Belline’s passion for simplicity and locality melds with rustic techniques and creative execution, as he and business partner Ford Fry tackle menu creation for Ford’s award-winning restaurants. With leadership and culinary experience, Belline not only highlights ingredients that develop organically into innovative dishes, but highlights and mentors the company’s growing staff of culinary talent.
Upon graduation from Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, the native Atlantan headed straight to New York to sharpen his culinary skills. Belline began work under Charlie Palmer at Kitchen 22 and Tom Colicchio at Craft, both of whom helped mold his culinary foundation.
Belline returned to the Southeast to serve as a sous chef at Bacchanalia, where he trained under renowned Atlanta chefs Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison. The team then tapped him as opening chef de cuisine for Quinones at Bacchanalia: Belline designed a daily-changing 12-course tasting menu. During Belline’s tenure at Quinones, the restaurant received a five star rating from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His career then took him to Atlanta’s Floataway Café, where Belline worked for more than four years as the chef de cuisine, executing dishes with his signature passion for local and seasonal ingredients.
Ford Fry’s team took note of Belline’s talent, as his Italian roots made him a knack to come on as chef and partner at no. 246 in Decatur and company Creative Director. At no. 246, Belline crafted an Italian-inspired menu, using simple wood-fired cooking techniques and composed of local, farm fresh ingredients – some even freshly picked from the restaurant’s backyard. “Culinary trends in the Southeast have been very meat-centric,” Belline says. “At no. 246, we try to make it just as much about vegetables and dishes that guests can eat every day, built off what local producers have to offer.”
Belline has been featured in FOOD & WINE, Bon Appétit and Southern Living, receiving a nod as a Rising Star Chef by Starchefs.com in his early career. He was also selected as Springer Mountain Farms Chef Appreciation recipient in 2013.
Belline resides in Decatur with his wife Marguerite and two daughters, Madeline and Kiley. The avid fly fisherman and spends his spare time freshwater and saltwater fishing throughout the Southeast. He’s also a keen forager, and aptly served on the 2013 Community Farmers Markets Chefs Advisory Board.