Fine & Dandy, Sophomore Spanish Club, Jackson
As executive chef at Fine & Dandy and Sophomore Spanish Club in Jackson, Mississippi, Jesse Houston brings years of professional and personal experience with Southern cuisine. A Texas native, Houston taught himself to cook at a young age, preparing meals for his friends and family. He quickly developed a knack for food and cooking, ultimately leading him to attend the Texas Culinary Academy.
Following graduation in 2007, Houston gained invaluable professional experience – including working under John Currence at City Grocery in Oxford, Mississippi and assisting Craig Noone in opening Parlor Market in Jackson. In 2014, Houston opened Saltine Oyster Bar as executive chef. Under Houston’s leadership, Saltine garnered widespread support and accolades, including Bon Appetit’s 2015 list of Best New Restaurants and Southern Living’s 2015 list of Best New Restaurants. In 2016, Houston was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Southeast. Most recently, Houston traveled the world exploring new cuisines and flavor profiles. His experiences included a 4-month residency in Tulum, Mexico and stops in Japan and Vietnam.
At Fine & Dandy and Sophomore Spanish Club, Houston applies refined technique and serious flavor profiles to nostalgic and whimsical dishes. His menus showcase his creative and fun approach to food, while respecting traditional flavors and ingredients.