Originally from a small town in Western Massachusetts, Lisa Smith has been building her relationship with, and love for food, all her life. Smith started learning her way around the kitchen under the supervision and guidance of her Italian grandmother. She began making pasta at four years old. Growing up with a single mother and three siblings, Smith used her natural talents to help out around the house cooking for her family whenever she could. Smith began her “official” training in the culinary arts when she moved to Atlanta in 1994. The city was booming in preparation for the upcoming Olympics and Smith had several friends here who she would visit often. It was during these visits that Smith made the connections that would eventually introduce her to the culinary industry.
Her first job was with a caterer, Gigliotti Culinary concepts, under Lynn Gigliotti and Jennifer Levison, “Jenny” of Souper Jenny. As two of Atlanta’s most recognized cooks, they helped Smith get acclimated to the professional world of cooking. While she worked there, Smith maintained a small business of her own selling homemade pasta to local restaurants.
After a few years of working in the catering business, Smith decided that she wanted a more stationary job and knew that working in a restaurant would be her next step. She met Sheri Davis and became part of the opening crew for Dish, Davis’ former restaurant. Davis took Smith under her wing, and when Dish lost its pastry chef, offered Smith the position. Although she had little experience in desserts, Smith gladly stepped into her new role and was excited to embark on a new endeavor. Where she earned a ‘Most Memorable Dessert’ award.
Although Smith was never formally educated in the culinary arts, her practical experience has provided a true education. She got to learn, first hand, from experienced chefs how to create tasty and beautifully constructed dishes. She attributes much of her success with pastries to a long process of trial and error, making a lot of losing dishes before figuring out what worked and what did not.
In 2001, Smith took a job at Roy’s Restaurants as their Executive Pastry Chef. Lisa was a part of the opening team for Roy’s Vegas. It was during her time at Roy’s that she became comfortable and confident working with desserts. While she was working at Roy’s, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s founder, Pano Karatassos called, and offered her the position at Bluepointe, which she held the Executive Pastry Chef position for 6 years. While Working with Buckhead Life, Lisa had the opportunity as a corporate trainer, to open two new concepts , Chops Lobster Bar,Boca Raton and Bistro Niko in Buckhead.
Lisa moved on as a pastry consultant, helping Chef Doug Turbush open Seed Kitchen and Bar. Getting back to her roots, Smith took a position as Executive Pastry Chef at an Italian Concept, Ammazza. After going full circle, Smith rejoined Jennifer Levison and consulted to open Juicy Jenny. A trendy Juice bar serving Vegan/Gluten free food. It was at this time Lisa became aware of ‘clean’ eating and began to broaden the horizons in the culinary world and become truly aware of what is in our food. Smith has a desire to educate and help with awareness in opening her newfound concept Cibaria Market. A food based lifestyle concept focusing on clean vegan/gluten free fare.
Lisa enjoys the laid back, friendly relationship that chefs in Atlanta have with one another, and is thankful for all the opportunities that have come her way. Being a chef is something that she truly enjoys. “ I’ve always loved food, and what’s better than watching people smile while they enjoy your creations. In 2011, Smith earned “ Best Dessert Atlanta” and is a three time winner of Share Our Strength Great American Baking Contest.
Founding Cibaria Market has been a labor of love along with a strong desire to meet the needs of those who want to know what’s in their food, those with food allergies, and vegan/ gluten free diners in the Atlanta area.
Check out our Cibaria Market Menu and our Family Friendly Menu
minimum delivery $100
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Contact Chef Lisa Smith 404-422-6470