If  you want to try something different when you go back to your favorite local restaurants, who better to ask than the chef? Here are a few suggestions from some of our top Mid-South chefs. We asked them what they would order if they were dining in their own restaurant. Welcome to the chef’s table!

Alchemy: Chef Josh Dowdy

Chef Dowdy’s favorite item on the menu at Alchemy is the Oven Roasted Fayette Farms Pork Chop, served with sweet and sour collard greens, cornbread “Johnny Cakes” and a barbecue demi-glace. Alchemy is in Cooper-Young and it is one of Memphis’ favorite contemporary restaurants with a fun, upbeat bar, perfect for lingering. alchemymemphis.com

Oven Roasted Fayette Farms Pork Chop at Alchemy

Chef Dowdy’s favorite item on the menu at Alchemy is the Oven Roasted Fayette Farms Pork Chop. Photo credit: Michelle Manker

Babalu: Executive Chef Tim Antignane

Chef Antignane favors the Pan Roasted Redfish, a combination of Rösti potatoes, smoked corn pico de gallo and red chili butter sauce. The Overton Square space that once held T.G.I. Friday’s first franchised location outside of NYC is now home to the second location of Babalu Tacos & Tapas, new to Memphis this year! The award-winning Babalu restaurant, based in Jackson, Mississippi, serves chef-quality tacos and tapas/small plates with a distinctive twist. It is complete with an outdoor patio featuring an indoor-outdoor bar.  babalutacos.com

Pan Roasted Redfish at Babalu

Chef Antignane favors the Pan Roasted Redfish at his restaurant, Babalu.

Also topping Chef Antignane’s list at Babalu is the Braised Beef Short Rib: Aspen Ridge natural beef short rib, Delta Grind grits, black-eyed pea salsa and red wine braising jus.

Braised Beef Short Rib at Babalu

The Braised Beef Short Rib also tops Chef Antignane’s list at Babalu.

Felicia Suzanne’s: Chef Felicia Suzanne Willett

Felicia told us that the Braised Claybrook Farms Short Rib Grilled Cheese, made with Claybrook Farms beef and Sweetwater Valley cheddar, is her number one choice on the menu. Felicia Suzanne’s Restaurant in downtown Memphis is a modern, Southern dining experience. Her talent for creating authentic Southern foods with a twist, paired with her friendly and charming personality, has made her one of the region’s most respected chefs. feliciasuzanne.com

Braised Claybrook Farms Short Rib Grilled Cheese_Felicia Suzanne

Chef Felicia Willett told us that she especially loves the Braised Claybrook Farms Short Rib Grilled Cheese at Felicia Suzanne’s downtown.

Just for Lunch: Chef Ann Barnes

Chef Ann Barnes’ favorite regular item on her menu is the Spinach Salad, a local favorite as well … fresh and light … a perfect lunch! Ann Barnes is the owner/creator of Just for Lunch, a lovely dining option in Chickasaw Oaks Village that is also a popular catering choice in Memphis. Ann has been in the restaurant business for 32 years! Just for Lunch features at least two daily specials every day and soups. We recommend their daily vegetable plate, too! Just for Lunch

Just for Lunch Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad at Just for Lunch is Chef Ann Barnes favorite regular item on the menu.

Restaruant Iris: Angela English, wife of Chef Kelly English

One of Angela’s favorite seasonal dishes at Restaurant Iris is the Hand-Dived Scallops with potato gnocchi, vermouth, fennel and citrus. This dish is perfect for summer because of the light airy layering of flavors. Restaurant Iris, a charming French-Creole restaurant near historic Overton Square in Midtown is a cornerstone of the Memphis dining scene. Chef Kelly English fell in love with the culture and food of New Orleans. Equipped with his training from award-winning Chef John Besh, English presents a unique dining experience with Angela by his side! restaurantiris.com

Hand-dived scallops at Restaurant Iris, photo credit: Justin Fox Burks

Chef Kelly English’s wife, Angela, says that the seasonal dishes at Restaurant Iris is the Hand-Dived Scallops are top on her list. Photo credit: Justin Fox Burks

The Second Line: Angela English, wife of Chef Kelly English

Happy Enchiladas Angela English says that her favorite dish at The Second Line is the Happy Enchiladas, in part because “this dish really marries the cultures of Memphis and New Orleans with roasted pork enchiladas, red pepper and paprika ‘BBQ sauce’ and some regular Southern ridiculousness of melted cheese; it all works perfectly.” This is Chef Kelly English’s second restaurant, also in Midtown on Monroe. “From cocktails to gulf seafood to zeal for life, this is who everyday New Orleans really is!” —Chef English secondlinememphis.com

The Second Line_Happy Enchiladas

At The Second Line, Angela recommends the Happy Enchiladas. Photo by Justin Fox Burks

Sumner Grille: Chef Walt Norwood

Tuna Tartar with Wakame is what Chef Walt will recommend first if you ask him what to order at the Sumner Grille. It is sushi-grade tuna chopped with fish and soy sauces, sambal, lime juice, and Chinese 5 Spice, then garnished with wakame (pickled seaweed salad). Sumner Grille is the gentleman farmer of Delta restaurants. It is a 2013 addition to the dining map, located behind Sumner’s historic court house on the square. Chef Walt Norwood’s interpretation of Southern food at the Sumner Grille will be the five-star dining discovery you share with your friends. Sumner Grille

Sumner Grille_Tuna Tartar with wakeme

If you ask Chef Walt what to order at the Sumner Grille, he will tell you to start with the Tuna Tartar.

The Woman’s Exchange Of Memphis: Chef “Rev” Bailey

Chef Rev points to the Homemade Crepes with Cream Chicken as his number one menu item at the Woman’s Exchange Tearoom. In addition to the Woman’s Exchange shop, where shoppers can browse the handwork of hundreds of local consignors, their Tearoom is one of Memphis’ coziest and tastiest lunch spots. The Tearoom operates under the watchful eye of chef “Rev” Bailey, who prepares a  Special Entrée, a delectable Vegetable Plate, a delicious soup, a hearty salad, a specialty sandwich and of course, a sumptuous dessert every day, Monday through Friday. womans-exchange.com

The Woman’s Exchange Of Memphis_chicken crepe

The Chicken Crepe is one of Chef Rev’s personal favorites at the Woman’s Exchange Tearoom.

Bon appétit!