuisine of Italy and Greece, was designed with a casual environment, but one that embraced authentic cuisine and gracious hospitality. Federico had plans to come home between semesters and over the summer to work on building the business – it was imperative for his family’s livelihood. Although somewhat frustrated that his summer vacation would not be spent traveling abroad, or coasting through a typical 9-5 internship, he felt somewhat relieved that his plans were solidified. The pressure to build your resume with strong work experience at Cornell was high. Students competed vigorously for opportunities to work at national restaurant, hotel, or hospitality firms. Federico recognized that his experience at home would be unique, and could be a real differentiating factor between him and his peers. He thought others may feel the same, and he took that risk with Chad. One night after a long shift at Banfi’s, Federico asked Chad if he wanted to come down to Atlanta for the summer. Chad agreed without a moment’s hesitation. Federico and Chad worked long hours that summer improving and building the business. Later that year, Atlanta magazine named Sugo to the best new restaurants list of 2004.
Following graduation from Cornell in the spring of 2007, Chad moved to Las Vegas to work for China Grill management as a Food & Beverage manager at the Red Square, and Federico returned to Atlanta. Faced with a failed franchise location in Duluth, Federico decided to re-open the restaurant and attempt to rebuild it himself. In the beginning times were tough, and he barely scraped by. However, his drive to satisfy each and every customer kept the business growing despite difficult economic times. During the challenging days, Chad and Federico kept in touch and talked about one day bringing him to Atlanta to again work with the family.
In the latter half of 2008 the situation started to turn around at Sugo, and talks about next ventures in Atlanta between Federico and Chad increased in frequency. It became obvious that Chad was ready to break out on his own. In June of 2009, Federico stumbled across a rustic little spot on the Decatur square amongst a row of fledgling or closed businesses. Despite the lack of parking and street visibility (some would argue the cardinal rules of thumb when selecting a restaurant location), Federico saw a promising opportunity and within a week a lease was signed. He convinced Chad on the location and on a vision of a modern Spanish restaurant – and so, the Iberian Pig was born.
Today, the Iberian Pig has grown and flourished under Chad Crete’s culinary vision and Federico’s management. Ultimately; however, the success of the restaurant can be attributed to the very talented staff that has been curated here at the Iberian Pig. Please join us and become part of what we are creating. We hope you will help us to define our future.
View the menu at: http://www.theiberianpigatl.com/menu