Southern National’s conception is influenced by Louisiana haunts, where Chef Nutter spent his formative years, as well as from Reggie Washington's family, which has roots dating back 90 years in the Mobile farming and horticulture community. The restaurant will be serving up local seafood from the waters around the great city of Mobile, as well as what Chef Nutter dubs 'fun fish' he had been fortunate enough to work with during his 8-year stint serving over 800 people a day at One Flew South, the first fine dining restaurant in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The culinary program is complemented by a passion and knowledge for spriits that is evident in every pour, as well as impeccable service and attention to detail.
Atlanta-based Smith Hanes Studio has designed an exquisite space with seating for approximately 150 guests, including an exterior courtyard that feels like it could very well fit in the Garden District of New Orleans or on Charleston's historic cobbled streets. Upon entering Southern National, guests are greeted by striking Alabama pine and exposed brick walls, lending to an atmosphere that exudes chic Southern charm. An oversized u-shaped bar made of zinc and walnut takes center stage for cocktails and dining. The open front dining room offers guests a unique vantage point of Dauphin Street, overlooking the 167-year old Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. With the help of Washington's mother, Addie, the space is thoughtfully adorned with a combination of family and locally-sourced antiques. Green Olive Media, an award-winning firm specializing in design, communications, concepting and ideation, has been engaged to handle public relations, and is responsible for the development of the Southern National eyecatching brand and visual presence.
Chef Duane Nutter
Nutter began his culinary career in 1994, studying under well-respected Chef Daryl Evans at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta. Nutter went on to work at the Ritz Carlton in Palm Beach, FL before making his next big move in 2004 to Louisville, Kentucky’s Seelbach Hilton’s Oakroom. The Oakroom is one of only 48 AAA Five-Diamond restaurants in the world. Nutter became chef de cuisine and received incredible reviews, especially on his “complex interpretations of seemingly simple dishes.” He continually enjoys surprising guests with new twists on old favorites. In 2006, Nutter was invited to compete on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America and he cooked at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City the following year. He has been praised in a variety of highly-regarded publications such as Garden & Gun, Men’s Journal, Delta Sky Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler and Details. In 2008, with a new vision and challenge in mind, Nutter accepted the position as One Flew South’s executive chef and used his imaginative execution to blend southern ingredients with world travel influences into the dishes for the first upscale restaurant in the world’s busiest airport. In 2016, Nutter relocated to Mobile to open Southern National with restaurateur and friend, Reggie Washington. In addition to his innovative culinary talent, Nutter has a knack for his hobby as a standup comedian. He was a semi-finalist in Comedy Central’s Laugh Riots and was known around Atlanta as the hilarious “Mad Chef.” These days, Nutter will occasionally perform in a comedy club, but spends most of his time mastering his ability in the kitchen.
Washington was lured at an early age into the culinary world when his passion for the industry and food was recognized, and he has shaped his style and depth of knowledge in the industry for over 24 years. With a wealth of culinary and operational experience, Washington hones his talent and level of service at One Flew South, Marriott Marquis, Colony Square Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Atlanta Hyatt Regency and as executive chef to the first family of Alabama Governor Fob James. Additionally, Reggie held the honor of combining his rich passion for southern-inspired cuisine and hospitality to guests at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia as executive chef at Club Magnolia.
Port City Hospitality Group, LLC
In summer of 2016, restaurateur Reggie Washington and chef Duane Nutter founded Port City Hospitality, LLC as sector of the Atlanta-based Lush Life Group. Dedicated to the culture, flavors and hospitality of the south, Port City Hospitality combines Washington’s extensive culinary and operational experience with chef Nutter’s trail-blazing cuisine to provide exceptional dining experiences in Mobile and beyond.
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