Restaurant Week Featured Chef, Michael Blanton

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The best way to discover new styles for presenting, some of Chattanooga’s favorite, foods is by trying the restaurants participating Restaurant Week 2016, which is taking place this week. It is a perfect time for each of our featured chefs to show off before the FiveStar Food Fight! Fresh vegetables and local meats and cheeses offer the best opportunity for increased nutrition and better health. And the taste? Check it out.

The featured chefs of Restaurant Week will also be participating in The FiveStar Food Fight which will take place at the Chattanooga Market on August 7. Featured Chefs will be cooking for a panel of judges before the public, using the freshest local ingredients directly from the day’s market. This article serves as an introduction to the five as each has distinctive accomplishments to bring to the table, so to speak. Today, we feature Michael Blanton.


Chef Michael Blanton
Executive Chef, Five Restaurant & Bar

RestaurantWeekMichael Blanton is the executive Chef for Five restaurant and bar on Chattanooga’s North Shore.  In fact, he oversees six restaurants in a group made up of three Five restaurants and three Chuck’s Fish, an upscale restaurant concept in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Mobile. Both brands offer the freshest seafood in the South, straight from the Gulf of Mexico.

Blanton is a big picture kind of guy who, aside from developing the Five menu and designing the layout of the restaurant’s kitchen, also oversees the hiring of new employees. And, he’s done it all! As a student at University of Alabama studying math and business, he needed a job, so he began as a dishwasher. From there he moved to prep and then to sous chef, even doing some accounting along the way. In 2011 he became executive chef for the group.

Blanton moved from Birmingham in January.  The new location makes it easier for him to travel between the Five restaurants in Knoxville, Athens and Chattanooga. He enjoys living in North Chattanooga.

“Chattanooga has an accessible downtown and great restaurant scene,” says Blanton.  Five is steadily building patrons through its social media presence and hosts a monthly community discount event for residents of One North Shore—its Chattanooga location.

For the past three years, Blanton has cooked for College GameDay pre-game show with Desmond Howard on ESPN. It may be seen each Saturday during the season. This will be his first year to be included in the Five Star Food Fight at the Chattanooga Market.

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Debbie is the retired Editor of Chattanooga Magazine, and ongoing contributor.

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