Monday Meditations with Wine – Jess Davenport 5/9/22

Monday Meditations with Wine is a weekly live interview session on BRAVO!’s Facebook page highlighting hospitality, culinary, and beverage industry professionals from the American South. This weekly series is meant to shine a light on the enthusiastic, passionate, professionals in the south blazing trails in their respective fields. We are telling the stories of the south’s brightest in the hospitality industry.

In honor of Mother’s Day, each Monday in May each guest will have one thing in common – Motherhood. Chuck will focus on how they are able to balance their jobs, families, and life in general. This week he will have Jessica Davenport owner of Sugar Ray’s Sweet Shop.

Jess is a foodie, hospitality expert, customer service enthusiast, and mental health advocate.
Growing up in Jackson, MS, she has spent her entire work career in the food, beverage, and
hospitality industry.

Jess is the proud owner and creator of Sugar Ray’s Sweet Shop, a candy and confection store that believes in creating sweet experiences. One of these experiences was to assist in revitalizing downtown Jackson by developing a nostalgia candy store in 2016.

After failed partnerships and hard times, Jess decided to close down the store and focus on building her skills. She has received her Bachelor in Business Administration in Accounting from Jackson State University and her Masters of Science in Leadership from Belhaven University also in Jackson, MS. She is a graduate of Leadership Greater Jackson and a new member of the Mississippi Black Leadership Institute. Participating on several boards in the city and community, Jess has made it her mission to create opportunities for everyone, regardless of race, status, or gender, to access good food.

In March 2020, during quarantine, Jess decided to rebuild, refocus and restructure Sugar Ray’s into an e-commerce and pop-up brand. In doing so, Jess launched a cinnamon roll line that has been named the “best in town.” These rolls are hand-crafted deliciousness. All of the rolls and toppings are hand-made in-house with premium crafted extracts, spices, and toppings to bring the best cinnamon roll swirls to you wherever you are because Sugar Ray’s now ships throughout the U.S. When Jess is not in the kitchen, she is an Account Manager at The Tell Agency. Which is a full-service public relations firm specializing in social media management, content creation, copywriting & editing, feature writing, and event planning – among other things. There she assists with helping brand tell their stories. You can follow Jess Davenport and Sugar Ray’s Sweet Shop at @shop_sugarrays.

Monday Meditations with Wine – 4/11/22 Hunter Evans

In the month of April Chuck is featuring chefs from the south. Bringing attention to movers and shakers in the culinary and hospitality world. Monday Meditations with Wine provides a behind-the-curtains look at the rich and diverse culinary, beverage, and hospitality professionals and culture in the South.

On the next episode of Monday Meditations with Wine, Chuck will be interviewing the executive chef/owner of all-day café Elvie’s located in the Belhaven Town Center. Hunter is a Jackson hometown boy who went to culinary school and cut his teeth in kitchens around New York City before returning home in 2015. Like many others of his generation, it took leaving to bring out his appreciation for where he grew up. “Getting rooted in Southern food and moving away made me miss it,” but when Hunter came back to Mississippi to cook, he wanted to showcase the South differently.

After Hunter graduated from Jackson Academy in 2008, he went on to the University of Mississippi, where he received a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management in 2012. He then moved to New York and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, completing his associate degree in culinary arts in 2014. While working towards his associate degree, he staged at restaurants like Le Bernardin, Café Boulud, and other notable New York restaurants. While working for Danny Meyer at North End Grill, New York Times food critic Pete Wells wrote a glowing review for the restaurant. In May 2015 Hunter moved back to Jackson, Mississippi with the intent to marry his now-wife, Mary Kathryn. He began working at Lou’s Full Serv in the Belhaven Neighborhood of Jackson in June of 2015. Within a year, he was promoted to Sous chef and eventually took to the role of Chef de Cuisine. In July 2019 Hunter took part and was crowned the King of Mississippi Seafood at the 16th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off in Louisiana, which is sponsored by Louisiana Seafood and the James Beard Foundation. In January 2020 Hunter opened his first restaurant, Elvie’s. Elvie’s offers a modern take on classic French cuisine through the lenses of southern ingredients and traditions providing an intimate and unique experience for the guests. Hunter has enjoyed forging a network of relationships with the Mississippi farmers where he showcases the beautiful ingredients at Elvie’s.

Elvie’s which is named for his late grandmother Elvie Good is indeed a divergent from the general restaurant scene in Jackson, which leans toward classic, comforting, heavier Southern food. It’s no surprise he faced some skepticism before opening Elvie’s doors in January 2020, weeks before the pandemic began. Hunter went so far as to say he was creating a restaurant that would make people feel like they weren’t in Jackson, introducing concepts such as a natural wine list, seven-course tasting menu, and even escargot (yep, snails). But the irony of this big-city-in-a-small-town philosophy is that at its essence, Elive’s provides the ultimate sense of place through the plate.


So, tune in this Monday and catch Hunter Evans on Monday Meditations with Wine on Facebook Live at 6 PM.

Watch Live on BRAVO!’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BRAVOBuzz
Watch the replay:

You can read more about Hunter Evans at the following Links:



Travel by Tastebuds: Elvie’s in Jackson

Hunter Evans


How One Mississippi Chef Makes Farmers the Star of the Show at Upscale Elvie’s Restaurant

Arts Season 2019

Arts Season 2019-2020 is here and we have your calendar prepped.

At Mangia Bene, we’ve been a proud partner of the Jackson Arts scene for many years. When the schedules start coming out every year we practically get goose bumps!

And this year is no exception with a fantastic line-up from our partners.

We asked our friends to send us a couple of their “can’t miss” shows of the season to share with you. You’ll definitely want to grab tickets for these as soon as you can because they are HOT items this year.

And as always, don’t forget that you receive 25% off pre-show dining at BRAVO!, Broad Street, and Sal & Mookie’s!


Aretha: A Tribute


Star Wars


Ode To Joy


>>Explore The Full Season & Buy Tickets<<


Amahl and the Night Visitors


Mr. Showmanship: Liberace


Romeo et Juliette


>>Explore The Full Season & Buy Tickets<<


Ballet & Blues


The Nutcracker


>>Explore The Full Season & Buy Tickets<<


Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express

Oct. 22-26; Oct. 29-Nov. 2


June 2-6; June 9-13; June 7 & 14, 2020

>>Explore The Full Season & Buy Tickets<<


It’s Been a Long, Long Time:

Honoring the Heroes and Music of the Greatest Generation


>>Performance Tickets<<

Messiah By Candlelight


>>Performance Tickets<<


Mississippi Community Symphonic Band

Indoor Concert


15th Birthday Concert


>>Explore The Full Season<<

Celebrations: BRAVO! Way Book Signing

On Monday, November 12th, 2018 we were delighted to host the release part and book signing for Dawn Dugle’s debut work The BRAVO! Way: Building a Southern Restaurant Dynasty. We are thrilled that for her first book, Dawn chose to tell our story and even more thrilled that her exemplary writing has been called “delicious fare” by the Clarion Ledger and a “revelatory study” by the New Orleans Review of Books. If you weren’t able to join us for the release party, we wanted to share some pictures our friends from the Northside Sun took of Dawn’s triumphant debut- and one heck of a great party.

The fun doesn’t stop as she is now on The BRAVO! Way book tour! Check out her schedule, grab a book, and plan to meet her soon.

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.

Connect with BRAVO!

 Phone: (601) 982-8111

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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.