Tom Ramsey is a chef, sommelier, restaurateur, writer and media personality living in Jackson, Mississippi. At his “day job” as Chef and founder of stäge popups, he travels and cooks with chefs far better than him. Tom is also the contributing food and travel editor of Okra Magazine.


Tom won the premiere episode of Guy’s Grocery Games on the Food Network, made it to the quarterfinals on Season Three of ABC’s The Taste and appears on Appetite for Life and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Tom is a widely published writer of recipes, fiction, essays, op-ed pieces and magazine articles. His work has been featured in local, regional and national publications as well as in various online publications. He is currently writing his first book “Less” which he hopes will be available in his lifetime, but that’s really up to the publishing gods. By night, he wears a mask and a cape and fights crime…not really, but only because he doesn’t currently own a cape and a mask. If he had such things, well…one never knows what he might be up to next.

Although Tom has been cooking since he could reach the knobs of his parent’s stove, he’s only been cooking professionally for eight years. Before trading in his business suits for a manual labor job with his name on his shirt, Tom spent thirteen years as an investment banker, specializing in mergers and acquisitions as well as capital aggregation. The bulk of his investment banking practice was concentrated in the fields of insurance, re-insurance and financial services, but he also worked on transactions in the manufacturing, real estate and consumer products sectors. Tom was also a partner in the lobbying firm Athena Government Relations, was the owner of a cigar manufacturing/importing company and worked for a period of time in the entertainment industry.

On being a “purpose-driven” chef

Tom has served on numerous boards of directors for charities, service organizations, museums and public and private companies in the US and abroad. When he decided to make a living in the culinary arts, Tom committed to continuing his work on behalf of charities and other purpose-driven organizations. Many of Tom’s most-frequent gigs are cooking for fundraising and charity events across the country. Chefs can do good, too.

Tom resides in a temperamental old house in Jackson, Mississippi with his wife Kitty, four cats and three very naughty goats.