Pryer, Lee Representing JXN at ATL Food & Wine 2023

September 19, 2023

Chef Pierre Pryer Sr. of Iron Horse Grill in Jackson, MS

From the coast to the Delta and everywhere in between, distinct Southern cuisine abounds in Mississippi, and from September 20 – 24, six chefs will bring a new perspective on the culinary culture of the American South at this year’s Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Events will kick off with the second-annual Mississippi Chef Jam, a fun and friendly tasting competition between these all-star Mississippi tastemakers.

“Mississippi’s food scene is hotter than ever, and we’re thrilled to share some of our most talented and creative culinary leaders with the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival attendees,” says Rochelle Hicks, director of Visit Mississippi. “Our chefs bring their best to the table every day and with events like the Chef Jam, they demonstrate the passion and inspiration that makes our state a must-visit for anyone who craves good food and southern hospitality.”

Chefs Participating in the Second-Annual Chef Jam include:

  • Michael Carr, Barbeque Shine – Known for serving “Mississippi Flavor with a Texas Kick,” Carr serves slow-fired barbeque from his beloved food truck in Ridgeland, enticing diners with the barbeque traditions of Texas and flavors of Mississippi.
  • Cooper Miller, Forklift – At Forklift in Tupelo, Miller pairs his skills learned at Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta with his Mississippi roots to bring elevated Southern cuisine and signature cocktails.
  • Pierre Pryer Sr., Iron Horse Grill – A longtime Jackson resident, Pryer discovered the craft of creating Tex-Mex when he first started working at the Iron Horse Grill in 1987 and eventually took ownership of the restaurant in 2014.
  • Katie Dixon, Birdhouse Cafe– Inspired by her personal pursuit of wellness, Dixon serves healthy alternatives to Southern favorites in Hattiesburg’s Birdhouse, along with a nourishing environment.
  • David Crabtree, Island View Casino Resort – Trained in New Orleans, Crabtree brings a wealth of experience- whether in restaurants or casinos- to the multiple dining experiences within the Island View Casino in Gulfport.

"Infusing the flavors of Jackson, Mississippi into every dish, we bring a taste of our Southern soul to the heart of Atlanta," said Visit Jackson President & CEO Dr. Rickey Thigpen. "We're very proud of our culinary offerings and how these talented chefs will take festival-goers on a culinary journey that speaks of heritage, passion, and the warmth of home."

Additionally, Chef Geno Lee of Big Apple Inn (above), a Jackson staple that has been serving everything from tamales to pig-ear sandwiches for generations, will be participating in the festival activities.

"We're always grateful for the power of collective ambition," said Dr. Thigpen, "and we want to thank Polk's Meat Products for their generous donation to support Geno Lee and the Big Apple Inn."

Visit Mississippi, alongside Visit Jackson, encourages travelers and locals to explore Mississippi’s vast array of dining experiences for themselves by visiting the state including its capital city, the City With Soul. For more information go to Visit Mississippi’s and Visit Jackson's website.