Spending his childhood summers on a family farm, where access to fresh produce was readily available, gave Chef Robert Phalen an innate appreciation for quality ingredients. Building on this solid foundation, Phalen began his formal training in the hospitality industry at the University of Mississippi where he earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management. Following graduation he continued to develop his skills at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, SC. Shortly after graduation, Phalen decided to set down roots in Atlanta, where he trained in some of the city’s finest kitchens. His first stop was Guenter Seeger’s Mumbo Jumbo where he worked in the pastry department under the tutelage of renowned pastry chef Edouard Fenouil. It was at Mumbo Jumbo that Phalen met his mentor, Shaun Doty, whom he followed to MidCity Cuisine. After two years of working with Doty, Phalen made the leap to become the executive chef of Alon Balshon’s namesake eatery, Alon’s. When Doty left two open Shaun’s in 2006, Phalen returned to Midcity Cuisine to take over as executive chef. He would later work with Doty again at Shaun’s. In 2008, Phalen decided to set out on his own and opened his first solo venture, Holy Taco in East Atlanta Village. The concept, a casual taqueria highlighting creative ingredients and locally-sourced produce, proved to be a huge success amongst critics and locals alike. Building on his reputation as one of Atlanta’s most innovative and daring young chefs, Phalen opened the intimate and refined American eatery One Eared Stag in 2011. At this Inman Park gem, Phalen has continued to delight Atlanta diners with his bold flavors, seasonal ingredients, and elegantly executed dishes. One Eared Stag was named Eater’s “Restaurant of the Year, Atlanta” in 2011, one of Gayot’s “40 Hottest Restaurants in the U.S.” in 2013 and given a four-star review by the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2012. Phalen was named one of StarChefs.com Atlanta Rising Star Award Winners in 2012. For more information, visit oneearedstag.com or call (404) 525-4479. Follow One Eared Stag on Facebook and Twitter.