2018 Special Guests
Despite having a successful career with Citicorp Investment Services, André Hueston Mack decided to leave his “desk job” to pursue his passion for wine. While working as a sommelier in San Antonio, Mack discovered the joys of introducing guests to the little known vineyards that first attracted him to the business and “the instant gratification of a guest’s reaction.” While still in Texas, Mack was awarded the prestigious title of Best Young Sommelier in America by the highly regarded Chaine des Rotisseurs. This recognition propelled him into the opportunity to work as a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s world-renowned The French Laundry in Yountville, California. Mack went on to accept the position of Head Sommelier at Keller’s equally famed Per Se in New York City, where he managed a 1800 selection award-winning wine list and consulted with Chef Keller on menu and pairing development regularly. Winemaking has always been a dream of his and came to fruition when he set up shop under the moniker of Mouton Noir Wines. Throughout his career Mack has forged unique relationships with luminary growers and winemakers from around the planet. It is with this prestigious group that Mack currently creates his wines.
Mack has been featured in major publications, such as Food and Wine, Wine & Spirits Magazine, The New York Times, Women’s Health, Ebony, and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Mack was honored in 2007 with The Network Journal’s 40-Under-Forty Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to business. Mack is a zealous wine educator who has been invited to host seminars as well as conduct panel discussions at numerous esteemed food and wine events. He enjoys sharing his fondness of wine with others.
Photo by Michael Muller
Grand Weekend: Grand Artisans' Dinner & Grand Auction
Charlie Hanavich attended The University of Alabama where he studied Advertising and Art History. While his creativity and artistic talent were evident from childhood, it was not until his later years that he truly discovered his love for painting.
The summer of 2006 was a defining period. Searching for direction in life, Charlie moved to New York for what proved to be a short-lived visit to his own future. While he did not find the business direction he was seeking, his time in New York reignited his creativity and was the catalyst for his future as an artist.
In 2012 he moved to Miami to hone his skill. Host to international art fairs such as Art Basel, Miami’s art scene was exploding with opportunity at the highest levels. Immersing himself in Miami’s artistic landscape, Charlie was able to find himself as an artist and develop his distinctive style of painting.
Fueled by his interactions and experiences, Charlie is constantly refining and evolving his unique process and technique. The CH Grid Series, his most recent body of work, is strongly influenced by Chuck Close.
Charlie’s paintings are displayed in numerous private homes and commercial spaces both domestically and internationally. He now works and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
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 during 2012-2014, and a finalist for the award in 2015, 2016, and 2017. On February 15, the Chefs were announced as semi-finalists for the 2018 James Beard Best Chef Southeast award, placing them in the running for seven consecutive years. 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.
In January of 2018, the chefs opened their second downtown restaurant, The Gray Canary, located in the Old Dominick Distillery. This most recent addition embraces a new and exciting restaurant concept, featuring an open kitchen, wood fire cooking and a raw bar, all overlooking the Mississippi River in the South Main Arts District of Downtown Memphis.
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.
Breanne Kostyk, Josephine Estelle, New Orleans
Breanne Kostyk is a self-taught dessert artist originally from Tolland, Connecticut. In 2009, she earned a degree in design from the esteemed Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Kostyk then joined Project M, a program for creatives that helps them use their skills to benefit social change, placing them in different cities throughout the country and headed to Greensboro, Alabama. Her team was asked to build something that would unify people. They created PieLab with the goal to get people talking to one another, not to sell pie—but they did. The project was a success. On the first day, with pie selling for $2 a slice, PieLab made $400.
Kostyk discovered that she preferred making pie to working as a designer and discovered that she felt at home in the South. She has worked at Urban Cookhouse in Birmingham, Alabama as a kitchen manager and general manager, OxLot 9 in Covington, Louisiana as its pastry chef, and is currently the pastry chef at Josephine Estelle in New Orleans.
Jesse Houston, Fine & Dandy, Jackson, MS
Jesse Houston has been named culinary director and acting executive chef of Fine & Dandy, an upscale burger restaurant that opens this fall in The District at Eastover. Miller Hospitality, a Jackson-based restaurant development company, is behind Fine & Dandy
A James Beard Semi Finalist for “Best Chef South” in 2016, Houston most recently worked in Jackson at Saltine Oyster Bar, a concept he opened in 2014 that was named one of Bon Appétit’s “Best Restaurants” and one of Southern Living’s “Best New Restaurants.”
He first moved to Jackson in 2010 to assist Chef Craig Noone in opening Parlor Market and briefly worked under John Currence at City Grocery in Oxford. A native of Dallas, Houston attended Texas Culinary Academy and has been featured in Garden & Gun, Southern Living and Bon Appétit. Most recently,
Houston has traveled the world to explore cuisine with stops in Japan and Vietnam, as well as a four-month residency in Tulum, Mexico.
Tony Galzin, Nicky’s Coal Fired, Nashville, TN
Tony Galzin brings more than 12 years of diverse culinary experience from his hometown Chicago to his current residence in Nashville.
After working through several kitchens while attending Columbia College in Chicago, Galzin decided he wanted to pursue a culinary career. In lieu of attending a traditional culinary school, he took advantage of living in one of the premier dining destinations amongst a myriad of chefs under which he could study.
Chef Galzin began his professional career in 2004 as a line cook, and later pastry assistant, at the highly acclaimed Trio in Evanston, Illinois. Galzin’s culinary versatility between pastry and savory was showcased over the next several years as he worked as a sous chef at Follia, pastry assistant at Michelin-starred Naha, and sous chef at Michelin-Bib Gourmand winning Perennial. Following those experiences, he worked as a pastry chef for four-time James Beard Award-nominated chef Michael Kornick at mk from 2008 through 2012, where he met his wife and business partner, Caroline.
Proprietor and winemaker David W. Hejl launched DELLA (now Domaine Della) wines with fellow founders, his sister and brother-in-law, Lee and Ernie LeRoy. Domaine Della honors their mother, Della Winifred Dale, who died long before her time.
Hejl developed a passion for fine wine working as a waiter, sommelier and chef while in school, but found true inspiration living in Paris. He has been crafting Pinot Noir since 2010.
“Having been a student of fine wine and food my whole life, this project is a culmination of three decades of experience,” explained Hejl. “I have been hand crafting distinctive Pinot Noir since 2010. Domaine Della was created around my obsession and enchantment with Pinot Noir. I am so grateful to my many mentors over the years to get me to this place. My quest is to create an exceptional wine for you and your shared special moments and memories while executing against the envisioned future of a timeless brand which will endure the generations. Our mission is to craft intense and adventurous wines by partnering with the very best growers to create an exceptional wine.”
As a teenager Jesse Katz traveled with his photographer father, Andy, to shoot the vineyards of Burgundy and the seed was planted. Barely a decade later, every Jesse Katz wine that Robert Parker has reviewed has received 90+ points and Wine Enthusiast, Drinks Business, Wine & Spirits and Forbes magazines have all named Jesse as one of the brightest stars in the winemaking world.
It took a lot of hard work in those intervening years. A degree in enology from California State University, Fresno and being mentored by the likes of Andy Erickson, Paul Hobbs and Hans Vinding-Diers has certainly helped. While working for Screaming Eagle in Napa and luxury wine estates Viña Cobos and Bodega Noemia in Argentina, Jesse has made some of the most highly sought after wine at some of the most famous wine houses in the world. Being the youngest hired Head Winemaker in the U.S. when he joined Lancaster Estate allowed him to fully develop his personal, terrior-driven style. Now, with the launch of his own winery, Devil Proof, Jesse is attempting something that no one has done before ... to create a California Malbec that rivals the best from the great wine estates of Argentina.
Peay Vineyards seeks to make elegant, balanced and terroir-driven Pinot noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay from their estate vineyard located in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast.
Husband and wife, Nick Peay & Vanessa Wong, grow and make the wine and brother Andy Peay sells the wine and runs the business.
With minor exceptions, all wines are made from grapes grown on their 51-acre hilltop vineyard located above a river in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean at Sea Ranch.
They grow 34 acres of Pinot noir (4 Pinots: Scallop Shelf, Pomarium, Ama, Sonoma Coast), eight acres of Syrah (2 Syrah: Les Titans, La Bruma), seven acres of Chardonnay (2 Chardonnay: Estate, Sonoma Coast), 1.8 acres of Viognier (Estate), 0.4 acres of Roussanne and 0.2 acres of Marsanne (Estate blend).
"We farm organically and maintain our certifications for fish-friendly farming and integrated pest management. The health of our vineyard dictates these approaches to farming and making wine," the group explains. "We also run on bio-diesel at the vineyard and solar power at both the vineyard and winery."
Vanessa - who worked at Château Lafite-Rothschild in Bordeaux and as winemaker at Peter Michael Winery – crafts wines with focus and intensity that capture the cool climate location and express the minerality and fruit complexity that have become the hallmark of wines from their vineyard.
From the renowned mountain vineyards of Napa Valley and Sonoma to the remarkable hillsides of Bordeaux and Tuscany, The Spire Collection is comprised of the most esteemed wineries from the Jackson Family portfolio.
The wines of The Spire Collection express the unparalleled terroir from some of the finest vineyards around the world — reflecting the family’s resounding commitment to quality and excellence.