Williams, Myrick, Wright to Represent JXN at ATL Food & Wine

Jackson, Mississippi’s rich culinary history – and future – will be on full display in Atlanta, Georgia September 10 and 11 at Historic Fourth Ward Park for the 2021 Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.

Chefs Enrika Williams and Brian Myrick and pit master Eddie Wright will represent the City With Soul with two days of tastings and on-stage cooking demonstrations.

Celebrating a rich heritage of authentic southern cuisine, the trio gives us a glimpse into who they are, what they will prepare for the event and, their take on Jackson’s food scene.

Williams. Image: Imani Khayyam

Chef Enrika Williams (Fauna Foodworks)

Chef Enrika Williams is the Mississippi born-and-raised chef/owner of Fauna Foodworks, an abstract, re-imagined culinary food lab, that produces thoughtful, ingredient-driven, bohemian-chic cuisine in Jackson, Mississippi.

Chef Williams is creatively, socially and radically vested and expressive in changing the conversations and expanding the culinary landscape through opportunities to advise, consult, host dinner series, popups and curated menus for museums, publications and virtual content. She is also the co-creator of Magnolia Sunset Markets, a local curated project.

How do you feel about the opportunity to take part in Atlanta Food & Wine? 

I am incredibly excited about returning to Atlanta in the capacity as a feature chef at the AF&W festival. I attended culinary school in Atlanta and worked in the hospitality industry there for ten years, so it will be good to come full circle to a place where I cut my culinary teeth.

What are you preparing to serve at the tasting tents and onstage for Atlanta Food & Wine?

In both places, I will be preparing an heirloom tomato and watermelon gazpacho with a lump crab relish, micro herbs, a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt and smoked olive oil. 

How do you describe Jackson’s cuisine?

Nuanced, yet profound. Many of our culinary traditions, style and techniques (as well as the myriad of cultures influencing the culinary scene) can overlap and show up in many instances of great food. Everything from premium gas station eats to the classic fare of legacy soul food restaurants, as well as the finer dining establishments, still have a very clear and defined sense of ownership and pride in being from Jackson. It can be difficult to articulate but is easy to appreciate.

What do you hope attendees will get out of your being a part of Atlanta Food & Wine?

I hope attendees get a full experience and enjoy themselves with me being there. Food is a connector and trying something new and seeing a new perspective is always refreshing and eye opening.

Myrick. Image: Paul Wolf

Chef Brian Myrick (Johnny T’s Bistro & Blues)

Brian Myrick grew up in Chicago. When he was younger, he traveled to his mother’s home state of Mississippi for holidays and other occasions, a time he remembers for the “feasts” he would experience here. Myrick says, “I had never tasted anything that was truly prepared with love until I got to Mississippi.”

When Myrick decided to move to the Magnolia state, he knew his purpose was to learn how to prepare food like he grew up eating here. Myrick says, “That’s the best decision I’ve made in my life.”

Myrick is passionate about his art and feels like he’s “never worked a day in my life” because he enjoys culinary pursuits so much.

Previously, Myrick worked at Char Restaurant and Anjou in the Jackson area and has worked alongside Chef Christian Amelot and Chef Brian Cartenuto.

How do you feel about the opportunity to take part in Atlanta Food & Wine? 
I am very excited about taking part in the festival. I want to get a chance to showcase a taste of Mississippi to potentially thousands of people and let them get a taste of what’s to come when they visit us here.

What are you preparing to serve at the tasting tents and onstage for Atlanta Food & Wine?
Shrimp and grits

How do you describe Jackson’s cuisine?
I think some of the best food comes from the south, particularly Jackson. I think it’s more of a “modern southern” cuisine. 

Wright. Image: Curt L. McAfee/242 Creative

Pit master Eddie Wright (Eddie Wright BBQ)

Eddie Wright is a military veteran who has used barbecue as a means to cope with life and PTSD. While on this journey, Wright has been able to secure accolades on the “backyard circuit” as BBQ team of the year and, more recently, was named a recipient of a grant from Kingsford Charcoal’s Preserve the Pit program. One of the hottest new names on the food truck scene, Wright is on pace to show everyone who comes to see him, that all smoke and no sauce, is a true way of life everyone should try. 

How do you feel about the opportunity to take part in Atlanta Food & Wine? 
I feel like this was one of the most amazing opportunities to spread my wings on a large platform. Mississippi bbq is important to me and I think it’s time the world got to know that on a more intimate scale. 

What are you preparing to serve at the tasting tents for Atlanta Food & Wine?
We will be preparing a smoked tater tot casserole one day and the next, smoked lemon pepper rib tips.

What is your plan for the onstage cooking demo at Atlanta Food & Wine?
A smoked chicken and waffle sandwich. 

How do you describe Jackson’s cuisine?
Jackson cuisine is loaded with love and flavor. Most call it “C and C” – calories and carbs! But it’s our genuine way of passing our love to the plate and to consumers. We have, hands down, some of the best chefs, cooks and pitmasters in the world. 

What do you hope attendees will get out of your being a part of Atlanta Food & Wine?
I hope they get a better understanding of what Mississippi food is like. We’re just one small side of a wide range of flavors you can get when you come here. Take the time and get to know us. Hit the bbq trail or the blues trail. Genuine Mississippi is just undeniable when it’s put on display in an array of flavors. We welcome everyone to the table. 

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is September 9-12 at Historic Fourth Ward Park, with tastings on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available at atlfoodandwinefestival.com. Use the promo code PARTNER20 for discounts on tasting tickets.