Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Emeril Lagasse, Hugh Acheson, and Ashley Christensen walk into a kitchen …

By Chris Hughes
March 27, 2018

What sounds like a gathering at Judges’ Table on an episode of Top Chef is really just a fraction of the marquee for this year’s Southern Grace dinners at Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina in Alabama. Now in its fifth installment, the highly anticipated summer culinary series has managed to become even more star-studded. How to rival 2017’s cast of chefs, which included Katie Button (Curate in Asheville, NC), Nina Compton (Compere Lapin in New Orleans), and Ryan Smith (Staplehouse in Atlanta, GA)? Restaurateur Johnny Fisher has brought in the likes of Steven Satterfield (Miller Union in Atlanta), Christensen (Poole’s in Raleigh, NC), and the man who redefined food television and made “Bam!” a catchword.  

Fisher’s chef Bill Briand, a perpetual James Beard Award nominee himself, will open up his kitchen for the collaborative dinners, which also includes a weekend of meeting and working with local Gulf fishermen and seafood farmers.

Related: A look back at Southern Grace:

Each bespoke multi-course meal will focus on the spoils of the Gulf Coast, and a portion of all proceeds will benefit the Fuse Project. Formed in 2011, Fuse Project funds projects that benefit underprivileged children in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $150 per person, and several of the dinners include signed copies of the chefs’ cookbooks. Seating is limited to around 100 guests and tends to sell out fast. Purchase your tickets starting on Friday, March 30 at

The 2018 Southern Grace Summer Lineup

May 17: Steven Satterfield of Miller Union in Atlanta, Georgia.
Satterfield is the James Beard Award winning chef and co-owner of Miller Union in Atlanta, which has been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Esquire.

June 21: Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Christensen is a Raleigh, North Carolina philanthropist and James Beard Award winning chef whose cache of restaurant—including Poole’s Diner, Bridge Club, Chuck’s, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, and Death & Taxes—have gained national attention from publications such as The New York Times and Southern Living.

June 28: Cassidee Dabney and brewer Roy Milner of Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee.
A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Dabney’s diverse background includes stops in Germany, Boston, Atlanta, Hawaii, Arkansas, and Wyoming, before moving on to Blackberry Farm in 2010, where it’s become one of the most respected restaurants in the South. Milner is Dabney’s brewing counterpart, creating some of the country’s finest farmhouse ales.

July 12: Adam Evans (soon-to-open concept in Birmingham, AL), David Bancroft (Acre in Auburn, AL), Alex Harrell (Angeline in New Orleans, LA), Rob McDaniel (SpringHouse on Lake Martin, AL), and Robby Melvin (Time Inc. Food Studios)
Formerly of Brezza Cucina and Ford Fry’s The Optimist in Atlanta, Adam Evans has returned to his home state of Alabama to open a yet-unnamed concept in Birmingham. David Bancroft is a self-taught chef, farmer, and forager whose work at Acre in Auburn has drawn recognition from Garden & Gun, Southern Living, and USA Today. A protégé of New Orleans chef Susan Spicer, Alex Harrell opened his own restaurant, Angeline, in March 2015. After honing his skills under prestigious chefs such as Chris Hastings (Hot & Hot Fish Club), Rob McDaniel accepted the position of executive chef at SpringHouse, now one of Southern Living’s 100 Best Restaurants in the South. And Robby Melvin worked under James Beard Award winning chef, Frank Stitt (Highlands Bar & Grill), before accepting the position of Test Kitchen Director at Southern Living.

July 26: Hugh Acheson of Five & Ten and The National in Athens, Georgia.
Hugh Acheson is the chef, author, and restaurateur behind Five & Ten and The National in Athens, Georgia, as well as Atlanta restaurants Empire State South and Achie’s. He competed in Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and starred as a judge on Top Chef, seasons 9 through 13. His fourth cookbook, The Chef & The Slow Cooker, was released in the fall of 2017.

August 2: Emeril Lagasse is the chef/owner of 12 restaurants, including Meril and Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Emeril Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of 12 restaurants, including four in New Orleans (Emeril’s, NOLA, Meril, and Emeril’s Delmonico) three in Las Vegas (Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, Delmonico Steakhouse, and Lagasse’s Stadium), one in Orlando (Emeril’s Orlando), three at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania (Emeril’s Fish House, Emeril’s Chop House, and Burgers and More by Emeril), and one in Miramar Beach, Florida (Emeril’s Coastal Italian). As a national television personality, he has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America.