A native of Memphis, TN, Michael began cooking as a child. His extended Italian family would gather for jovial Sunday suppers where everyone would help make homemade meatballs and ravioli. When Michael met Andy at Christian Brothers High School, they immediately connected over their similar ancestral backstories. After graduating from Auburn University, Michael attended Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, SC and the Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary Studies in Calabria, Italy. Both Michael’s and Andy’s first formative kitchen experience was working under Chef Jose Gutierrez at Chez Philippe in Memphis, TN.
In 2008, Michael and Andy opened Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, which led to their first James Beard Foundation nomination. The duo followed their debut with Hog & Hominy, a wood-burning neighborhood restaurant that was recognized by Bon Appetit, GQ and Southern Living as one of the top new restaurants in the country in 2013. That year Food and Wine also selected them as Best New Chefs in the country, their cookbook Collards & Carbonara: Southern Cooking, Italian Roots was published and they were recognized as semifinalists for Best Chef Southeast by The James Beard Foundation. Two years later, Porcellio’s Craft Butcher highlighted their love of traditional butcheries and heritage meats. The 2016 opening of Josephine Estelle in the Ace Hotel in New Orleans, LA, was their first foray into a hotel space. Catherine & Mary’s a nod to their Italian grandmothers opened in 2016 as well. Gray Canary, located in The Old Dominick Distillery in the South Main Arts District in downtown Memphis soon followed as their sixth concept.
For their seventh restaurant, Bishop, Andy and Michael dug into their French cooking foundation that began right of out culinary school. Housed in the historic Central Station Hotel, this latest concept continues as the third in their stable of downtown restaurant locations and continues to underscore the renowned chefs company culture of family and friends.
They started the Andrew Michael Foundation last year to help organize how the company can give back to our community. Ticer said. “For the charity, we wanted to do something locally to help provide kids in Memphis with nutritional meals. The Healthy Pantry program through the Mid-South Food Bank does that, and we’re so thrilled to use these dinners to help support it.”
Restaurant group rooted in Italian Southern food inspired by both of our grandmothers.
It has been an amazing journey being an entrepreneur and I feel extremely lucky to be my own boss, and work with my best friend. Being an entrepreneur is what makes our country so amazing and being able to share our vision of food and hospitality is a true gift and dream come true.
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