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Mississippi native and chef Jesse Houston is putting Jackson on the culinary map. Cozy oyster bar and seafood restaurant Saltine opened in 2014 with fun and funky takes on Southern food accented by regional craft beer. His playful dishes, like a PB&J (pork belly, boiled peanuts and pepper jelly) and po’bao (fried oyster on a steamed bun), infuse nostalgia, skill and finesse.

Named after the popular cracker served with seafood, Bon Appetit Top 50 Best New Restaurant winner Saltine fulfills Houston’s personal mission to bring oyster heritage and culture back to Jackson. He previously worked at Mississippi staples Parlor Market and City Grocery before opening Saltine, his first restaurant. Houston is a 2015 James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef: Southand has been featured in Southern Living, Garden & Gun, The Local Palate and Taste of the South.