Executive Chef and General Manager
Andy Hicks brings a straightforward approach to cooking, seasoned with an appreciation of the art and nature surrounding the four walls of the kitchen. Museum members, local regulars, international travelers, and food lovers from coast to coast have dined on his creations for over two decades.
Andy has made his most significant mark preparing dynamic menus and delicious meals for the Museum restaurant and events. His creations not only complement but are inspired by the Museum’s collection. His innovative exhibition menus give patrons a taste of regional cuisine as well as a glimpse of history and a connection with the art. Andy and his culinary team strive to give every guest an exceptional dining experience.
Andy isn’t content to create only with other gardeners’ products, so when he’s not in the kitchen, he’s growing his own provisions. His passion for growing heirloom vegetables, culinary herbs, and orchids frequently crosses over into his culinary career.
Event Designer and Executive Pastry Chef
Jennifer Hicks puts the “art” in Party and Tart as the special event designer for the Museum and as executive pastry chef of Iris restaurant. Her training in surface design at N.C. State University's College of Design and in baking and pastry arts at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., has proven serendipitous for her career at the Museum. For more than 15 years she has been tempting guests with her inventive desserts and now has the opportunity to entertain many of those guests with her stunning designs for tabletop and event styling.
In the kitchen Jennifer is always investigating new cooking and baking techniques and working to incorporate innovations while maintaining the simplicity and straightforwardness of the food. She loves to combine local flavors but give them a modern twist. On the party floor, Jennifer tries to provide something unexpected in a familiar setting by featuring unusual local talents, beautiful linens, exciting décor, and, of course, exceptional food.