Celebrity Chefs' Dinner #4: March 13, 2019
On Wednesday, March 13th, the cozy Acre dining rooms overflowed with guests ready to experience a night of exceptional wine, great company, and a display of culinary expertise with every course served. This fourth sold-out Celebrity Chefs’ Dinner was the final night of the series of culinary collaborations cooked up by the Memphis Food & Wine Festival.
Each Celebrity Chefs’ Dinner, as well as the main Memphis Food & Wine Festival in October, benefit FedExFamilyHouse - a home away from home for out-of-town families with children receiving treatment at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
As guests sipped on a selection of specialty selected Cristom Vineyard wines paired with each course, the “Big T” Terry Williams Duo filled the quant dining room with a gritty delta blues soundtrack tailor made for a flavorful evening. These rustic sounds infused with the excitement of guests savoring each and every bite made it clear this was not just a dinner but an experience.
The symphony of flavors put on display for the evening was orchestrated by Host Chefs Wally Joe and Andrew Adams, Guest Chef Bill Telepan (Oceana, New York City), and Local Chefs Ben Smith (Tsunami) and Franck Oysel (Interim).
The exclusive, six-course menu for the evening included Wild Striped Bass Crudo with Lemon Aioli & Caviar, Roasted Quail Ballantine with Stone Cut Oats, Broccoli Puree, & Shiitake Mushrooms, and Colorado Lamb Shoulder with Artichokes, Chickpea Panisse, Tomatoes, and Lamb Jus. Guests finished off the extravagant meal with “Le Jivara” - a dessert combining Gianduja Mousse, Creamy Yuzu, Toasted Hazelnut Streusel, & Hazelnut Nougatine Tuile into a exquisite finale to the meal.
Special thanks to dinner sponsors Radians, Cristom Vineyards, and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Tennessee for their support of this event.
As this Celebrity Chefs’ Dinner series comes to a close, the MFWF team will shift focus to their premiere event - the third annual Memphis Food & Wine Festival October 12, 2019 at The Live Garden at Memphis Botanic Garden. With the support and generosity of many, MFWF has donated over $225,000 to FEFH thus far
Featuring Celebrity Guest Chef
Oceana | New York City
Chef Bill Telepan is one of New York’s leaders in sourcing quality ingredients from small farms and local purveyors. He brings to Oceana his commitment to using the finest and freshest ingredients, combined with his classic training and contemporary influences.
Telepan was the chef and owner of the critically-acclaimed, Michelin-starred Telepan Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and before then worked at Le Cirque, Le Bernardin, Ansonia, and Judson Grill. He also worked under the legendary Chef Alain Chapel in Lyons after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America.
Outside of work, Telepan is the Executive Chef of Wellness in the Schools, a non-profit group committed to enriching lunch and recess programs for children in public schools. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.
Chef/Owner | Acre
Chef Wally Joe was born in Hong Kong and raised in Cleveland, Mississippi. Wally studied banking and finance at the University of Mississippi but was ultimately drawn back to a career in the kitchen as chef de cuisine at KC’s, his family’s restaurant in Cleveland, where his attention to detail and obsessive quest for quality garnered rave reviews. KC’s is the only AAA 4-Diamond Award winning restaurant in the state of Mississippi.
Wally has been featured in Food Arts, Southern Living, Bon Appétit, Esquire, Indulge, USA Today and Chef. He is one of 20 chefs featured in the Discovery Channel series, “Great Chefs of the South.”
Executive Chef | Acre
For many chefs the jump into the culinary profession comes as a second career, often by accident. But Chef Andrew Adams saw chef whites in his future from a least age 8, when he told his dad on video that he was going to be a chef when he grew up.
Andrew started as an apprentice at the nationally renowned KC’s restaurant in Cleveland, MS at the age of 16. After working three years with Wally Joe, he left to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA).
After graduation, Andrew worked with Chef Jamie Shannon at the Venerable Commander’s Palace in New Orleans then took a position with Chef Craig Shelton at the Ryland Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property in Whitehouse, NJ. After working with Chef Shelton for a year, Andrew returned home to help Wally open his eponymous restaurant in 2002 as Chef de Cuisine.
In 2011, Andrew collaborated with Wally to open ACRE in Memphis TN. ACRE combines all the elements of modern fine dining with the comfort of sharing a meal in the home of a good friend. Andrew’s inventive food and the warm and sophisticated interiors make it a destination for locals & visitors alike.
Ben Smith–Executive Chef/OwneR Tsunami
Chef Ben Smith is a great supporter of the importance of seafood nutrition. Ben was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. His love of seafood and the concept for his Tsunami Restaurant came from time in Australia, Hawaii, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and San Francisco, California.
His time at the Lodge at Koele in Lanai opened his eyes to the vast bounty of the Pacific Region, where he was exposed to a greater variety of seafood than ever before. It was in Hawaii where he first began to form his concept for Tsunami Restaurant. Ben opened Tsunami in 1998 to great acclaim and published The Tsunami Restaurant Cookbook in 2005. Tsunami has been voted Best New Restaurant, Best Seafood, and Most Creative Menu by Memphis magazine. He resides in Memphis, TN with his wife and three kids.
Franck Oysel – Executive Pastry Chef, Interim
Born and raised in France, Franck has been working in classic French pâtisserie with Master Chefs since he was 15 years old. Franck has cultivated a rich passion for sharing the culinary arts — by teaching others — as well as producing refined and balanced products. In 2006 Franck became the Executive Chef de Pâtisserie with a Master Chocolatier at one of the popular pâtisseries in the Jura region of France, Aux Plaisirs Sucrés. In 2014, Franck moved to America, following the love of his life, an American who taught English in France and volunteered at the pâtisserie. Franck is the executive Pastry Chef at Interim where the importance of producing high quality dishes that appeal to all of the senses is emphasized.