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Julia LeRoy
Age: 28
Bookhouse Pub
Atlanta, Ga.

Don't call it a gastropub. LeRoy cringes whenever someone uses the term to describe the combination bar and restaurant that embodies a "Twin Peaks' vibe that harkens the interior of a Pacifc Northwest lodge with stonework, fireplace, and carved totem poles. Gastropubs, as LeRoy explains, are inherently snooty.

"I like to think of my food as being much more approachable, much more relaxed," LeRoy says. "My whole idea is that I take all these amazing techniques I learned working with world-renowned chefs and I apply it to food that I grew up eating. Comfort food with the most attention to detail you can pay to it. "There's no molecular gastronomy. No foams or anything fancy, just dishes like braised pork belly with cashew butter and a salad of julienne radish, pickled red onions and scallions."

Upon opening the Bookhouse Pub almost a year ago with a group of friends, LeRoy soon started Locavore Mondays -- a weekly menu that utilizes only local ingredients, beginning her quest to run a seasonal, sustainable kitchen. "If I can get people to eat one local meal a week, that's going to strengthen the local economy, stimulate jobs, and increase revenue for the state. I want to give back to the community," she says.

NEXT: Jeremy Barlow

Last updated December 02 2009: 5:47 PM ET
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