The story of Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman began long before the duo opened their now-famous restaurants Hog & Hominy and Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen. Andrew and Michael grew up in similar circles in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, and shared much in common. Born just one year apart, the two played competitive sports against one another in high school. Both grew up in large, traditional Italian families, families that loved the cuisine from their native country and their Southern region, and celebrated those cultures through food.
This story of culinary kinship picks up after college, when Andrew and Michael attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, before returning to Memphis to intern for Jose Guitierrez, the master chef of Chez Phillipe. Following their 18-month apprenticeship, the two explored their roots in Calabria, Italy, where they attended and earned degrees from the Italian Culinary Institute. They eventually returned to Memphis and fulfilled their childhood dream of owning a restaurant in 2008, opening the upscale eatery Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, which still flourishes today.
But the story doesn’t end there. Riding the success of their first restaurant, the two chefs, opened a second, Hog & Hominy, three years later. This latest venture has already received high praise for its fine cuisine: GQ magazine hailed it as one of the most outstanding restaurants of 2013, and it made Conde Nast Traveler’s list of The Best New Restaurants in the American South.
The owners themselves have also garnered recognition, being crowned Best New Chefs by Food & Wine and earning semi-finalist status for Best Chef in the Southeast by the James Beard Award. Like their restaurants, Andrew and Michael’s recently released cookbook, Collards & Carbonara, fuses their Southern upbringing with their Italian roots. This treasure of a tome shares 100 original recipes, translating the chefs’ most popular recipes into dishes you can make at home. Now that’s a happy ending!