Meet the Judges of the 2017 TEP Gumbo Contest


Tennessee Equality Project is pleased to announce the official panel of judges for the TEP Gumbo Contest presented by Hilton Memphis on February 19, 2017. Take a look at this diverse group of arbiters for the contest. Visit this link for tickets and more information about the contest. 


Judge's Choice Competition Panel

ecco-on-overton-park_1_.pngSabine Bachmann opened Ecco on Overton Park in Spring 2014 serving Italian-inspired food in Midtown. Known for her passion for high-quality food and hospitality, Bachmann supports multiple non-profit organizations in her community.  



Kelly Johnson is the general manager of Molly's La Casita in Midtown. Johnson, who's worked for Molly's for more than 30 years, started with Molly Gonzales who founded the restaurant at its original location on Lamar Avenue. 



Milton_140x175_1_.jpgReginald Milton currently serves District 10 on the Shelby County Board of Commissioners and previously fronted an award-winning gumbo team over the past 6 years of the TEP Gumbo Contest. He returns this year as a judge. 




headshot_orig_1_.jpgChristina McCarter co-founded and owns City Tasting Tours of Memphis which shares the stories of the people, places and food that make Memphis a wonderful place to visit and live.  City Tasting Tours include locally made dishes and interactaction with chefs, restaurant owners and food artisans.



pac-bio-pic-square_1_.jpgPhillip Ashley Rix of Phillip Ashley Chocolates is a rising star in the luxury chocolate and culinary world.  He has been named one of the Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America by TasteTV.  He became FORBES Magazine’s “Real Life Willy Wonka” and Local Palate’s “Memphis King of Chocolate.”



Special Guest Judge

61o9NX7N-vL._SX258_BO1_204_203_200__1_.jpgThis year's competition will feature a special award for best vegetarian or vegan gumbo judged by special guest Chef Justin Fox Burks of The Chubby Vegetarian. He and his wife Amy Lawrence recently published their second cookbook, The Chubby Vegetarian. 


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