How To Get A Taste Of JXN Food & Wine Before The Event

Want to sample participating chefs' dishes before the big event?

JXN Food & Wine Festival, the premiere destination for sampling and savoring the best of Jackson’s and Mississippi’s culinary scenes, is set for March 2, 2024 at the Mississippi Museum of Art from 6 to 10 pm.

Chef Nick Wallace
Credit: The Local Palate

Featuring 20+ local and regional chefs, beverages, and live music, the event is sure to satisfy every palate. We’ve rounded up a list of all the featured restaurants and chefs around town to check out as an appetizer to the main course.



One of the hosts instrumental in bringing the JXN Food & Wine Festival to fruition, Nick Wallace was born and raised in rural Mississippi, inspired by his two grandmothers cooking in his childhood kitchen and nourishing their home. Appearing on numerous national media outlets, including a win on Food Network’s Chopped and participating in Top Chef, you can taste his unique take on soul food at Nissan Cafe, his restaurant in the Two Mississippi Museums.

At The Westin Jackson (the fest's host hotel), French chef Fabian Biruad keeps things exciting at Estelle Southern Table, which utilizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients in modern Southern dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a weekend brunch. Damien Cavicchi has helped breathe new life into the menu at Jackson institution Hal & Mal’s, alongside his wife Mary Sanders Ferriss Cavicchi. Keeping classics like Myrtis’ Bayou Gumbo and Red Beans Ann White Rice, the two have amped up a brunch menu with new favorites like a Fried Oyster Benedict and Steak and Eggs Breakfast Tacos.

Pierre Pryer, Sr. is at the helm at The Iron Horse Grill, a longtime Jackson landmark built as the Armour Smokehouse in 1906. Visit for a veritable menu of charcoal and fire-kissed steaks, fish, and more; Iron Horse is also a prime spot to catch live music for a taste of the Mississippi Blues. Geno Lee is the fourth-generation owner of the Big Apple Inn, where history and hot food set the stage in Jackson’s Farish Street District, the city’s center of African American culture through the Civil Rights era. No visit is complete without trying the restaurant’s red sausage “smokes” and a pig ear sandwich.

Hunter Evans
Credit: Cody McCain


Two of the presenting chefs operate out of Belhaven Town Center, the historic neighborhood’s live, work, shop – and eat – destination. Growing up in Belhaven, Chef Chaz Lindsay returned to his homeplace after stints in New York City, El Paso, and Italy to create Pulito Osteria, an homage to authentic Italian cuisine with handmade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and more, all sourced from the best, most seasonal ingredients. Hunter Evans, who was recently nominated for his second James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef – South Semifinalist, reinvents “Mississippi French” at his restaurant Elvie’s. Inspired by French cafés and memories with Evans’ New Orleans grandmother, the restaurant’s namesake, Elvie’s continually churns out some of the city’s best sweet and savory options for all times of day.


Gather your culinary troops and head to Grant Hutcheson’s The Pig & Pint, where a relaxed indoor-outdoor setting gives way to award-winning barbeque, smoked wings, and Southern sides, as well as a rotating selection of regional craft beer. For those with a sweet tooth, Cristina Lazzari serves up a taste of European flair at La Brioche Patisserie and Spark Confectionary, where small-batch macarons, cookies, marshmallows, and more take the cake. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, try LaMarcus Robinson’s Oops! All Vegan, where nutritious and savory vegan options are available at the restaurant’s brick-and-mortar location and on-the-go at their food truck.

North Jackson

After seeing a need for African cuisine in the Jackson area, Joseph Sambou established Sambou’s African Kitchen in North Jackson. Their soulful plates of traditional West African and Gambian dishes earned the restaurant a James Beard Foundation nomination in 2023.

Chef Enrika Williams

South Jackson

Born and bred Jacksonian, veteran, and pitmaster Eddie Wright operates out of his home in South Jackson, as well as an Eddie Wright BBQ food truck with frequent stops around the metro area. An expert in blending wood, smoke, and spice, be sure to try his specialties like rib tips and smoked brisket, as well as mouthwatering sides like smoked Rotel dip.

Around Town

Mississippi-born chef Enrika Williams is the creator and chef-owner of Fauna Foodworks, an ingredient-driven, socially-conscious food lab that provides education, dinner series, pop-ups, catering, and more. Featured on FOX’s Hotel Hell with Gordon Ramsey and The Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, her talented menus can be tasted at frequent dinners at Elvie’s, as well as the newly opened The Orchid Bed & Breakfast, where she is the house chef for private packages and special events.


A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Mississippi Restaurant Association Education Foundation. This initiative supports aspiring students pursuing higher education in restaurant management and culinary arts.

Anne Marie Hanna


Anne Marie Hanna