2014 Kentucky-Tennessee Rising Star Chefs Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer of Hog & Hominy

2014 Kentucky-Tennessee Rising Star Chefs Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer of Hog & Hominy
February 2014

Memphis might not have as much Italian culinary street cred as, say, the North End of Boston or Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. But that doesn’t mean Italian cuisine doesn’t thrive there, and that family traditions don’t grow. Home-grown chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman are proof.

Coming from big Italian families in Memphis, Ticer and Hudman have a shared love of their respective grandmothers’ cooking. As for many chefs who spent childhood hours in the kitchen, those early memories of watching their “maw maws” prepare simple ravioli and meatballs for Sunday dinners had a profound impact on Ticer and Hudman—imparting a sense of tradition, careful preparation, and loving inspiration that would end up shaping the chefs’ lives.

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 has also 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. 


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Interview with Kentucky-Tennessee Rising Star Chefs Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer of Hog & Hominy – Memphis, TN

Caroline Hatchett: What’s your favorite tool?
Michael Hudman: My grandmother’s ravioli press

Andrew Ticer: Wooden spoon

CH: A tool do you wish you had…?
MH: I want to try a CVap.

AT: Gelato maker

CH: What question gives you the most insight to a cook when you’re interviewing them for a position in your kitchen?
What are your favorite/least favorite cookbooks? We like to know how passionate and invested a new cook is, and researching what others are doing really demonstrates the level of interest.

CH: What are some of your favorite food resources?
Cookbooks. I read through cookbooks every night before I go to sleep.

AT: I’m big into the internet. I love Twitter and seeing what other chefs are doing. It’s inspiring and drives us.

CH: What’s the most important rule in your kitchen?
Always carry a notebook.

CH: Where do you most want to go for culinary travel?
Something about Italy grounds you in food, and the food there is lovingly made and always speaks to the soul, which we both think is vital for good food.

AT: We need to get back to Italy. Their whole food focus—the way they live to eat, respect their product, know the food source, have a relationship with eating that utilizes everything and wastes nothing—it changed who we are as cooks.