2017 Special Guests

Chefs Andy Ticer & Michael Hudman

Born and bred Memphians, Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman opened Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in 2008 to feature innovative Italian cooking rooted in Southern tradition. The chefs trained at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina and the Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria, Italy.

Their restaurant, Hog & Hominy, is a wood burning, neighborhood eatery and has been named one of the top new restaurants by GQ Magazine, Southern Living, and Bon Appetit as well as a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation, which also named the chefs semi-finalists for the Best Chef: Southeast award for three consecutive years in 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2013, they were awarded Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs Award and named in Starchefs.com’s 2014 Kentucky-Tennessee Rising Star Chefs. In his review of the restaurants in 2013, Pete Wells of the New York Times called the restaurants “A sibling rivalry worth diving into.”

Early 2015 saw the opening of the chefs’ third space, a craft butcher shop and café, complete with classic pastries, coffee, espresso and cicchetti served in the dim sum style. Porcellino’s Craft Butcher received four stars from The Commercial Appeal and made the Bon Appetit list of Top 50 new restaurants for 2015. The chefs debuted two new restaurants in 2016: Catherine & Mary’s in Downtown Memphis and Josephine Estelle in New Orleans in partnership with the Ace Hotel.


Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson

Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson began his celebrated culinary career at the Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1999, he moved to Paris to obtain his Certificate d’Aptitude Professionnelle at the renowned Ecole Gregoire-Ferrandi. He then went on to apprentice under Benoit Guichard at the famed Jamin, a two-star Michelin restaurant praised for its classic French cuisine. Mackinnon-Patterson continued to hone his culinary skills working with chef/owner Guy Guilloux at La Taupiniere in Pont Aven, Brittany. After moving back to the U.S. in 2001, he worked at The French Laundry, Thomas Keller’s renowned restaurant in Yountville, California. It was there that he met his current business partner, Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey.

With the vision of opening a neighborhood restaurant reminiscent of the Italian frascas they had visited in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Mackinnon-Patterson and Stuckey opened their first restaurant, Frasca Food and Wine, in August 2004 in Boulder, CO. Having researched and traveled throughout Italy many times, both were deeply inspired by this region in particular — the international influences of its cuisine, the profusion of local ingredients in its rustic yet elegant dishes, its passionate relationship between food and wine, and the gracious hospitality of the locals.

Mackinnon-Patterson’s food is heralded by many as the best in Colorado, and he’s earned several awards for his inventive menu, including: Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs 2005; James Beard Foundation Award’s Best Chef: Southwest, 2008; and a season competing on BRAVO’s Top Chef Masters. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Frasca Food and Wine was nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Wine Service in America, winning the prestigious award in 2013.


Chef Ryan Prewitt

Ryan Prewitt began his culinary career in the farmer’s markets of San Francisco, where a burgeoning interest in food developed into a full-blown career. After spending time working for chefs Robert Cubberly and Alicia Jenish at Le Petite Robert Bistro, he moved to New Orleans to work with Chef Donald Link at Herbsaint. Ryan proved to be a quick study under Link’s tutelage and became Chef de Cuisine in 2009. He subsequently moved on to oversee culinary operations at Link Restaurant Group as Executive Chef for the company.

With a new job came an increased ability to learn and travel. As a member of the Fatback Collective, a group of Southern chefs who have compiled numerous accolades and awards in restaurants across the South, Ryan has learned new traditions and techniques from many talented BBQ pitmasters and has traveled to Uruguay to study traditional open-fire cooking. These experiences, along with a trip to observe grilling techniques in Spain, culminated in the opening of Pêche Seafood Grill. Ryan received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South in May 2014, the same year Pêche earned the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.

 


Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey

Before joining the staff of The Little Nell restaurant in Aspen as a sommelier in 1995, Bobby Stuckey began his distinguished career working in restaurants in his native Arizona. During his five-year tenure at The Little Nell, the restaurant received numerous awards for wine and service, including Gourmet’s “Best Wine Service” Award; Mobile Travel Guide’s Five Star Hotel and Restaurant Rating; Wine Spectator’s Grand Award; and a nomination from the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Wine Service.

In 2000, Stuckey joined world-renowned chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. Within his first year, Stuckey earned the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine Service Award and San Francisco Magazine recognized him as “Wine Director of the Year.” The French Laundry is also where he met his future business partner, Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. Before leaving The French Laundry in May 2003, the restaurant received the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant Service.

In 2004, Stuckey earned the Master Sommelier Diploma from the Court of Master Sommeliers. This diploma is considered by many to be the ultimate professional credential in the wine and spirits services industry. In 2008, Stuckey was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, Frasca Food and Wine was nominated for Outstanding Wine Service, winning the prestigious award in 2013. These distinctions notwithstanding, Stuckey walks the dining room nightly, enthusiastically dispensing advice, recommendations, and sharing his passion for wine with Frasca guests.

With the vision of opening a neighborhood restaurant reminiscent of the Italian frascas they had visited in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson opened their first restaurant, Frasca Food and Wine, in August 2004 in Boulder, CO. Having researched and traveled throughout Italy many times, both were deeply inspired by this region in particular — the international influences of its cuisine, the profusion of local ingredients in its rustic yet elegant dishes, its passionate relationship between food and wine, and the gracious hospitality of the locals.


Jeff Ames, Winemaker/Owner, Rudius

Growing up in the South with a family of lawyers, Jeff pulled a wild card when he began working in a Memphis-based wine shop. His passion for Rhone varietals became apparent at that point, as did his desire to move forward in the industry. The break that allowed him to chase his dream was an internship with Lynn Penner-Ash at Rex Hill in Oregon. After making a shift to Napa Valley one year later, he worked every corner of the wine industry until in 2001, he became Thomas Brown’s assistant winemaker for brands including Schrader, Tor, Maybach, and Outpost. In 2005, longing to make his own mark on the wine industry, he sold his first home in Napa in order to attain the start-up capital needed to achieve his ultimate goal: starting Rudius Wines. From the start Ames dedicated himself to producing wines with a distinct sense of place — wines that respected the provenance of the fruit and showcased his passion for unique varietals. Though Rudius began with extremely small productions of Syrah and Grenache, highlighting Jeff’s love for Rhones, the Rudius portfolio has now expanded to included several different single vineyard Cabernets and Rhone varietals from throughout Napa and Sonoma County. With his attention constantly focused on finding lesser known vineyards that support his need to bring one-of-a-kind wines to the bottle, there is no doubt that Jeff and Rudius will have more exciting bottlings to share for vintages to come. 


Jamey Whetstone, Winemaker/Owner, Whetstone

Born in Florence, South Carolina, Jamey Whetstone grew up the son of a Baptist preacher and moved around quite a bit before settling in Wilmington, North Carolina. He relocated to Napa in 1996 to manage Mustards Grill, to gain restaurant experience before heading back home to the Carolinas to open a restaurant of his own. Napa had other plans for him. Jamey's winemaking education began in 1998 at Turley Wine Cellars, where learning how to change the clutch on a tractor was more valued than knowledge of Bordeaux First Growths. He had the opportunity to take a summer sabbatical working for the Seysses family at Domaine Dujac in Morey-Saint-Denis, which cemented his love for Pinot Noir. After returning from France, he founded Whetstone Wine Cellars in 2002 while continuing his apprenticeship at Turley. In 2005, Jamey left Turley in order to take the leap toward growing the Whetstone brand.

He purchased Whetstone Estate in February of 2011, and opened its doors in July of 2013. The centerpiece of the property is a 19th century French-style chateau, now the tasting salon, which sits on two acres located at the base of Atlas Peak Road in Napa. Other than gaining a physical location, the most significant change in the trajectory of Whetstone Wine Cellars was the full-time addition of his wife, Michelle. She’s behind the overall operations and aesthetic of the Whetstone brand, and introduced their simple but effective sales motto: to be more in touch with the lost art of face-to-face communication. With the touch-screen ease of the digital sales world, they’ve made this grassroots approach a priority at Whetstone.