Meet The Chef

Meet the chefs that will be participating at this year’s Good Taste Atlanta. Stay tuned for a new chef highlight every week leading up to the event.

About the Chef:

Chef John, born in South Africa, came with his parents to America when he was 14. After a year in New Jersey, he came to Georgia where he’s been ever since. Chef John Soilis is the Executive Chef at Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano in Duluth.

Culinary Background/Training:
Growing up in South Africa, my grandparents owned an ice cream shop that I helped out at, from time-to-time. I attended the Culinary Institute of America, but it was the many years out of high school working at the Buckhead Diner, where I gained the most experience.

Favorite Culinary Memory:
While working at the Buckhead Diner, Julia Child came into the restaurant. We were backed up on orders and I was making her a salad. It was taking longer than expected and I got screamed at in the kitchen by the chef...It’s the only time I’ve been yelled at and it’s something I’ve never forgot.

What I’ll be Tasting at Good Taste Atlanta:
Veal meatballs, ravioli’s and ceviche (you must come try our signature veal meatballs)

What I’ll WHIP-UP on the Cooking Demo Stage:
Veal meatballs…

Fun Fact:
Everyone calls me “Papa” in the kitchen. It can be stressful at times in the kitchen, so we sing to lighten-up the mood and have fun...and then we get serious when it’s time to rock ‘n roll.

On MY Bucket List:
To take a trip to Spain. I love everything about it there...the flavors, the language, the scenery.

About the Restaurant:
Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano proudly serves family-style creations inspired by rich traditions on Naples, the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Northern Italy. Buon Appetito!

6555 Sugarloaf Parkway Duluth. Visit


Meet The "Good Taste" Chefs

- Luis Ramirez: Frontera/Frankies

- Robert Mitchell: Restaurant 475

- Ashley Clemence: Graft Restaurant

- Patrick Leppert: Friends American Grill

- Chef Cory Bartholmae: Jim-n-Nick Bar-B-Q