Chef Hansell grew up on the gulf coast of Mississippi, 45 minutes east of New Orleans. Surrounded by the commercial fishing and shrimping industry, his love of fresh ingredients and the local catch inspired him to begin a career in the culinary field. Upon graduation from Culinary School at The University of Southern Mississippi, Hansell moved to New Orleans to work under Executive Chef Tory McPhail at Commander’s Palace and then transitioned with Chef Thomas Robey to Birmingham, as sous chef at Veranda on Highland.
After his time in Birmingham, Hansell left for Aspen, Colorado, expanding his career at the Little Nell’s restaurant, Montagna, as sous chef, working under Chef Robert McCormick. When an opportunity arose to work under one of Food & Wine’s “Top 10 New Chefs in America,” Hansell moved back to New Orleans to work as Executive Sous Chef for John Besh at his restaurant, Lüke. After his time at Luke, Chef Hansell was asked to come back to Birmingham to take over as Executive Chef at the Veranda on Highland where he has spent the last 2 years. During this time Chef Hansell has been featured twice in “Best Chefs of America” and “Best Chefs the American South” the first ever peer review of American Chefs. Also featured in PBS.org kitchen careers, the Braiser.com in “the top 10 chefs to know in Birmingham.” Most recently, Chef Hansell was nominated as Food & Wine Best New Chef 2014, representing the Gulf Coast.
Since college, Amy Hansell has loved working in environments where she can tailor the experience to make people feel welcome. Upon graduation from the University of Montevallo with a degree in marketing, Amy joined Johnson Brothers & Grassroots Wine as a Wine Representative working with restaurants to craft their wine selection. In Birmingham, Alabama, Amy had the opportunity to work for a James Beard award winner, Chef Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club where she learned how to run a modern, French inspired restaurant in the South.
After marrying Chef Hansell, the couple moved together to Colorado where Amy became the Food and Beverage Director for Snowmass Club and Resort in Snowmass, just outside of Aspen. Once back in Birmingham, AL Amy took over operations working alongside her husband Jeff, as Veranda on Highland’s General Manager, working there for almost three years.