Until last fall, Mara Davis had been a staple of Atlanta radio for almost two decades. She spent the last eighteen years helming shows on 92.9FM (both as Z93 and DaveFM), before the station switched formats at the end of September. Since then, Mara has been patiently waiting for the right opportunity to come along.
This weekend, Mara joins the Atlanta Eats team, and in the coming weeks she’ll be hosting a restaurant segment on CBS Better Mornings every Friday, and contributing video blogs and other Web content, including features on local food purveyors and farmers, for AtlantaEats.com.
Mara says that when Atlanta Eats came knocking, it was an easy decision to say yes.
“I was thinking about branching out [from radio]. I’m not moving away from Atlanta. My name, my brand is here, and I didn’t want to take a job where I’d be a robot. I’m thrilled to be part of Atlanta Eats. I’ve been a restaurant fanatic forever, for no reason other than I love it, so Atlanta Eats is kind of a dream opportunity for me.”
Atlanta Eats founder and host, Steak Shapiro, is excited to add Mara to the show’s mix. “I’ve known Mara for a long time, and there’s nobody in Atlanta broadcasting that connects with people like she does. Mara has this great ability to make people very comfortable on air, whether it’s on radio or TV, and in our conversations about finding someone to host some of the segments on the show, we had a shortlist that only had one name on it.”
Anyone that’s paid attention to Mara’s career knows that she’s got a lot of love for the town she’s called home for 18 years. Since the last DaveFM broadcast, Mara has kept herself involved in Atlanta happenings, from regular spots on HLN and CNN to guest hosting at the Village Theatre and the Atlanta Humane Society; from emceeing events at AID Atlanta, PALS (Pets Are Loving Support), Quality Care for Children, Taste of Atlanta and the Atlanta Film Festival, to re-launching maradavis.com with regular blogs and podcasts with local businesses like Atlanta Movie Tours.
Already a big fan of Atlanta Eats, Mara has been tweeting about the show since the beginning, and, like many viewers, has found new places to eat by tuning in.
“I learned about Toscano and Sons from Atlanta Eats,” she says, “It’s one of those places I drove by a million times and wondered if it was any good — and then I saw it on Atlanta Eats and I went there.”
Thanks @atlantaeatscbs for turning me on to Toscano & Sons. Stopped by for a quick lunch and it’s amazing
— Mara Davis (@MaraDavis) March 1, 2013
Cody Hicks, Atlanta Eats’ Chief Brisket Officer, says “When we thought about mixing things up, it was important to us that we picked someone who was recognized in Atlanta, but more importantly, someone who is passionate about dining in Atlanta, and who could engage with people around food. Mara fulfilled all those criteria, and from the moment we heard she might be available we started working to get her involved.”
In upcoming episodes, Mara will be seen talking to diners at places like Stone Soup Kitchen in Grant Park, Local Republic in Lawrenceville, and There at Town Brookhaven,
Along with her appearances on the show, Mara will be taking center stage for some online-only videos, including “A Minute with Mara,” in which she’ll be interviewing chefs and festival-goers around the city.
Mara will make her debut on this Saturday’s Atlanta Eats, on PeachtreeTV at 10:30am and CBS Atlanta at noon, and on Saturday afternoon, viewers can catch her at Taste of the Highlands. Mara will be making other personal appearances with Atlanta Eats, including hosting cooking demos at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival.