CHEF: Justin Cox


Chef Justin Cox was born in Roanoke, Virginia. He credits his grandmothers for his passion for cooking. “I always look forward to Gram’s French Toast and Moo Moo’s Lemon Lush”. When Justin was fifteen he began his kitchen career. He was drawn to the teamwork and competition between other cooks as well as other restaurants.

At the age of twenty three Justin was accepted into Johnson & Wales University. He chose Charleston South Carolina where he would be closer to home and fabulous restaurants. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2005. During this period he developed his cooking while working for the acclaimed McCrady’s under James Beard Nominee, Michael Kramer. Justin then moved to West Palm Beach to do his externship at The Breakers Hotel and Resort, a 5 star 5 diamond award recipient. After his externship he began working for his “true mentor”, Kevin Ives at the fine dining French restaurant, L’Escalier. Here he worked every station and earned the title Chef Brigade. Justin then went to work at Café Boulud under Zack Bell, an amazing chef who had trained with Daniel Boulud for years and was also a James Beard Nominee.

Justin decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia in 2008. After working at Eno, and then opening Home Restaurant and Café Fortunato, Justin decided it was time to start a new venture where he could Thrive.  Excited about the location and flare of Thrive Chef Cox was quick to add his own touch to the restaurant. “I always use fresh seasonal fruits & vegetables and local farmers whenever possible. I feel it is imperative to our community to shop local. I believe it is important to establish relationships with the farmers growing the food that I am cooking”, says Chef Justin Cox.

Thrive’s menu is described as “modern American”. Chef Cox adds his exceptional experience to Thrive using his vast knowledge of food. “It is of the upmost importance to use high quality ingredients and to take care of them, respect them. When I create a dish I always think of these things and just make sure the food is seasoned and freshly prepared. I get fish in everyday to make sure this is possible. I feel some dishes are playful and others more serious. At the end of the day exceeding someone’s expectations is the goal.”