About the Chef
Formally trained at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales in Charleston, South Carolina, Chef Jimmy Gentry began his career in Memphis, Tennessee. He defined his skills at area restaurants and accepted the position of Executive Chef for Erling Jensen: The Restaurant. During his six-year tenure, Gentry led the kitchen to six consecutive “Best Restaurant” awards from publications such as Memphis Flyer, 4Memphis, and regained the restaurant’s 4-star rating in the Commercial Appeal. These awards propelled the restaurant to present their cuisine at the renowned James Beard House in New York City.
Gentry then moved to the Grand Casino Resort as Chef de Cuisine at LB’s, the fine dining restaurant in the resort. For two years during Gentry’s reign, the restaurant gained notoriety in DiRONA (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) and also won the Wine Spectator Award. Gentry was promoted to Chef de Cuisine over a family of nine restaurants at both the Horseshoe and Sheraton Casinos. In late 2007, Gentry focused his efforts on opening Magnolia: A Delta Grille, inside Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, where he incorporated modern flair into meals reminiscent of the Mid-South Delta region. As he worked with the kitchen staff, Gentry began to shift focus to training and development. This led him to become a Chef Instructor at L’Ecole Culinaire in Memphis, Tennessee.
For 8 years, Gentry implemented his creativity and leadership to teach the next generation of chefs courses ranging from basic restaurant operations to classic French cuisine and contemporary concepts of modern gastronomy. Gentry assisted in the development and design of L’École’s Presentation Room Restaurant, a full-service fine dining experience open to the public. Where he continued to instruct students, on restaurant operations, from conception to day-to-day operations. Through hands-on instruction, he trained students in concept development, menu planning, plate design and day-to-day operations.
While teaching, Gentry launched Paradox Catering and Consulting, LLC, currently the largest boutique catering company in the Mid-South. While specializing in unique up-scale events, Paradox has also been involved in festivals, high-profile political fundraisers and corporate events. In 2017 Gentry launched two other concepts into the market.To-Go by Paradox caters meals for corporate and private aviation flights arriving and departing from Memphis International Airport. Paradox Underground Experience is a quarterly pop-up wine dinner concept promoted exclusively through social media as a culinary speakeasy experience transpiring in random, unique places around the city for a single evening.
In 2018 Gentry launched, P.O. Press Public House & Provisions, a freestanding restaurant with a focus on locally sourced produce and a refreshing approach to service and cuisine. It garnered praise from the Daily Memphian, Memphis Magazine, Commercial Appeal and the public.
In 2022 Gentry returning to his melting pot of cuisine style, The Lobbyist, the restaurant with a modern historical-modern feel. While maintaining the same style of cuisine that made him know in our area, but in a more elegant atmosphere.
Gentry has participated in three James Beard Dinners within Memphis and his dishes have been most recently featured in print as cover recipes for The Seven Stars Cookbook, Delta Magazine, 4Memphis, Jewish Scene, At Home Tennessee, Memphis Magazine, Mid South Bride and Pink Bride. Television promotions include guest chef appearances on Live at 9, Good Morning Memphis and bi-weekly appearances on ABC 24 Local Memphis Live.