365 Memphians, Day 33: Chef Kelly English
Meet Memphian no. 33, Chef Kelly English. He’s the owner and head chef at Restaurant Iris, one of Memphis’ swankiest eateries. He was kind enough to answer a few questions about food, Memphis and his hidden talents.
Name: Kelly English
Occupation: Chef/Owner Restaurant Iris
Hometown: New Orleans, LA is where I was born, but now Memphis is my hometown.
My favorite restaurants in Memphis (other than my own) are: That is a really tough question. My wife and I are always in the mood for Las Tortugas. Out East, we love Andrew Michael and what Jose has done with River Oaks. In Midtown, we find ourselves at Bari, Bhan Thai, Tsunami or the Beauty Shop. Downtown, we go to the Trolley Stop, Felicia Suzanne’s or McEwen’s. For barbecue, we go see Eric at the Bar-B-Q Shop.
My favorite thing to cook is: Fresh avocado on rye toast with salt and pepper only. Delicious.
The best part of my day is: is a close race between seeing a customer smile as they take a bite and kissing my wife when I get home from work.
It’s Monday morning. Most likely, I’m: Having coffee and chicory and getting ready to start prepping for dinner.
My favorite thing about my neighborhood is: I love the diversity of Midtown.
When friends from out of town visit Memphis, I take them to: Las Tortugas
I’m working on: the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, of which I’m part of the Founder’s Council. The AFWF is going to be a four-day celebration in May of almost everything Southern, sponsored by Food & Wine magazine. I am looking forward to giving everyone there a taste of what is great about Memphis.
My hidden talent is: I can remember lyrics verbatim to just about any song I hear more than once.
The last book I read was: The Food Lover’s Companion, I obsessively read it over and over, cover to cover.
I love Memphis because: Memphis not only gave me my wife, but also welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to share my passion for cooking.