By Brinda Fuller Willis, PhD
Jackson Advocate Contributing Writer
Chef Nick Wallace hosted the grand opening of the Nissan Café at the Two Mississippi Museums on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
The Nissan Café will be open in the Nancy and Ray Neilsen Hall of History on Tuesdays – Saturdays for breakfast and lunch. Chef Wallace will offer a Southern and French-inspired menu for visitors to discover and enjoy. He is known for redefining the Southern dining experience by developing and reimagining healthier Southern dishes that suit the adult palate. Additionally, he has devised a unique way of presenting vegetables to children that encompasses visual and artistic presentation that disarms their preconceived notions about foods they normally dislike.
Nick Wallace is a Jackson, MS favorite and has been named Best Chef in Jackson four times. Chef Wallace’s resume is long and varied with numerous awards on the local, state, and national level. He has presented five James Beard Foundation “Mississippi Themed” dinners in New York. Other awards include a feature in Southern Living Magazine, Food Network’s “Comfort Nation” (Season 2), Alton’s Challenge on Food Network’s “Chopped,” Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” Food Network Canada’s “Fire Masters,” and “Unexplored America – Mississippi.” Furthermore, he has participated in 50 States–50 Chefs (Flavored Nation) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Currently, Wallace is Chef Partner with the Capital Club of Jackson and is the founder/chef of Nick Wallace Culinary, Nick Wallace Catering, and CHURN Creameries. He serves as a spokesperson for Bens Original and the nonprofit Creativity Kitchen providing healthier and distinctive foods for scholars.
When asked about his direction for the Nissan Café, Wallace said, “I am overjoyed to bring my skills to the visitors at the Mississippi Two Museums because of the appreciation I have for the history that is on display at both museums. Most people are not aware of the legacy that Southern foods have in other geographical regions throughout the nation and the influences our culture has on the foods that other people eat around the world. I, especially, look forward to serving kids that will visit the museums to help them gain a greater appreciation of foods that are a part of their Southern culture that doesn’t always involve fast food. I know that this is a God-given blessing to stir up my gift and expose customers to the Southern African American cuisine that my grandmother passed on to me as I stood in her kitchen as a child in Edwards, MS creating dishes from everyday foods that we grew in the family garden.”
The Nissan Café is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 am- 3:00 pm and Sunday, 11:00 am-4:00 pm inside the Mississippi Two Museums located at 222 North Street in downtown Jackson.
Brinda Fuller Willis, Ph.D. is a freelance writer for the Jackson Advocate Newspaper since 2001. She is an Independent Consultant, Advice Columnist, Keynote Speaker, ADA Specialist, Grant Writer and winner of the 2019 Mississippi Humanities Council’s Educator Award. (firstname.lastname@example.org/www.brindafullerwillis.com)