Homecoming Chef Feature: Jeffrey Gardner

Chef Jeffrey Gardner is a native of Natchez, Mississippi, and a graduate of Millsaps College and Johnson & Wales University. He lives in Atlanta and has served as sous chef for popular restaurants South City Kitchen Midtown and Alma Cocina.

“As a Millsaps alum, I was thrilled to have Jeffrey join us at BRAVO! when he was still a student there!  He was ‘curious about food’ and Dan gave him a shot on salads… then pizzas, and eventually the hot line,” shares BRAVO! co-owner Jeff Good.  “Jeffrey took to cooking like a duck to water.  He had found his passion and he attacked each day with a fervor few possess!”
Dan Blumenthal, Executive Chef / Owner of BRAVO! states: “After finishing Millsaps, Jeffrey left us to pursue culinary school and to cook in another, larger market.  He has made quite a name for himself in Atlanta, and I could not be happier for him.  He is going to delight folks with his flavor profiles when he comes home for our event.”

In 2013 he became executive chef for East Cobb restaurant Common Quarter and was named one of ten “Next Generation of Chefs to Watch” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He has appeared on TV shows including Food Network’s Chopped and Cooking Channel’s How to Live to 100, and also filmed a series of healthy cooking videos with retired pro wrestler and fitness guru Diamond Dallas Page.

In 2017, he founded Hot Corner, a food and media production company, and is currently developing a television series focused on food and travel. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife Wendy, judging competition barbecue, and spending all his money on Bruce Springsteen concerts.

Jeff’s featured dish for our Homecoming Dinner:

pork tenderloin / kielbasa / Pearson peaches / vidalia onion / pecans / bourbon jus

To read more about our Homecoming Dinner and see the rest of the menu click here.

Homecoming Chef Feature: Jay Parmegiani

Chef Jay Parmegiani first became interested in cooking at the age of twelve while preparing food for guests in his father’s restaurant, Jacques’ Café, located in Vicksburg, MS. Jay learned many of his culinary skills by watching his father and learning about foods from different regions in France where his father grew up.

Following high school, Jay moved on in his career as a cook on the hot line at BRAVO! Italian Restaurant and Bar. It was there that Chef Dan Blumenthal took Jay under his wing and helped guide his hand towards volume cooking with finesse. Jeff remembers Jay fondly: “Jay was super popular with everyone… the nicest kid… always laughing. And he was so passionate about his work… he really wanted to please. I would go out of my way to report favorable customer comments about a dish that Jay made, and he would just beam with pride. I love Jay and I am thrilled his is coming home for this event!”

After his tour of duty at BRAVO!, Jay moved to Miami and while working in several area restaurants, he attended and graduated from the culinary program at Johnson and Wales University in Miami in 1999.

Jay returned home to Vicksburg and worked side by side with his at Jacques’ Café for a decade. With plenty of experience under his belt, in early 2009, Jay opened his first restaurant, ROCA Restaurant & Bar, offering guests his innovative interpretation of southern cuisine with European touches.

In the summer of 2015, Parmegiani opened his second restaurant, 10 South Rooftop and Bar, with co-owner Tim Cantwell. 10 South is located on the 10th (top) floor of the First National Building overlooking most of Vicksburg, the Yazoo River, Centennial Lake and the Mississippi River. Visitors from all over the world stop in to check out the amazing view and dine on fresh spins of southern cooking in the casual open-air environment. Chef Jay and his eatery recently won the 27th annual Outstanding New Development Project Award by the Mississippi Main Street Association.

Jay is fortunate to be married to the love of his life Kara. They are the proud parents of four sons, Blake, Ethan, Eli and Drew.

Jay’s featured dish for our Homecoming Dinner:

radishes / buttermilk espuma / carrot-lime vinaigrette / chermoula

To read more about our Homecoming Dinner and see the rest of the menu click here.

Homecoming Chef Feature: Jason Goodenough

Being the only child of foodie and travel-obsessed parents was the catalyst that created Chef Jason Goodenough’s love of cuisine and gastronomy. Jason’s childhood was spent in New York and London and he and his parents traveled Western Europe extensively, eating at the best restaurants they could get into.

Although Jason always wanted to be a chef, he didn’t really think it was realistic.  However, while pursuing his degree in Economics at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS he started cooking professionally to scratch the itch that he had always felt.  After a week working as a line cook he knew that he was hooked.  “I was thrilled that a fellow Millsaps Major joined our kitchen team,” reflected Jeff Good. “Jason was a very smart young man who wanted to break out of the traditional business school degree mode and follow his passion. I was able to share our story- Dan with an Econ major from UC Santa Cruz, and me with a B.B.A. from Millsaps- and how we took that school experience and applied it to running a restaurant. Jason was a quick study!”

After graduation from Millsaps, Jason left Jackson and matriculated to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  He excelled there, and upon graduation moved to Philly where his wife, Amelia, was pursuing her Medical Degree.

Jason knew as a young culinary graduate that in order to be the best, he had to work for the best chefs that would hire him.  After stints at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse as well as for Iron Chef Morimoto and twice for the legendary Georges Perrier, Jason was offered his first head chef’s job.  The Happy Rooster was a Philly landmark that had landed on hard times, and Jason was brought in to relaunch its menu and improve its reputation.  He accomplished this and received many press accolades in the process but had to leave after a year and a half when his wife graduated medical school.

Jason and the newly-minted Dr. Goodenough hoped to get their daughter closer to Amelia’s home (the Mississippi Delta) for her residency.  This led them to New Orleans, where Amelia pursued her residency in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Tulane University (where she is now a member of faculty).  Jason spent his first year working as a sous chef for Emeril Lagasse at Nola Restaurant.  After this, he commuted to South Dakota from New Orleans to work as a private chef on a ranch in the Black Hills.  This job allotted him about 40 weeks per year of paid vacation, so Jason filled in his time at different New Orleans restaurants in order to keep his skills sharp.

Carrollton Market, named for the historical market that the building is in the middle of, opened in March of 2014.  The restaurant has received a plethora of accolades since its inception.  In early 2017, Chef and his crew travelled to Cafe Boulud in New York City where they cooked Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras collaboration dinners with Executive Chef Aaron Bludorn (Jason’s classmate and friend from CIA).  Most recently, Carrollton Market was named a Top-10 Restaurant for 2018 by Times-Picayne restaurant critic Brett Anderson.  Chef Jason was also named Chef of the Year by New Orleans Magazine.  Chef Jason believes that if he, and his crew, come to work every single day trying to be better than they were the day before then great things will follow.  Even after almost four years this is still — and always will be — the mentality of the staff at Carrollton Market.

“Few professional with Jackson, Mississippi ties have the experience that Jason has,” Chef Dan Blumenthal reflects. “He has literally seen the world, and those impressions come out in his food. I am honored that Jason has agreed to come home for this celebration. This will be stellar!”

Jason’s featured dish for our Homecoming Dinner:

Oysters Goodenough: flash-fried oysters / Benton’s bacon / creamed leeks / sauce béarnaise

To read more about our Homecoming Dinner and see the rest of the menu click here.

Save The Date: BRAVO! Homecoming Dinner

You read that right- the chefs are coming home!

So save the date for Monday, July 23 at 6 PM because this is going to be an evening like BRAVO! has never seen before. Six of the best chefs in the business, who all got their start here, are all coming home for one unbelievable dinner.

Six chefs. Six courses. Premium wine pairings. A night like no other.

Seats are $125 per person and include wine flight. Make your reservation now here.

The menu is here! Check it out below.

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Gather. Relax. Savor.

We have proudly served delicious Italian food in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere in the heart of Jackson since 1994. And with 27+ years of Wine Spectator awards, our wines are just as good as our food.

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 Email: info@bravobuzz.com

4500 Interstate 55 Frontage Rd, Highland Village Suite 244, Jackson, MS 39211

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All Photos Courtesy of Tom Beck Photography. All Rights Reserved.