A talented travel photographer, Laura Wickiser has visited 22 countries (and counting!) and spends her days in Atlanta as a talented server at Midtown seafood mainstay, Lure. Learn more about Laura below, and see some of her stunning photography at her website and on our Instagram stories at @lure.atl!
Where are you from?
I grew up in Helen, Ga. and lived there until I moved to Atlanta when I was 19 years old.
How long have you been with Fifth Group?
I started working at Alma Cocina right when they opened in December 2011, and worked there until fall 2018 when I moved over to Lure!
What is your favorite thing about being part of the Fifth Group family?
I really like working for a company that gives back in so many ways – from community partnerships like The Giving Kitchen and the Atlanta Community Food Bank to environmental initiatives like our sustainability efforts, composting and recycling. I feel very proud to work for a company that does all of that in addition to taking amazing care of its employees.
How did your career in hospitality begin?
I kind of fell into the restaurant world when I was about two years into college – I started working for a Mellow Mushroom in Marietta and stayed there for 11 years! I have a really close network of friends and even met my husband during my time there. I love the restaurant world and enjoy being active and social with people, so this industry has always seemed like the perfect fit for me.
When you’re not working, what do you love to do?
I love to travel and have been to 22 different countries! I just got back from Cuba, which was an incredible trip. I’m also a travel photographer and just participated in my first art festival; I hope to do another one in the next few weeks. My travel photography site is called Laura The Explorer – named after a nickname I picked up while I was working at Alma Cocina, actually!
What’s your favorite place to travel?
I really loved Ireland – we flew into Dublin, then rented a car and drove into Ennis and Galway. Prague is probably one of my favorite cities I’ve visited, though. And I just took my ninth trip to Mexico because I love it there! It’s so hard to decide on a favorite because every experience is different! My husband and I are lucky to get to travel and experience new places, and we try to take at least two trips per year.
Where in ATL do you live?
My husband and I live in East Point and have for nearly 15 years. It’s been awesome to watch the area grow over the years and it’s a great community.
Any favorite spots in your neighborhood?
I love Mexican food, so we have a few Mexican spots that we frequent: La Fiesta on Virginia Ave. has the best Argentinian steak tacos; and Sombreros in Hapeville is another favorite.
What’s your favorite Fifth Group Restaurants dish?
The chicken mole at Alma. It’s the perfect dish because I love mole sauce and the chicken is perfectly brined and juicy. Plus those smoky grilled green beans? YUM.
This is a hard one, too! I would say overall, Def Leppard. They’re still together and tour every year, and they always put on a good show!
What’s your favorite thing about Atlanta?
Favorite celebrity chef?
Rick Bayless! He seems like he’d be so much fun to travel and hang out with.
What are three adjectives that best describe you?
Friendly, passionate and adventurous.
Who inspires you most in your career?
My mom and my maternal grandfather. They’ve both instilled the value of always doing the best that you can at any job you have.
If you could invite one person, living or dead to dinner at a Fifth Group Restaurant, where would you take them and why?
Carl Johnson, my dad’s father, passed away before I was born so I never got to meet him. I’d love to take him to Lure so I can show him what I do!