Not all big Italian families sow their roots in Long Island, Boston, and Chicago. No, there just so happen to be a few nonnas south of the Mason Dixon Line. In Memphis, Tennessee, those nonnas may be affectionately known as "maw maw," but their love of famliy and cooking transcends geography. Chef Andrew Ticer grew up with one such Italian family, and we he met Michael Hudman, who had a similar heritage and fire for cooking, great plans began to hatch.
Mutually agreed upon a career in cooking, Ticer and Hudman both left Memphis after college, making their way to Johnson & Wales in South Carolina. Moving back after two years of schooling, the chefs apprenticed together under Chef Jose Guitierrez at Chez Philippe. Ticer and Hudman were able to solidify their skills under the Master French Chef Guitierrez, but after a year and a half of honing French technique, their Italian heritage came calling, setting the young chefs on a culinary journey to The Italian Culinary Institute in Calabria (with a stop in Lyon, for good measure).
Ticer and Hudman returned to the States inspired and ready to work, cooking for two years while they refined a business plan and scoured for real estate. Today they find themselves at the helm of two of Memphis’s most exciting restaurants, doing Southern and family tradition proud with Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy and earning them a spot among Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs” 2013. The duo also won the StarChefs.com Kentucky-Tennessee Rising Stars Award and has been twice nominated for James Beard’s “Best Chef, Southeast” award. With their recently published Collards & Carbonara, Ticer and Hudman recount their shared journey—how two Italian, Southern chefs came together and brought two major culinary legacies along for the ride.