Executive Chef Alex Eaton
After honing his culinary skills in kitchens across the country, including a position with celebrated chef John Besh in New Orleans, Louisiana, Alex Eaton has happily returned home to Jackson, Mississippi to put his heart and soul on the plate.
Born in Jackson to a half-Lebanese family, cooking has always been a huge part of Eaton’s life. His younger years were spent cooking on open fires at Boy Scout camp outs. While studying business at Mississippi State University, he spent his college years working at The Veranda Restaurant. After graduation, he followed his passion of cooking, completing a degree at Johnson and Wales School of Culinary Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina. Eaton helped open Domenica, a John Besh’s Italian restaurant in New Orleans, where he learned the art of wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas. Eaton then added Cajun food to his repertoire by working at Mr. B’s Bistro under Chef Michelle McRaney.
Though his career path has taken him all over the country, Eaton always wanted to return home to learn the business side of food from restaurateurs Al Roberts and Bill Latham. The trio, with the addition of Executive Chef Mike Roemhild, teamed up to open Table 100 in Flowood, Mississippi.
Meanwhile, Eaton had been building a concept for his own restaurant. His cross-country travels were training for what would become The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen, his Jackson-based restaurant with partner Steven O’Neill.
Voted 2015 Best New Chef by Jackson Free Press, the 2016 titleholder of King of American Seafood, and James Beard nominated in 2019 Eaton brings with him a love for artisan foods, passion for locally-sourced products, and a burning desire to make his friends and family proud. He resides in Jackson with his wife Jamie, three children, and dog Snoop.
General Manager Steven O’Neill
Although originally from Texas, O’Neill moved to Jackson as a child and graduated from Madison Central. He began working in the service industry as a bus boy at Copeland’s Restaurant before attending Mississippi State, where he continued learning the restaurant ropes at Harveys and Rosey Baby.
While in college, the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the military. Awaiting his entrance into the Army, O’Neill spent a year working for Louis Bruno, former chef for two governors, at his fine dining restaurant Bruno’s Eclectic Cuisine.
O’Neill served in the Army Infantry for three years, including one tour in Iraq, bouncing around from Baghdad to Fallujah and finally Mosul. He was awarded the Purple Heart after falling under an I.E.D. attack on their vehicle.
After the end of his service, he returned home and resumed work in the service industry at Julep. He was later recruited to open and then assistant-managed The Bulldog. When local chef and restaurant owner Craig Noone sought to open Parlor Market, he called O’Neill for help. Following Craig’s passing, O’Neill served as General Manager, meeting Alex Eaton and dreaming of opening The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen.
His visionary work with The Manship was recognized when he was awarded 2015 Best Rising Entrepreneur of the Year by Jackson Free Press. He became the first Certified Executive Bourbon Steward through the Stave & Thief Society based out of Louisville, Ky in 2018 and continues to expand his knowledge of spirits, especially our country’s native spirit, bourbon. He resides in Belhaven, and is engaged in the community through various charities and civic organizations.