He's cooked at the James Beard House in New York City, churned out high quality fare from the kitchen of Andrew Blair's and brought approachable French cuisine to Charlotte via his former co-ownership of Lulu. At his most recent tenure with Halcyon, Flavors of the Earth, he used local geographic, historic and culinary inspirations to draft a unique and acclaimed menu. He's a published poet, a food writer and, along with the MAP Management team that brought the hit 5Church to Charlotte, Marc Jacksina is about to bring his seasoned cookery to South End.
Enter Nan and Byron's.
While the hype behind this coming establishment has already been mounting due to sister restaurant 5Church's success and a slew of recently released menu tasting photos, the arrival of Jacksina as chef de cuisine alongside executive chef (and MAP partner) Jamie Lynch creates a new and far deeper fold in the anticipation.
Both Lynch and Jacksina are fans of using locally-sourced, seasonal produce to construct menus, a feat resulting in a plethora of fresh, creative dishes for their patrons. Both are known to routinely browse - and occasionally, cook - at local farmers markets, and both have served time in New York as well as in the high-end Charlotte dining scene. The hype behind his joining, therefore, is justifiable - a local culinary equivalent to the collusion of Jay-Z and Kanye.
"I think that we're going to bring a very creative, solid approach to classic American cuisine," said Lynch. "The main menu will be rooted in traditional American classics, but there will be an element of local spontaneity. The menu itself is going to be very approachable."
Following 5Church's opening last summer, MAP management quickly found a hit on its hands. Starting with local acclaim, the restaurant soon gained national attention with the arrival of the DNC media circus for its innovative new American cuisine and creative cocktails, earning mentions in publications from The Washington Post to The Chicago Tribune. Acclaim and momentum at hand, MAP decided to open a more family-friendly, yet cocktail-centric, alternative to its winning centerpiece.
"5Church has nine cocktails, Nan and Byron's will have 20 on the menu; this cocktail list is massive compared to any other list in Charlotte," said MAP management partner and marketing director Alejandro Toro. "Foodwise, instead of new American food like 5Church we're doing traditional American food, think stuff that Grandma makes, like meatloaf and spaghetti and meatballs."
Between MAP's history, the promising alliance of two heralded chefs, the tasting pictures and Nan and Byron's plan to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, it would hardly be a stretch to ask for opening day to come sooner.