Nick LeahyExecutive Chef and Owner
As the owner and executive chef of Provencal-style restaurant, AIX, and adjoining wine bar, Tin Tin, chef Nick Leahy showcases his true passion for globally influenced, locally sourced cuisine. Paying homage to the classic French phrase, ce moment, or “in this moment”, chef Leahy invites all who gather at AIX & Tin Tin to embrace the Mediterranean culture of Aix-en-Provence by slowing down, experiencing joy and creating memories with loved ones, all while savoring life’s simple pleasures — many times found in cuisine.
The son of an Irish-American father and a half French mother, chef Leahy was introduced to varying global cultures, including a strong French influence, from the time he was born. Originally from Bermuda but raised in both London and Atlanta, chef Leahy’s heart for Provencal cuisine came to life during his childhood summers spent cooking with his mother at their family home in Aix-en-Provence.
As a true champion and purveyor of the farm-to-table movement in Atlanta, chef Leahy celebrates Georgia’s small producers through his menus, allowing fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients to shine. By showcasing contemporary takes on his family’s classic French recipes, chef Leahy highlights French inspired, Mediterranean influenced cuisine, with each of his dishes featuring thoughtful presentation and inventive flavors. Throughout AIX & Tin Tin’s menu and interiors are a number of elements that are near and dear to chef Leahy’s heart, most specifically wine bar, Tin Tin, named after his great aunt and the matriarch of his family.
Prior to opening AIX & Tin Tin, chef Leahy served as the owner and operator of renowned tapas-style restaurant, Saltyard, in the heart of Buckhead. Chef Leahy’s extensive career also includes time with some of Atlanta’s most notable restaurant groups including Concentrics Restaurants and Fifth Group Restaurants.
Outside of his time spent in the kitchen, chef Leahy has been a constant supporter of many charitable and local organizations including Georgia Grown, No Kid Hungry, The James Beard Foundation and The Giving Kitchen. Most notably, chef Leahy holds the honor of being the first chef ever to be elected to Meals on Wheels Atlanta’s Board of Trustees.
In his free time, chef Leahy enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, Danielle, along with his two daughters and their dog, Lilly Bean.
Max OwenChef de Cuisine
Max Owen serves as AIX & Tin Tin’s chef de cuisine and has been with the restaurant’s culinary team since September 2018. Owen is responsible for assisting with many crucial duties, including staff hiring and training, labor and expense tracking and serving as an overall leader to the restaurant’s kitchen staff. Through his role, Owen has helped create a culinary team that is among the most respected in the city of Atlanta. Owen has nearly three years of experience within the hospitality industry, two of those served under AIX & Tin Tin’s executive chef, Nick Leahy.
Originally from Bath, England, Owen moved to the United States as a child and grew up in the Atlanta area. After nearly completing studies in photography and print making at SCAD’s Atlanta campus, Owen had an opportunity to join his brother, British chef Guy Owen, at the Idle Rocks, a luxury hotel in Cornwall, England, where Guy was serving as executive chef. After a rigorous training course at the Idle Rocks, Owen worked at the prestigious resort for one year.
A creative spirit, Owen enjoys exploring global cuisines, particularly Asian. He has cheffed at several “pop ups” in Atlanta that featured his love of Vietnamese culture and cuisine. When not cooking, he enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with his parter, Hye-Ja and their cat, Mouse.
Farah MolinaPastry Chef
Farah Molina joined the AIX & Tin Tin team in August 2019 and currently serves as the restaurant’s pastry chef. A graduate with an associate degree in baking and pastry arts from The Culinary Institute of America, Molina first moved from the Dominican Republic to the United States in 2016 to pursue her dream of becoming a professional pastry chef.
At AIX & Tin Tin, Molina aims to utilize fresh, local ingredients within her pastries to promote unique twists on classic French desserts. She is responsible for leading the pastry section of the restaurant with duties ranging from developing new recipes and flavor pairings to training staff and meeting with the special events team to bring guests’ visions to life. Prior to joining the staff at AIX & Tin Tin, Molina had the opportunity to fulfill an externship under renowned Atlanta pastry chef Kendall Baez at Empire State South in Atlanta.
Molina’s love for the culinary world began at a young age during her upbringing in Santo Domingo. She attributes much of her success to the guidance and support of her mother. As a self-proclaimed risk taker and challenge seeker, Molina decided to follow her passion and move to United States to study baking and pastry arts, further honing her craft and making meaningful connections along the way.
In her free time, Molina enjoys being outdoors and enjoying nature. In October 2018, she bought her first camera and began studying photography, specifically food photography.
Kiara AustinWine Captain
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Kiara Austin joined the AIX & Tin Tin team in November 2018, and moved into her role as wine captain in fall 2019. Kiki has worked in the hospitality field since she was 17, and earned an associate degree from the Culinary Institute of America in 2017.
Austin moved to Atlanta after graduation and quickly became a vibrant addition to the city’s food-and-beverage scene. In her current role at AIX & Tin Tin, she is responsible for all wine education among staff and guests, from providing personalized wine recommendations table side to curating rotating regional wine flights featured at the restaurant’s wine bar, Tin Tin.
As a member of The Court of Master Sommeliers, Austin recently passed her Introductory Sommelier examination and is currently studying to become a Certified Sommelier. With a true passion for the world of wine, Austin aims to provide memorable experiences for AIX & Tin Tin’s guests by sharing with them her love and knowledge of wine as they enjoy the restaurant’s renowned offerings.
Outside of work, Austin is an avid foodie and is currently developing her own hand-crafted ice cream and confections business, where she is able to express her creativity and Afro-Caribbean heritage by developing one-of-a-kind flavors. Austin is also an avid writer who believes that putting pen to paper can often be the best medium for creative expression.
Matthew GibbonsBeverage Director
After joining the AIX & Tin Tin team in December 2018, Matthew Gibbons was appointed as beverage director in June 2019. Through his current role, Gibbons plays an integral part in the development of the restaurant’s Provencal-inspired beverage program. With features including an extensive list of rare and unique wine offerings, a specially curated local beer selection and a number of custom cocktails utilizing a diverse range of French liqueurs, fortified wines, organic sodas and flavored CBD sparkling waters, Gibbons showcases his passion for cocktail artistry.
As a Georgia native, Gibbons was first introduced to the hospitality industry while working at notable Decatur restaurant, Cakes & Ale. It was there he was first fully immersed in the world of wine and craft cocktails. From there, Gibbons went on to serve as a bartender at multiple Castellucci Hospitality Group concepts including Cooks & Soldiers, Double Zero, Sugo and the Iberian Pig in Decatur.
In his current role, Gibbons enjoys working with his stellar team to develop a beverage program that highlights varietals not typically found accompanying French cuisine. When he’s not creating cocktails behind the bar, Gibbons enjoys traveling around the country attending music festivals and vacationing in the mountains.
Marissa MalleeGeneral Manager
Originally hailing from Philadelphia, Marissa Mallee joined the AIX & Tin Tin team as general manager in September 2019. Having first ignited her passion for hospitality and restaurants while in high school, Mallee has been working in the restaurant industry since she was old enough to be employed.
While studying hospitality administration at Boston University, Mallee served as a food-and-beverage intern at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common. In addition to this internship, she also held positions at notable Boston-area restaurants, Eastern Standard and SRV.
Shortly after graduating from BU cum laude in May 2017, Mallee accepted a position as guest relations manager at SRV. It was there that she developed her framework of strong leadership skills by overseeing all guest outreach and in-house event planning along with leading the front-of-house team in staff hiring, training and management.
As a brand new Atlanta-area transplant, Mallee enjoys spending time learning about the dining scene in her new city while continuously growing the successful team at AIX & Tin Tin.