New Chef at Anjou, SBA Small Business Awards and Mississippi Nutrition Program | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

New Chef at Anjou, SBA Small Business Awards and Mississippi Nutrition Program

Anjou Restaurant (361 Township Ave., Ridgeland) proprietor Anne Amelot-Holmes recently brought a familiar face into her restaurant's kitchen: her father, Christian Amelot.

Anjou Restaurant (361 Township Ave., Ridgeland) proprietor Anne Amelot-Holmes recently brought a familiar face into her restaurant's kitchen: her father, Christian Amelot. Photo by Trip Burns.

Anjou Restaurant (361 Township Ave., Ridgeland) proprietor Anne Amelot-Holmes recently brought a familiar face into her restaurant's kitchen: her father, Christian Amelot. Amelot-Holmes, a French native and longtime Jacksonian, helms the three-year-old restaurant with her veteran chef father bringing his more than 40 years of culinary expertise to the affordable fine-dining menu as executive chef.

Amelot helped his daughter open Anjou with local restaurateur David Conn in April 2012 and remained involved as a consultant. He came in as the full-time executive chef about six weeks ago.

A graduate of Savoie Leman culinary school, Amelot served as executive chef for French Foreign Minister Maurice Schumann by appointment of the French Army in 1972. He also worked at several highly regarded French restaurants before moving his family to the United States in 1984. He settled in Jackson with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Anne and Sophie, taking the chef de cuisine position at Sundancer Restaurant in Highland Village that year. He later worked as a corporate chef for Valley Food Services, Inc. and US Foods.

Amelot-Holmes went back to France for a time starting in 1995, when she was 18 years old. She worked for a number of hotel restaurants in her hometown of La Ferte-Bernard. After returning to the United States in 1997, she took a job as a server at Amerigo (6592 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland). She later worked at Nick's (now closed) in Jackson from 1999 to 2010, where she worked her way from server to general manager.

Anjou offers Old World menu items such as escargot and duck au poivre, alongside southern-inflected offerings including crepes, and shrimp and grits. The restaurant also offers a full bar, a lakeside patio and private rooms.

Amelot-Holmes says her father is preparing a new dinner menu for the restaurant, which is set to debut May 1, though details are still in the works.

Anjou is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information or to make reservations, call 601-707-0587 or visit

SBA 2015 Mississippi Small Business Persons of the Year Awards

The Mississippi District Office of the United States Small Business Administration has named Willie A. O'Neal Jr. and Derek Starling Sr., owners of SOL Engineering Services, LLC of Jackson, the SBA 2015 Mississippi Small Business Persons of the Year.

Small Business Person of the Year winners from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are in competition for National Small Business Person of the Year. The SBA will recognize the 2015 National winner during a celebration in Washington, D.C., May 8.

The Mississippi SBA District Office will honor O'Neal and Starling, along with six other Small Business Week winners.

The Mississippi Minority Business Alliance nominated O'Neal and Starling for the state awards based in part on SOL Engineering Services' staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales or unit volume, current and past financial reports, innovations of product or service, response to adversity and contributions to aid the community.

The SBA also named Rod L. Hill, P.E., co-founder of Integrated Management Services, the 8(a) Graduate of the Year. He received the distinction for both the state of Mississippi and the SBA Southeastern Region. The 8(a) Graduate of the Year award recognizes outstanding businesses that have graduated from the SBA's 8(a) business development program for government contracting. IMS is also the SBA Region IV 8(a) Graduate of the Year and is in competition for national selection in this category.

Founded in 1996, IMS is a full-service consulting firm that offers clients technical and management solutions, with an emphasis on engineering services. IMS entered the SBA 8(a) Program in 1998 and graduated in 2007.

Every year, SBA receives nominations from organizations for categories including 8(a) Graduate, Financial Services Champion, Minority Business Champion, Women Business Champion, Veterans Business Champion and others.

For more information on the award ceremony or to nominate someone for a 2016 SBA award, call Bridget Johnson-Fells at 228-863-4449, ext. 225.

USDA Donates to AARP to Aid Mississippi Fresh Produce Program

On April 7, the United States Department of Agriculture, through its Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grant program, awarded the AARP Foundation a grant of $3.3 million, with an additional $1 million from UnitedHealthcare. The AARP Foundation will use the grant to implement a multi-year $6.6 million incentive program in Tennessee and Mississippi to increase the purchase and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients. The goal of this program is to improve nutrition and health outcomes for low-income consumers.

"We are very pleased to receive this generous grant from USDA that underscores AARP Foundation's important work to ensure all Americans can afford nutritious food and lead productive, healthful lives," Kelly Cress, the interim AARP Mississippi state director, said in a release.

Encouraging more nutritious diets is a focus in the health-care industry, which recognizes better nutrition as a disease-prevention and health-promotion measure. The AARP Foundation agrees with this view and believes making fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible is particularly important for older adults and those with limited or fixed incomes.

"Mississippi ranks 21.1 percent higher than the national average for food insecurity in the United States," Jocelyn C. Carter, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Mississippi, the company's Medicaid business, said in a release. "We won't let the trend continue and are grateful for the opportunity to work together with AARP Foundation to invest in programs that support access to healthy and affordable food in the state."

Beginning in September 2015, SNAP recipients will be able to take advantage of this incentive program at select Kroger stores and farmers markets. AARP Foundation is contracting with Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit organization with a track record of establishing incentive programs, to provide training and technical assistance to farmers markets and to assist with implementation of the outreach plan.

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