The TT 46

Tandy Wilson

City House, Nashville, TN and Collo Rosso, Morgantown, WV
Photo: Andrea Behrends

Why he killed it in 2015: In a land of barbecue joints, Wilson's rustic Italian cuisine is a breath of fresh, Roman pizza-scented air. Though he's no stranger to the scene (City House has been around since 2007, and he has multiple James Beard nominations under his backward baseball cap), Wilson's been busy working on a new spot. He's bringing pizza joy to college students with Collo Rosso (loosely meaning "redneck") on the West Virginia University campus.

How would you describe your food? "New South."

What are the best and worst pieces of advice you've gotten from a mentor? "Best: Margot McCormack said,'Know your city and the people who eat in it.' Worst: 'Use the bad pork for family-meal tonight; tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so everybody is off.' (I didn't do that)."

Do you have a secret talent? "I'm an Eagle Scout and an outdoorsman. Basically, I can tie a lot of knots, sail and survive in the wilderness."

What's your favorite kitchen scar? "I have a big burn scar on the bottom of my back and top of my ass. I got it when one of my guys turned around with a pot of boiling water for mozzarella and hit me with it. It sucked; the pictures looked like a pork rind close up. It only shows itself when I'm at the beach getting sun."

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