Insanely Talented Chefs

Read all about the chefs participating in this year's Culinary Series.


All photos by Lisa Buser appear in Memphis: Sweet, Spicy and a Little Greasy, a compilation of recipes, stories and photographs arising out of the 2013 ArtsMemphis Culinary Series: Beauty and the Feast. 

Andrew Adams

Andrew Adams is the Executive Chef of Acre Restaurant. He has worked with Wally Joe since he was a teenager, when he started as an apprentice at KC’s Restaurant in Cleveland, Mississippi. After attending the Culinary Institute of America, Andrew worked at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and at The Ryland Inn in Whitehouse, New Jersey. In 2002, Andrew returned to Memphis to open Wally Joe as Chef de Cuisine. 

Andrew will be featured at the International Street Food Festival | Sept 28 | Get tickets >>

Angus Brown

Angus Brown is Executive Chef/Partner of LUSCA and Partner of Octopus Bar in Atlanta. 

 After attending the College of Charleston, Angus cooked in restaurants throughout Oregon, Florida, and Maine before returning to his hometown of Atlanta. Trained in French, Italian, and Asian cooking, Angus creates focused dishes using only the best ingredients. He draws inspiration from frequent visits to the market and is on the Chef Advisory Board of Atlanta’s Community Farmers Markets. Angus has extensively researched Asian cuisine during months traveling and cooking in Japan and Vietnam. 

After meeting in Atlanta and collaborating on a supper series, Angus and his friend and fellow chef Nhan Le opened Octopus Bar in 2011. Open nightly from 10:30pm to 2:30am, the local eatery is a celebrated spot among many of the city’s chefs who visit for post-shift dinner and drinks. 

In spring 2014, Angus and Nhan opened LUSCA. The restaurant features a market-driven menu focused on simple, straightforward dishes and a raw bar with the highest quality seafood flown in from Japan daily. LUSCA has garnered acclaim among residents, visitors and the press alike, named one of bon appetit’s “50 Best New Restaurants in America.” Angus and Nhan were awarded Cooking Light’s “Trailblazing Chefs” title in 2014. 

Angus makes his debut appearance in Soulsville USA at Taste Your Soul | Feb. 26 | Get Tickets >>

Brown Burch

BROWN is a classically trained French chef who has worked for some of best chefs in the world: David Bouley (Bouley), Charlie Palmer (Aureole), Terrance Brennan (Picholine), and Daniel Boulud (Daniel) — all in New York City. His successful career has led him to the finest kitchens in Palm Beach, Sun Valley, Charleston, New York, Chicago, Florence, and London. During his time abroad he staged at Michelin three-star restaurants, consulted for hotels in the Middle East and Asia, and was opening chef for Le Cirque’s location in New Delhi, India. Brown currently is the personal chef for the Hyde Family in Memphis.

Sample Brown's unique cuisine at Taste Your Soul | Feb 26 | Get tickets >>

Jason Dallas

Jason Dallas, Interim’s Executive Chef, has more than 14 years of culinary experience.  Dallas has a passion for food, leadership, and innovative style.  He graduated from The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia.  While attending culinary school, he interned at the Ritz Carlton under Chef Kia Lerman, and Chef John Hamme working his way through both the banquet and restaurant kitchens.

Dallas was raised in Memphis and graduated from Memphis State University.  He is an avid bicyclist and member of Memphis’ Los Locos Triathlon Team.  It was during a cross country event from Seattle to D.C., riding for the American Lung association, that Dallas met his wife, Mari.  In 2013 Dallas moved his family back to Memphis where he was the Chef De Cuisine at Chez Philippe in the Peabody Hotel before joining Interim Restaurant in 2014.

Jennifer Dickerson

After being given a pep talk by a cook working at the prestigious Chez Philippe Restaurant in the Peabody Hotel Downtown Memphis, Jennifer Dickerson walked into a small Cajun restaurant on Main Street the next morning and applied for her first kitchen position. 

Almost 20 years later, Dickerson is partnering with Mac Edwards to open her own downtown restaurant, this time in Jackson, TN.  Just off the square, Chandelier Café and Cater will be housed in the historic Neely House, a sweeping Victorian era two story house and former hotel.   Also in development with Edwards is Firefly Southern Kitchen, in Brighton, TN.  Firefly will be an upscale casual family restaurant and catering operation.

Jennifer will showcase her unique style of Sexy Southern Cuisine with global influences at Chandelier beginning in October 2014, when the restaurant officially opens its doors.   Before opening Chandelier Dickerson was Executive Chef at many Memphis restaurants including KOTO, McEwen’s on Monroe, and The Brushmark in the Brooks Museum of Art, as well as almost 6 years as a Private Chef to a wonderful family.  Following a brief respite to spend quality time being Mom to her three children, Jennifer returned to the Memphis restaurant scene, concentrating on front house management, including a stint at her mentor Erling Jensen’s highly respected eponymous restaurant. 

Jennifer is also the Executive Chef and Dining Manager of the Greentree Hunting Club in Kelso, Arkansas, and Owner/Executive Chef of LUXCulinary, a private chef service in Memphis.   

Catch up with Jennifer at International Street Food Festival | Sept 28 | Get tickets >>

Mac Edwards

MAC EDWARDS has more than 35 years experience in the restaurant industry. He owned and operated McEwen’s on Monroe for more than 10 years and was the 2004 Memphis Restaurant Association “Restauranteur of the Year.” In 2011 he opened The Elegant Farmer, which focuses on “elevated” comfort food using the freshest local and regional ingredientsnfrom sustainable farms. He is also a founding board member of the Memphis Farmer’s Market.

Have Mac tell you a joke at the International Street Food Festival | Sept 28 | Get tickets >>

José Gutierrez

Chef José Gutierrez’s exceptional culinary creativity can be traced to his French heritage and Southern influences. Although native to France with Spanish roots, chef José has been a Memphis resident for over 30 years and hence, a true Southerner. He was born in Provence, France and began his culinary career at the Professional Culinary School in Manosque, France. After school, he worked under the direction of several esteemed chefs and then trained with the celebrated chef Paul Bocuse, creator of Nouvelle Cuisine.

At the age of 22, he moved to Houston, Texas, to serve as chef de cuisine at Restaurant de France at the Meridien Hotel. Two and half years later, in 1982, he began what turned out to be a distinguished, unparalleled 22-year career at the Peabody Hotel’s Chez Phillipe. Here he hosted “master nights” for master chefs and artists and guests included numerous dignitaries like Julia Child. He also held extravagant-themed dinners, such as one celebrating Cristal champagne (traditional champagne of Russian czars), where he created an 18-course menu based from an original 25-course menu from 1872 that Russian Grand Duke Alexei Romanov savored when he visited Memphis.

In 2005, chef José opened his own restaurant, Encore Restaurant and Bar, where he delighted guests with his contemporary French-style bistro cuisine. Five years later he joined River Oaks restaurant, which he and his wife, Colleen, now own. Chef José has expertly guided River Oaks to its status today as one of Memphis’ premier eateries.

Master Chef José's cuisine will shine in the newly restored James Lee House  | Jan 28 | Get Tickets >>

Jonathan Magallanes

JONATHAN MAGALLANES is the owner, chef and manager of Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana. A Memphis native, Jonathan has been in the restaurant business from an early age. After living in Florida, Jonathan moved back to Memphis to assist his father, Jose “Pepe” Magallanes, who opened Las Tortugas in 2003. Acclaimed for its authentic Mexican cuisine and emphasis on local ingredients, Las Tortugas and the Magallanes have been featured in the Commercial Appeal,The Memphis Flyer, Memphis Magazine and other local and regional publications.

Jonathan's food will take you straight to Mexico at the International Street Food Festival | Sept 28 | Get Tickets >>

Jon Mikulski

Jon Mikulski is originally from Prospect, CT and has been a proud Memphian for 7 years. He came to Memphis to work for Whole Foods Market and quickly worked his way up to Seafood Monger and Team Leader. This industry is a great fit for him as he has a natural passion for incredible food, sustainability, and sharing this with others.  He enjoys being able to work with and meet equally incredible people. Throughout his career and travels, Jon has learned to  fillet almost any fish and takes pride in fresh shucked oysters and clams. In addition to work, Jon is passionate about music, traveling, and his beloved Red Sox.

Jon will set your taste buds on fire at Firehouse Al Fresco | Get Tickets >>

Patrick Reilly

PATRICK REILLY is the Executive Chef and owner of The Majestic Grille in Memphis. Reilly has spent nearly 30 years cultivating his passion of good food and warm Irish hospitality. A native of Dublin, Ireland, Reilly received his professional culinary education at the Dublin School of Catering and Hotel Management. Following a coveted apprenticeship at the Guinness Headquarters in Dublin, Reilly quickly made his mark on the other side of the Irish Sea in the distinguished London restaurant scene. 

After cooking a private dinner for Gibson Guitar president & owner, Henry Juszkiewicz, Reilly was invited to move to Memphis in 2001 and hasn’t looked back since. From 2001 until 2004, Reilly opened and oversaw the success of The Gibson Beale Street Showcase.  

Wanting to get back in the kitchen and follow his dream of owning his own restaurant, Reilly opened The Majestic Grille with wife, Deni in 2006. Voted one of the Best New Restaurants and Best New Bars of 2006, The Majestic Grille has cemented itself as a favorite of locals and tourists alike. 

In addition to the restaurant’s involvement with the arts community, Patrick is President of The Memphis Restaurant Association, and sits on the the Boards of the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association and the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.  He is active in The New Memphis Institute, The Blues Foundation, The Memphis Farmers Market, the Downtown Memphis Commission and is a founding member of Downtown Dining Week.  Patrick is dedicated to spreading the gospel of Memphis food and was honored to help organize a group of distinguished local chefs in preparing a Memphis themed Dinner at the James Beard House in Spring 2014.

Patrick will set your taste buds on fire at Firehouse Al Fresco | Get Tickets>>

Heather Bugg Ries

Heather Bugg Ries is co-owner and baker/cake decorator at The LadyBugg Bakery in Hernando Mississippi, a business she opened with family in 2010. She started her culinary career working as a pastry assistant at Aubergine Restaurant in East Memphis in 2001 before attending culinary school in Houston TX at Alain & Marie LeNotre Culinary Institute.

After graduating, she moved to Asheville NC and worked at the Biltmore Estate. She moved back to Memphis and worked as the pastry chef at a few notable Memphis restaurants including Wally Joe’s Restaurant, Yia Yia's EuroBistro and The Inn at Hunt Phelan. She left Hunt Phelan in January 2007 to work as the personal chef for Mike and Debbi Rose in their East Memphis home, working for them until she gave birth to triplets in 2009. 

 She is now a small business owner and a busy mom of three 5 year olds. With the help of her mother, sister and stepfather, LadyBugg Bakery has become a small town success.  Named the Best Bakery in Desoto County for the past two years, LadyBugg Bakery serves up an array of fresh “baked from scratch” goodness to the community and Heather is loving every minute of it. 

Heather puts her entire Soul into her baking. Find her at Taste Your Soul | Feb. 26 | Get Tickets >>

Phillip Ashley Rix

What Kate Spade did for handbags, Louboutin for women’s shoes and Versace for the world of fashion, award-winning designer chocolatier, Chef Phillip Ashley Rix is doing for chocolate; liberating it from the confines of tradition. Self-trained in chocolate, Rix exited a ten year career in corporate and international sales with FedEx, UPS and Apple and has gone on to be named one of the Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America by TasteTV. Having created over 150 designer chocolates, Chef Rix is renowned for his wildly imaginative flavor profiles such as Thai lemongrass mint white balsamic vinegar picual extra virgin olive oil, bacon caramel shortbread, gorgonzola dolce apricot and even barbecue. His passion for flavor is matched only by a masterful attention to detail for creating visually stunning pieces of edible art.

Award-winning designer chocolatier Chef Phillip Ashley Rix will join us to create several new pieces of edible art at the International Street Food Festival | Sept. 28 | Get Tickets >>

Ryan Trimm

RYAN TRIMM is the Executive Chef and owner of Sweet Grass and Sweet Grass Next Door in Memphis. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ryan grew up in Memphis before studying English and business at Ole Miss. After working at 208 South Lamar in Oxford, Ryan studied at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, and worked with Frank Lee at Slightly North of Broad. After working at the Grove Grill as the Chef de Cuisine from 2005 to 2010, he opened Sweet Grass followed by Sweet Grass Next Door. Ryan was nominated for Food and Wine’s Peoples’ Best New Chef 2011.

Ryan will set your pants on fire at Memphis Fire Station # 6 | Firehouse Al Fresco | Get Tickets >>