Chef Scotley Innis Discusses Continent Restaurant And How To Find Success In The Culinary Industry

Scotley Innis initially gained national recognition on the TV show “Hell’s Kitchen.” He was also a recent guest on the “Tamron Hall Show.” But beyond the TV glitz, Innis is an accomplished chef and restauranteur who owns the acclaimed Continent Restaurant and Cigar Lounge in Atlanta. He’s also collaborated with restaurateur Aliya Huey to open Aliya at Hotel Indigo in Brooklyn.

With Continent Restaurant, Innis incorporates his Jamaican roots with Southern cuisine and influences from African and Asian dishes.

ADW got an opportunity to experience several dishes from Continent Restaurant and speak with Innis about falling in love with culinary arts.

“Me falling in love in the culinary field started from a young guy growing up in a Jamaican household,” Innis said. “We’ve just brought everybody together as a family as a unit when food was involve. So that’s when I fell in love with it.”

Prior to opening his own restaurant, Innis attended Le Cordon Bleu and worked at Au Pied de Cochon, Craftbar, Ormsby’s, and South City Kitchen.

He shared how he ventured out on his own.

“My first steps of establishing a business was to build the clientele,” he said. “I had to do a bunch of pop-ups all around the city. It helped me generate revenue, but also helped me to become more noticed. So just having pop-ups and building that relationship with locals and also just getting more known out there.”

Innis has gained national fame as a chef, but also provides advice to those who wish to follow in his footsteps as a restaurateur.

“My biggest advice is to work hard towards your goals and study” he says. “Don’t give up. You’re not gonna become a millionaire overnight. Let’s not go into that mindset. Thinking that you’re gonna make tons of money just from the start. You know you have to build relationships, you have to build that buzz, you have to be recognized for a good amount of time before actually opening up a restaurant business because it’s not made for the weak. It will make or break you.  The whole gist of owning a restaurant sounds amazing. But sometimes, a lot of people don’t understand the hurdles and trials and tribulations that you must endure, before actually becoming successful at it.

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