New Head Chef at Saltine, Tulane Madison Closing and Aspen Dental | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

New Head Chef at Saltine, Tulane Madison Closing and Aspen Dental

Sous chef Nicole Medrano recently accepted a promotion to become the new executive chef of Saltine Oyster Bar. Trip Burns/File Photo

Sous chef Nicole Medrano recently accepted a promotion to become the new executive chef of Saltine Oyster Bar. Trip Burns/File Photo

Sous chef Nicole Medrano recently accepted a promotion to become the new executive chef of Saltine Oyster Bar. She replaces former Executive Chef Jesse Houston, though she could not comment on Houston's future plans.

Medrano, who has worked under renowned Tennessee chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman of Hog & Hominy and Porcellino's Craft Butcher, has been with Saltine for a little more than a year.

Originally from Chicago, Medrano, 25, started cooking in seventh grade as part of an afterschool program and competed in local cook-offs before earning a stage (an apprenticeship for chefs) at One Sixty Blue restaurant in Chicago at age 16. She moved to Jackson in early 2016.

"I'm looking to take a more farm-to-table-centered direction for Saltine going forward, keeping in touch with local farmers and the fresh produce they can provide," Medrano told the Jackson Free Press. "My Hispanic background has also given me a lot of expertise in Mexican-style dishes that I want to try out for the menu."

Saltine Oyster Bar (622 Duling Ave.) is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 601-982-2899 or visit saltinerestaurant.com.

Tulane Madison Closing This Year

The Tulane University School of Continuing Studies will close its campus in Madison later this year to focus on sites closer to its main campus in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, as well as expanding its online courses.

Tulane will continue to offer classes in Madison through spring 2017 and will work with students so they can complete their degrees on schedule. The institution has partnered with Belhaven University to help current students complete their studies nearby, allowing them to transfer course credits and enroll in comparable degree programs after Tulane closes. Tulane will also assist Madison campus staff and faculty in finding new professional opportunities.

Belhaven plans to establish a new graduate campus in Madison that will offer degrees in nursing, education and business administration, among other fields.

Administrative leaders at Belhaven will visit the Madison campus to help provide a smooth transition for students, and the university will have support staff such as advisors and financial aid counselors on site and available to assist students. Belhaven also will award and administer financial aid for those transferring to other schools.

As additional options, students will be able to transfer to other colleges in the region, including the Tulane School of Continuing Studies locations in Biloxi and New Orleans, or continue with Tulane through online courses.

For more information, call 601-605-0007 or visit scs.tulane.edu/campuses/madison.

Aspen Dental Coming to Flowood

National dental-care company Aspen Dental is opening its first practice in Mississippi on Thursday, Jan. 12. Dr. Manisha Pradhan, who received her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at Boston University, will lead the new Flowood office, which will provide services such as dentures, preventive care, general dentistry and restoration.

To celebrate the business's entrance to the state, Aspen Dental is holding a "floss cutting" ceremony at 9 a.m. on Thursday to officially open the new office, located at 105 Ridge Way, Suite 3, in Flowood.

Three more Aspen Dental practices are scheduled to open in Mississippi in 2017, with offices coming to Tupelo, Pascagoula and Columbus. All four locations will provide comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work, and other services.

For more information, call 844-856-5258 or visit aspendental.com.

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