Hawks & Philips Arena Name Joe Schafer As Executive Chef

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has hired award-winning chef Joe Schafer as Executive Chef for Philips Arena. As Executive Chef, Schafer will use his vast culinary experience to impact all aspects of the food, dining and hospitality experience inside Philips Arena, including curating special event-specific menus for Hawks games and concerts in the soon-to-debut Courtside Club and signature Hawks Bar. 

The Georgia native previously served as executive chef at Bacchanalia, one of Atlanta’s Forbes Travel Guide 4-star restaurants, and Little Bacch, where he established himself as one of Atlanta’s premier chefs and redefined the culinary landscape in the city with his thoughtfully elegant menus. Prior to his work at Bacchanalia and Little Bacch, Schafer worked alongside Ford Fry at King + Duke, during which time he was named “ATL’s Hottest Chef” by Jezebel Magazine in July of 2013.

“I am beyond excited to bring my passion for food and Southern hospitality to Philips Arena,” Schafer said. “The opportunity to work for my hometown team and create an amazing culinary experience for the thousands of people that visit each week is a unique challenge that I am looking forward to tackling.”

With 22 years of culinary experience, Schafer has built a strong following with his self-described style of “rustic Southern, refined with European techniques.” His love of organic, locally-sourced foods and Southern cuisine is evident in his offerings.

“As our arena undergoes a transformation, it was vital to the fan experience that we also look to improve our food offerings. Fans want a complete experience when they buy a ticket to a game or a show and food is a significant complement to the entertainment,” Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said. “Joe’s world-class experience, attention to detail and ability to make simple dishes memorable will put dining at Philips Arena on-par with dining anywhere in Atlanta.”

Born in Griffin, Schafer trained at the Art Institute of Atlanta, where he graduated with honors in 2001.

Go here for more information about the Philips Arena transformation.