Top 5 Celebrity Chefs of Macon
Often referred to as the “Hollywood of the South,” Georgia has become a major force in the entertainment industry. Georgia’s ever-booming filming industry means a steady stream of music acts, television and movie projects. But when the cameras stop rolling where do celebrities dine? The answer can be found here in our Top 5 Celebrity Chefs of Macon.
1. paul harpin
Paul Harpin is co-owner of Harpin’s Restaurant with his wife, Hazel. Paul is the head chef, while his bride Hazel bakes cakes, takes orders and runs the cash register in their quaint cafe located on Brookdale Avenue in Macon’s antique district. Harpin, once was the personal chef for Mick Jagger has served the likes of Andy Warhol, Jimmy Carter and Bette Midler. Originally from Consett, County Durham, England, Harpin crossed the pond to America in 1974 to work for Capricorn Records Co-founder Frank Fenter. As Macon became the nucleus of Southern rock ’n’ roll, Capricorn Records co-founder Frank Fenter opened a restaurant in an exquisite little downtown building that would cater to the city’s energetic music scene. Fenter designated Harpin as the executive chef at his restaurant Le Bistro, which opened in September 1974. Chef Harpin’s menu introduced its patrons to continental dishes and booth seating with curtains for private dining. And in 1975, it was in one of those curtain draped booths, Greg Allman proposed to Cher.
2. john mccord
For Decades, the name John McCord has been synonymous with some of the best southern cooking in Georgia. With proficiency for knowing what his patrons like and armed with a personality that is second to none, McCord has spent his career feeding music’s elite. Known to serve up every single dish with the same intensity, same love and same eye to perfection for his restaurant patrons as he does for his celebrity clients, is what keeps McCord’s phone number in the Rolodex of musicians and tour managers. Some of McCord’s clientele includes Rolling Stones pianist Chuck Leavell, Grammy Award-winning blues musician Taj Mahal and Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists, Derek Trucks.
3. Tina dickson
Pizza is king at Ingleside Village Pizza. Ask anyone in Macon what their favorite pizza is, and the answer will always be Ingleside Village Pizza. Nestled on a sleepy street in Macon’s Ingleside Village, the neighborhood favorite features pizza, sandwiches and salads. For 23 years Tina Dickson has been considered a rock star in the pizza world and Maconites have been holding their lighters in the air waiting for an encore. Dickson’s pies have won numerous awards, with her pizza considered among the best in the south by magazines, celebrities and of course locals. Dickson touts that she has employed more musicians than she has fed, but there are plenty of musicians and A-list stars who can’t get enough of her pizza. Ingleside Village Pizza has filled the stomachs of some of the most well-known stars including Fred Schneider of the B-52’s, Emmy nominated television and film star Dot Jones and Aaron Paul who played Jesse Pinkman on AMC’s hit show Breaking Bad.
4. Louise hudson
The story of H&H restaurant will forever be woven into the history of Macon, GA. Louise Hudson, better known as “Mama Louise,” opened her soul food eatery in 1959 with Inez Hill, or “Mama Hill,” and together they brought grits and gravy, barbecue ribs, pork chops, collard greens, peach cobbler, and other delicacies to the watering mouths and empty stomachs of all who entered the Cotton Avenue establishment. Even in the turbulent times of segregation, everyone in Macon was welcomed at the H&H. Mama Louise was nearly 40 years old when she was introduced to Gregg Allman and his merry band of hippies and Mama Louise became especially close to ABB founding members Dickey Betts and Berry Oakley. Mama Louise felt sorry for the hungry musicians and brought them their own individual meals and told them to pay her when they had the money. The Allman Brothers got so hooked on Mama Louise’s cooking that they even brought her on the road with them for several of their tours. Mama Louise ended up never cooking a thing; just enjoying a well-deserved vacation; or so the story goes. There is even a brick that has been placed in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame walkway, declaring Mama Louise the “Mother of Southern Rock.”
5. saralyn collins
For big-name musical groups, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll don’t cut it anymore. Healthy, freshly prepared meals are the order of the day. Keeping musicians and celebrities satisfied until the last post-show guest departs can be a daunting, yet rewarding job. Just ask restaurateur Saralyn Collins, who for years has been doing it their way and knows that catering to the culinary whims and wishes of musicians is a bit of an art itself. Saralyn and her awesome staff have fed Gregg Allman, The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gordon Lightfoot, John Tesh, Georgie Jones, Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule just to name a few and Grammy winner and Country music singer and songwriter Lucinda Williams claims that Saralyn’s Eggplant Parmesan was “the best she ever tasted.”
Check out the first installment of the unique food offerings we think qualify for the best things to taste here in the heart of Georgia.