Updated: Jan 3
Writer Name: Elizabeth McDaniel Tettleton
Location: Oxford, MS
Years of Experience: 4
Available for writing projects: yes!
Niche/Beat/Genre: food, restaurants, entrepreneurship, distilleries/breweries/wineries, chef profiles, arts, writing/authors, local color, southern traditions
Portfolio website: sheheardthat.com
Other website: elevatemyevents.com
Writing tip for fellow writers: keep track of your ideas - even years/months later, they may inspire your next great piece!
Elizabeth Tettleton became an avid writer during her sophomore year of college, after an English composition course with a teacher who was focusing on food writing. “As my major was hospitality management, and I was an avid baker and cook from a young age, I was enraptured,” Elizabeth says. “Reading her assignments enthralled me, when before, I had always abhorred reading.”
Elizabeth graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management, and her internship with Oxford, Mississippi’s City Grocery Restaurant Group became a full-time position. “The new event manager and corporate office manager of The Main Event and interim PA to chef John Currence gave me unique access to a wealth of food industry trends, professionals, and events,” Elizabeth says. “John brought me along to hob nob with the likes of Emeril Lagasse, John Besh, Mike Lata, Sean Brock, Aaron Sanchez, Alon Shaya, David Wondrich, Alba Huerta, and so many more.”
Elizabeth says she was fielding correspondences between chef Currence and the James Beard Foundation, Garden and Gun magazine, and mailing Big Bad Breakfast (BBB) onesies and bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve to Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s new baby boy. “Morgan Freeman was a regular and friend of John’s, and I’m still a little mad about the time he didn’t take me to eat with John Krasinski,” she says.
“Working for John gave me first-hand experience into the culinary world, and exploited my writing abilities,” Elizabeth says. “I began writing the copy for all of our marketing, for three new website revisions, for all new chef bios for Vishwesh Bhatt, John Currence, Dwayne Ingraham, and Austin Agent.”
When an opportunity came up for Elizabeth to work at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), she seized it. “I could get a Master’s degree for free,” says Elizabeth.
Elizabeth says that she quickly mastered all aspects of her position at Ole Miss, which freed her mental energy for writing and taking courses. “I wanted an MFA, but the unwritten rule of ‘not accepting your own’ biases the committee against alumni when applying to th