Meet the Team

We do things a little differently.

We are food experts who believe in the power of storytelling.

We create awesome experiences that are fun, informative, and delicious.

We connect history, culture, and community with food.

We support exceptional local restaurants and food vendors.

We foster curiosity by spotlighting unexpected places and underserved neighborhoods.

And, above all else, we believe that the world is a good place with good people in it.

Akila McConnell Founder/Chief Eating Officer

Favorite Atlanta Neighborhood

Sweet Auburn

Drink of Choice

Dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives

Preferred French Fry

Leon’s Full Service Pommes Frites
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kila McConnell is the founder, owner, and Chief Eating Officer of Atlanta Food Walks. She is also a food and travel writer who focuses on making local food in unexpected neighborhoods accessible to all.

Much to her delight, a lot of people like to call her a “food and travel expert,” including Conde Nast Traveller, USA Today, Yahoo.comand About.com.  She has written for numerous print and online publications, including National Geographic books, Wandr’ly, the Food Traveler’s Handbook, Atlanta Parent magazine and her own blog The Road Forks.

Akila grew up in Alabama and has lived in Atlanta for over 10 years.  In between, she spent three full years traveling across the world, eating and writing about the world’s best markets, restaurants, and food tours.  Akila spends most of her free time meandering through farmer’s markets and cooking with her toddler (who refuses fish nuggets in favor of locally smoked North Georgia trout).

David Flowers Culinary Storyteller

Favorite Atlanta Neighborhood

Castleberry Hill

Drink of Choice

Craft beer

Preferred French Fry

McDonald’s
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avid Flowers is a recovering trial lawyer who has spent most of his life in South Carolina.  He loves to travel and is close to completing two bucket list items: all fifty states and all 54 National Parks.  He has recently spent time on the island of Kauai where he was a tour guide at the National Tropical Botanical Garden.  He returned to the mainland to welcome his first two grandchildren to the world.

David loves sharing the history of the South and Southern food and is continuing his quest to find the best BBQ in the country.

Alaina Shapiro Culinary Storyteller

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Favorite Atlanta Neighborhood

Virginia Highlands

Drink of Choice

Cosmopolitan martini

Preferred French Fry

Vortex
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laina Shapiro is a native Georgia peach.  She was born in Dekalb County, raised in Gwinnett near Stone Mountain Park, and graduated from Georgia State University in Atlanta with a degree in Journalism, Public Speaking, and Public Relations.  She has been an events planner and consultant for over 10 years working with Emory University and many other charitable organizations, including helping raise over $150,000 for local non-profit organizations to bring awareness for childhood cancer.

Alaina joined the Atlanta Food Walks team because she loves being a local expert for food and fun in her city.  She is always on the go, exploring all the attractions Atlanta has to offer, from sporting events to new restaurants to wine tastings and concerts.

Jennifer Tyler Culinary Storyteller

Favorite Atlanta Neighborhood

Virginia Highlands

Drink of Choice

Mexican Mule

Preferred French Fry

Venkman’s Fries with Pickle Sauce
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ennifer Tyler loves bringing people together while sharing great food and great stories, with stories involving food being especially welcome.

She was born in England but grew up in Lawrenceville, Georgia, just outside Atlanta, and has made her home in the city.  In addition to being a Georgia girl, she is a classically trained Chef and a University of Georgia alum with degrees in Culinary Arts and a degree in Communications.  She is always trying a new recipe, or trying out a new restaurant on her never-ending list.  Jennifer believes that good company and good food are some of life’s simplest and greatest pleasures.

Joy Warren Culinary Storyteller

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Favorite Atlanta Neighborhood

Buckhead

Drink of Choice

Mojito

Preferred French Fry

Chik-Fil-A Waffle Fries (dipped in Chik-Fil-A sauce, of course)
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oy Warren lives up to her name because she exudes joy in life, food, and people. She is an inspirational author of the recently published youth inspirational book “Kingdom Star”, and singer/songwriter from Virginia where she attended Hampton University. As a musician, she has worked with Grammy Award-winning producers and artists from all over the country. However, she attributes the majority of her passion and growth as a person to her time serving in her family’s church as worship leader and youth pastor for a combined total of 18 years. Joy also founded the local social activism organization called The iForgive Movement, a movement to help relieve injustice through the simplicity and foolishness of forgiveness.

Joy grew up in Virginia Beach but loves the energy, opportunity, and history of Atlanta. She enjoys meeting new people, and making people laugh and feel loved, because hospitality is not just a southern thing: it’s a way of life!

Ashley Young Culinary Storyteller

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Favorite Atlanta Neighborhood

Midtown Atlanta

Drink of Choice

Sangria

Preferred French Fry

Noni’s Garlic Fries
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shley Young is a small town girl with city slicker swagger! Originally from Maysville, North Carolina, she moved to Atlanta in 2014 and is happy to make Georgia her home away from home. Growing up, her parents taught her that food is always best with a generous heaping of love and she is thrilled to share her love of food and people as a Culinary Storyteller for Atlanta Food Walks.

After earning her Master’s Degree in Education at Clemson University, Young went on to live her dreams as a servant leader to advance the lives of others. She is currently a College Counselor and has been helping first-generation college students prepare for and transition to college for the past eight years. When Young is not busy leading food tours, you can find her training for a road race, finding a new kale smoothie recipe, or exploring local restaurants in Atlanta.

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