Chef Nick Wallace has delighted diners from Mississippi to New York City, and he’s only getting warmed up. The Jackson based Chef has a lot on his plate for 2019.
He took a leap of faith and went into business for himself a little more than a year ago. As it turns out, that was a recipe for success.
Chef Nick Wallace is most at home the kitchen, where he whipped us about a super savory brisket stir fry, but he’s pretty comfortable on television, too.
He says, “I can claim the fact that I am a three time Chopped champion.”
His meals at the James Beard House in New York got him noticed by the Food Network, where the competition is sharp and the criticism is pointed.
Chef Nick remembers, “A lot of people think that we are all about fried catfish, braised greens and fried chicken. One person said, ‘All that you can do is make comeback sauce.’ But the thing that I am going to do as a young African American chef is, I am going to be about the sophistication of Southern cuisine here in Mississippi.”
That sophistication is blended right into our soil. Almost anything grows here. That was the inspiration for Chef Nick’s Rooted Cookbook due out this year, which pairs nicely with Chef Nick’s burgeoning collaboration with international pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.
Chef Nick explains, “You’re going to see about local farms and chefs meeting together, that’s going around, throughout Mississippi, and showing people that if you stick to homegrown vegetables and tracking your food and knowing about local meats and all, it works.”
Think of food as medicine. In the meantime Chef Nick’s Catering Business is thriving and branching out.
He says, “In 2019 you might see one restaurant that I am going to announce, and you might see two.”
Boujee Burger anyone? That’s idea we could all sink our teeth into.
Chef Nick also turns up at Jackson Public Schools from time to time. He recently showed students at Blackburn Middle School how to cook greens in 3 minutes, and guess what, they were delicious.
Chef Nick Wallace says farm to table eating is the key to a long life, and both his grandmothers are living proof.