Top Chef: Conway's Family Pub

The Crew, Conway’s Family Pub

What’s the formula for creating an Irish Pub in Mississippi? A stellar management team, for one. In 2017, Darian Pierce called Sam Sorrells, formerly of Gordon Creek Brewing, about opening an “Irish Style Brewpub” in an old house and the Conway’s Family Pub concept was born. With Josh Mathias, Sam’s brother-in-law, Front and Back-of-House experience, the menu and kitchen layout was developed. Later the team called on people they had previously worked with and respected, Tony Floyd and Ben Hutcherson. Tony and Josh had worked with both Terry Jordan and Joni Gonsoulin.Sharina Russell, another former coworker, rounded out the management team.

 

What are two ingredients that you can't live without? 
Terry Jordan: Bourbon and ice.
Sharina Russell: Cilantro and bacon.

 

What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when cooking?
Josh Mathias: West Coast rap, like Lil’ Debbie and Kreayshawn. 
Tony Floyd: Gospel. 

 

If you could cook for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?  
Terry Jordan: Walt Disney 
Sharina Russell: My parents

 

What’s your favorite ethnic cuisine? 
Joni Gonsoulin: Thai 
Josh Mathias: Indian

 

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a diner?  
Sam Sorrells: Someone requested once that I make a “Mountain Dew beer.”

 

What’s the best part about working in the restaurant industry? 
Sharina Russell
: Watching the excited anticipation of people’s faces when you walk around the corner with a big tray of food.

 

What’s the most challenging part of being a chef/brewer?
Tony Floyd: Creating.
Sam Sorrells: Sanitation (bacteria and wild yeast)

 

If not a chef in the Pine Belt, what city would you like to work in? 
Tony Floyd: Miami 
Sam Sorrells: Kona, Hawaii

 

Who is/was your food mentor? 
Tony Floyd: My grandmother.
Terry Jordan: Clint Taylor

 

What’s your favorite food to cook/beer to brew?
Joni Gonsoulin: Chili

 

What’s your favorite “guilty pleasure” food?
Josh Mathias: Pork Ribs
Tony Floyd: Milky Way cake

 

 

 

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