Chef Hansell grew up on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, 45 minutes east of New Orleans. Surrounded by the commercial fishing and shrimping industry, his love of fresh ingredients and the local catch inspired him to begin a career in the culinary field. Upon graduation from Culinary School at The University of Southern Mississippi, Hansell moved to New Orleans to work under Executive Chef Tory McPhail at Commander’s Palace and then transitioned with Chef Thomas Robey to Birmingham, as sous chef at Veranda on Highland.
After his time in Birmingham, Hansell left for Aspen, Colorado, expanding his career at the Little Nell’s restaurant, Montagna, as sous chef, working under Chef Robert McCormick. When an opportunity arose to work under one of Food & Wine’s “Top 10 New Chefs in America,” Hansell moved back to New Orleans to work as executive sous chef for John Besh at his restaurant, Lüke. After his time at Lüke, Chef Hansell was asked to come back to Birmingham to take over as executive chef at the Veranda on Highland where he has spent the last 2 years. Jeffrey is currently the Executive Chef at Ox Lot 9 in Covington, Louisiana, and he and his wife, Amy, also opened Covington’s Smoke BBQ in 2015.
During this time Chef Hansell has been featured twice in “Best Chefs of Americ,” and “Best Chefs the American South,” the first ever peer review of American Chefs. Also featured in PBS.org kitchen careers, the Braiser.com in “the top 10 chefs to know in Birmingham.” Most recently, Chef Hansell was nominated as Food & Wine Best New Chef 2014, representing the Gulf Coast. Hansell was also named one of Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine’s “Chefs to Watch” in 2015 and was a Star Chef New Orleans 2015.