We've been together a long time and I guess it's true we do think and cook alike because of that reason. His food is thoughtful, well conceived, and most important, taste good. He has a firm grasp on classic cooking yet approaches modern techniques with sensibility. Andrew has a great cooking pedigree. In addition to working with me, he also worked with two of my very good chef friends. He worked with the late Jamie Shannon at Commander's Palace in New Orleans. No explanation needed there. I also set him up with Chef Craig Shelton of The Ryland Inn in Whitehouse, NJ where he cooked for a year. The Ryland Inn is a Relais & Chateaux property and Chef Shelton was a past winner of the James Beard Best Chef Mid-Atlantic award. Andrew has been around some of this nation's greatest chefs by cooking with me at the many food and wine events around the country as well as KC's annual James Beard/St.Jude benefit dinners so by osmosis, he's absorbed much knowledge from that. How many young chefs in town can claim that?
Behind every successful chef, there is a strong No.2. I personally know many chefs that wouldn't think of sharing the spotlight with their lieutenants. It is time for him to step out from under my shadow. My ego is not so great that I need all the attention. I've always believed that a chef's responsibility is to teach and pass the mantle to the next generation. He deserves the limelight now. I have great faith in him and I know you will love his food too. As I said earlier, there is no doubt he is the best young chef in Memphis.