Restaurant Iris to Host "Iris for Iris"

Streetdog Foundation and Restaurant Iris are teaming up to raise funds for Iris, a streetdog rescue. Please join us on July 27th at 4:00pm at Restaurant Iris for a casual event to support this great cause. Admission is $50 (tax deductible), which includes food and drink.

To register, click here and make your $50 donation. Please include "FOR IRIS ADMISSION' in the note section.

We hope to see you there. If you can't make it, we hope you will consider making a donation to this great local non-profit!

Magnolia House Opens to the Public

The silverware is shined, the linens white and crisp and the staff eager to serve at the new Magnolia House restaurant. Celebrity Chef Kelly English debuted Magnolia House during an opening celebration among community leaders and invited guests. Attendees were treated to featured menu items and a tour of the highly anticipated restaurant, which opens at the soon-to-be Harrah’s Gulf Coast to the public on May 3. The new fine-dining amenity is ready to welcome and delight its guests with newly crafted dishes by the award-winning celebrity chef.

During the opening celebration, members of the community saw the restaurant’s Southern charm come to life as they walked through each of the unique rooms, sampling Kelly’s signature Magnolia House menu items, including Au Gratin Crab and Gulf Oysters with Cathead Vodka Mignonette. Further sweetening the event, were Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bites with Graham Cracker Crumble and Spiced Crème Anglaise. 

English who was a 2009 Food and Wine Magazine Best New Chef and 2010 James Beard Semifinalist wanted his new restaurant to stand apart from the other dining options found on the Gulf Coast. “The vision behind Magnolia House was to bring people a refreshing restaurant concept, that offers exceptional food in a comfortable environment,” said English. “In exploring the different creative options, we thought nothing would accomplish that better than a restaurant designed around a Southern home. After all, that’s what the South is known for – its hospitality. When you bring that to the table, along with food you can’t experience anywhere else, you have a winning combination.” 

The opening celebration was the perfect opportunity to showcase the menu and atmosphere coming together and completing the idyllic vision. And guests have even more to look forward to than just the food and hospitality. The restaurant will also display original works of art from the talented New Orleans based artist, Max Ryan

“We wanted to create an indelible experience for our guests. Part of that is the décor and that’s where Max comes in,” said Jonathan Jones, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Gulf Coast. “Max’s collection perfectly complements Magnolia House, because like Kelly, he’s native to the South and his collection is representative of the culture of our region. We’re excited and proud to work with a distinguished local artist like Max.”

Ryan, who works primarily with acrylic paints on canvas, uses texture, rich colors and special treatments that are inspired by various architectural details to create robust contemporary works full of personality. Patrons will not only be able to enjoy his artistic talent when they dine, but they will also have the opportunity to purchase the pieces of art that adorn the walls of Magnolia House, many of which, were created exclusively for the new restaurant. 

The unveiling of Magnolia House was an important milestone in the transformation of Grand Biloxi Casino into Harrah’s Gulf Coast. Set to raise the standard in the culinary community, Harrah’s Gulf Coast is confident that Magnolia House will become a staple in the Southern culinary scene.

About Grand Biloxi Casino, Hotel and Spa

Grand Biloxi Casino, Hotel & Spa is one of 40 casinos in the Caesars Entertainment nationwide family of casino resorts and is conveniently located in the heart of the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Highway 90 in Biloxi. The 33,000-square-foot casino provides Total Rewards members with more than 800 slots and 35 table games. The Grand Biloxi Hotel features plasma TVs and pillow top bedding in each of its 494 rooms and suites. Other amenities include the luxurious, 16,000-square-foot Bellissimo Spa – complete with salon & fitness center, and the award-winning Grand Bear Golf Course – a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course. Grand Biloxi also offers an array of dining experiences, including Grand Buffet, Hotel Lobby Bar and the 24-hour Grand Cafe located in the hotel lobby. For more information or reservations, call 1-800-WIN-2-WIN or visit our website at

Memphis Flyer: Stuffed

We are proud of Memphis and the work our colleagues and friends have done this year!

Check out this from Memphis Flyer's Susan Ellis.

The year kicked off in grand fashion in January when Karen Carrier unveiled her latest restaurant, Bar DKDC, specializing in a revolving menu of street food and sipping rums, in the former space of Dō. Said Carrier at the time, "We all work really hard around here to make sure Memphis is on the cutting edge, constantly changing, because things change. If they stay the same all the time, it gets boring."

No one could be bored with the changes in the Cooper-Young neighborhood. Cafe Ole got new owners and a spiffed-up menu. Greencork, a self-serve wine bar, opened on Young, and Phillip Ashley Chocolates debuted its boutique on Cooper. The Growler, the first of the city's craft beer "filling stations," opened as well. (The Madison Growler Shop, inside the Cash Saver, opened shortly after, and a third growler place, Memphis Filling Station, is in the plans for next year in East Memphis.)

 Read the complete article here.


English to participate in City Grocery Pop Up


 OXFORD, MS  The wildly popular “pop up” dinner series hosted by City Grocery last January will return in January of 2014 with a similar array of talented chefs, but this time with a mission.

Rodney Scott, pitmaster at the eponymously named Hemingway, South Carolina BBQ joint, suffered a tragic pit house fire this past November which wiped out his in ground pits. Scott the ever-ambitious workhorse, brought in trailered pits in order to immediately get the restaurant back up and running, but rebuilding costs for the original structure proved to be overwhelming.

A group of close friends within the industry, who have cooked together for the past several years and used their collective influence to help with individual philanthropic efforts as the Fatback Collective, saw the opportunity to help their friend and to give a clearer definition to their mission. The result is the “Rodney Scott In Exile Cooking Tour.” Scott will stop in Nashville, TN, Oxford, MS, New Orleans, LA and Atlanta, GA before finally returning to Charleston, SC to wrap up.

The City Grocery pop ups, which will happen on each Monday in January at City Grocery will extend the reach of that tour. “We just had a number of friends who wanted to do something to help, but Rodney could not stop everywhere, so we decided to have the pop ups again so we could involve as many folks as possible,” says John Currence of City Grocery Restaurant Group. “We could not be more excited about having these guys in our kitchen to cook and know they are equally excited about helping the Fatback Fund and Rodney.”

Dinner schedule is as follows:

Monday, January 6 “The Memphis Mafia”

Kelly English- Restaurant Iris, Second Line

Andy Ticer/Michael Hudman- Andrew/Michael Italian Kitchen, Hog and Hominy

Monday, January 13    

Eli Kirshtein- The Luminary

Andrea Kirshtien- The Spence

Monday, January 20

Ashley Christensen- Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s Chicken and Honey, Chuck’s, Joule Coffee

Monday, January 27- Rodney Scott- Scott’s BBQ

“To be clear, we are not simply trying to put on fundraisers for Rodney. The funds raised will go the Fatback Fund and will be used to continue doing work within the communities from which each of us makes our living. It just happens the Rodney happens to be the person in need at the moment,” explains Currence. “You could make the case the rebuilding Willie Mae’s Scotch House after Hurricane Katrina was the original Fatback initiative. A lot of the same people were involved.” Sam’s Barbecue in Humboldt, Tennessee was another project several years ago after it burned. Each of these projects were ones we could got our hands around. We have a responsibility to help.”

The dinners at City Grocery will be by reservation. They will be four course meals, paired with wines. Reservations are $65 and include an autographed menu/certificate of appreciation from participating chefs and Fatback members.

For further information please contact Angie Sicurezza, 662.234.9300

For reservations call City Grocery, 662.232.8080



Commercial Appeal: Best of 2013

Best of 2013: Dining

Casual ruled local scene in 2013

By Jennifer Biggs

Thursday, December 26, 2013

In April, Kelly English toasted the fifth anniversary of Restaurant Iris, and, on the last day of November, opened his second local restaurant, The Second Line, next to Iris; it was so popular they ran out of food the first night.

Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman celebrated more than the fifth anniversary of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen. They were named on Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs 2013 list and opened the Holding Pen, the dive bar attached to the back of Hog & Hominy, the restaurant they opened in 2012 and which was featured in GQ magazine and reviewed by The New York Times this year.

Ryan Trimm, with Sweet Grass and Next Door under his belt in Midtown, went east and opened Southward Fare & Libations in Regalia. Soul Fish opened its third location, smack on Poplar Avenue in the heart of East Memphis. Sekisui, which closed on Humphreys as 2012, reopened an East Memphis restaurant in October. Mellow Mushroom moved into the former AAA building at Park and White Station. Jeremy Denno put Rock ‘n Dough Pizza in at Park and Ridgeway, and Pyros Fire Fresh Pizza later opened in the same center.

Click here to read the complete article.