Chris Lilly

Cole Ellis

Roots run deep for Cole Ellis, Owner and Operator of the Delta Meat Market, both products of the Mississippi Delta. Born and raised in Cleveland, from a young age Ellis relished in his time around the dinner table when family and friends would come together. From his appreciation of fellowship and the basic notion that a good meal serves to enhance experiences as the catalyst of conversation, Ellis has rendered his life’s passion of finding the best ingredients to prepare the most delicious food. As many will, Ellis left Mississippi to attend school landing at the Culinary Institute of Charleston in South Carolina. He finished with two degrees holding a Bachelors of Culinary Arts in Baking and Pastry, as well as Restaurant and Hotel Management. Ellis explains, “I never understood the competition in providing great food. Preparing and serving food is more thoughtful to me and the process of breaking bread is entirely more meaningful than any award.” This belief was the basis for his professional career that took flight on the Charleston food scene. Ellis, simultaneously in some cases, sharpened the skills of his natural propensity to provide great food at many restaurants including, Magnolia’s, Hominy Grill, and Carolina’s. While in Charleston, Ellis also played a vital role in the kitchens of Voysey’s Pub and The Tides, both Tom Colicchio properties on Kiawah Island. From Charleston, Ellis made his way further inland leading to his promotion as Chef de cuisine at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. While in Nashville he took root further nurturing his inherent nature to provide the freshest ingredients available locallyby raising livestock and produce for the hotel property. As Chef de cuisine, he also participated in multiple of the James Beard Foundation’s “Sunday Supper South” series dinners and the Williams-Sonoma “Tasting Table” chef series. In his latest endeavor, the magnetism of the Mississippi Delta to those with its roots has brought Ellis and his family home. “I feel it is very important to spread the word about healthy and fresh food to all areas and the Mississippi Delta has a need with a much deeper need and meaning to me,” Ellis says. The doors to the Delta Meat Market opened in November of 2013 providing a service of great quality food to Cleveland and the entire Delta while also hosting travelers from around the country and even the world. The Delta Meat Market and Ellis continues to result in acknowledgements and recognition including publications such as Garden & Gun’s“Back-Road Trip: The Mississippi Delta’s Blues Highway” andDelta Magazine‘s “Delta Charcuterie: Where to Find the Ultimate Cure.” Ellis also participated in the 2015 Atlanta Food and Wine Festival Tasting Trail. Nominated for a James Beard award in 2017 and recognized as one of the South’s “best chef”. Bon Appetite “21 Must see Butcher shops”. With a zest for spreading the good news of fresh and healthy food coupled with the growing interest and desire to learn of all in the area, Ellis continues to grow ideas and set plans into motion for more to come.


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