Chris Shepherd launched Southern Smoke in 2015 after learning his friend and former sommelier Antonio Gianola was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Since then, Southern Smoke has donated $763,000 to the MS Society, making it the largest third-party fundraiser in a five-state area.

In 2017, Southern Smoke shifted its focus to provide assistance to people in the food and beverage industry affected by Hurricane Harvey and donated $501,000 to 139 people in need. Recognizing a need, the Southern Smoke Foundation created an Emergency Relief Fund for people in the food and beverage industry in crisis.

To date, Southern Smoke has donated more than $1.7 million—both directly to people in need via the Emergency Relief Fund and to organizations that represent the needs of people in our industry. As Chris says, Southern Smoke was created to “take care of our own.”

Southern Smoke Leadership Team
Dream Team
Nick Fine
Culinary Director
Matthew Pridgen
Wine Director
Westin Galleymore
Spirits Director
Jordann Foreman
Special Events Coordinator
Katy Brittain
Staff and Scheduling Committee Head
Victoria Dearmond
Staff and Scheduling Committee Head
Holly Fabian
Silent Auction 
Committee Head