Andy's Restaurant Scorecard: St. Jude's Chef Miles McMath - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Restaurant Scorecard: St. Jude's Chef Miles McMath

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC TV) - CHEF OF THE WEEK:  Chef Miles McMath, Director of Culinary Operations, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, (901) 595-3300, www.stjude.org

Five chefs stand at his attention. 

80 support staffers hop to it on his culinary operations team.

Nearly 4,000 hungry cure-hunters and almost 300 patients a day with everything from dietary restrictions to unlimited "room-service" requests place their orders.

Chef Miles McMath's job at St. Jude is about the closest thing to being the executive chef of the White House.

"(My chefs) can't cure cancer, but we can support the people who do," boasted a proud McMath as he showcased St. Jude's Kay Kafe, a 16-station food court inside the hospital.

You name it, they serve it:  freshly-rolled sushi, pizza baked in wood-burning ovens, a deli, barbecue from four parts of the country and fresh ingredients right out of the hospital's own gardens or from an Oxford, MS, roving farmers market.

"It's kind of like a really diverse kind of market," St. Jude employee Clifford Froelich said over a lunch of sushi crab roll with tempura. "Italian food or Asian food or just good old Southern home-cooking, they've got it."

McMath got his chops at restaurants in Kentucky and Mississippi, including the Grand Casino's kitchens in Gulfport and Tunica. He eventually opened three restaurants of his own.

But McMath's a sucker for St. Jude and its kids.

Four years ago, he joined the hospital to direct its culinary operations. He designed the work flow of St. Jude's kitchen to serve its patients like a short-order restaurant.

"Kids basically place an order down from upstairs, just like a hotel. Any time of the day, 7 to 7. And we just fix the order," said McMath. "So we get a kid who wants fish tacos, we have all the ingredients to make it."

He also enjoys mentoring the kids, like 17-year-old bone cancer patient Nicholas Gagnon of Jacksonville, FL.

Gagnon's a budding chef himself. McMath shares private cooking lessons with him between bouts of chemotherapy to keep Gagnon's culinary spirit burning.

"He's kind of keeping that fire going while I'm here at St. Jude's until I get back home," said Gagnon after treating me to one of his Louisiana strawberry parfaits with granola, biscuit, orange zest and whipped cream.

"It just refreshes him," said Nicholas' mom, Suzette Gagnon. "He smiles more. He's happier. It kind of perks him up when he's down."

"We're the department that should be having fun and giving them something to look forward to," smiled McMath.

SCORES OF THE WEEK:

Tops Bar-B-Q, 4183 Summer Ave., Berclair/E. Memphis, 97 on March 30 

Lenny's Sub Shop, 3750 Hacks Cross Rd., Southwind Area/SE Memphis, 97 on March 27 

Houston's Restaurant, 5000 Poplar Ave., White Station Area/E. Memphis, 97 on March 29 

Honeybaked Ham, 5081 Park Ave., White Station Area/E. Memphis, 97 on March 29 

Subway, 1674 Whitten Rd., East Memphis, 96 on March 30 

Milano's Pizza, 7625 Highway 64, Border of E. Memphis/Bartlett, 96 on March 26 

Burger King, 3966 Park Ave., U of M Park Ave. Campus Area, 96 on March 23 

Milano's Pizza, 1740 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 96 on March 28 

Pietro Pizza & Subs, 7717 Hwy. 70, Bartlett/Ellendale, TN, 96 on March 27 

Wendy's, 7920 Highway 64, Bartlett, TN, 96 on March 26 

Buffalo Wild Wings, 3770 Hacks Cross Rd., Southwind Area/SE Memphis, 96 on March 27 

Taco Bell, 826 S. Third St., South Memphis, 95 on March 28 

Perkins Restaurant, 5112 Park Ave., White Station Area/E. Memphis, 94 on March 29 

El Molino Mexican Restaurant, 6496 Summer Ave., Bartlett, TN, 93 on March 29 

Bangkok Alley, 715 W. Brookhaven Circle, White Station Area/E. Memphis, 93 on March 30 

Neil's, 5727 Quince Rd., East Memphis, 93 on March 27 

KFC, 3215 S. Perkins Rd., Parkway Village/SE Memphis, 93 on March 27 

Subway, 2388 Summer Ave., Binghampton/E. Memphis, 92 on March 26 

A&R BBQ, 3721 Hickory Hill Rd., Hickory Hill/SE Memphis, 92 on March 28 

Crumpy's Hot Wings, 4040 St. Elmo Ave., Raleigh/NE Memphis, 92 on March 27 

Sonic Drive-In, 7636 Hwy. 70, Bartlett, TN, 92 on March 27 

Brookhaven Pub & Grill, 695 W. Brookhaven Circle, White Station Area/E. Memphis, 91 on March 30 

Chick-Fil-A, 4916 Poplar Ave., White Station Area/E. Memphis, 91 on March 26 

Humdingers, 6300 Poplar Ave., East Memphis, 91 on March 28 

Wing's House, 630 N. Highland St., Highland Heights/E. Memphis, 91 on March 27 

Popeye's, 4720 Showcase Blvd., Parkway Village/SE Memphis, 91 on March 27 

Best Wings of Memphis, 2390 Summer Ave., Binghampton/E. Memphis, 90 on March 26 

Bamboo Garden Restaurant, 2235 Whitten Rd., Hillshire/E. Memphis, 90 on March 29 

Sonic Drive-In, 3540 Covington Pike, Bartlett, TN, 90 on March 26 

Longhorn Steakhouse, 3581 S. Houston Levee Rd., Collierville, TN, 89 on March 28 

Burger King, 3951 Covington Pike, Raleigh/NE Memphis, 89 on March 26 

Sheridan's Frozen Custard, 8075 Macon Rd., Cordova, TN, 89 on March 26 

McAlister's Deli, 3482 Plaza Ave., Poplar Plaza/E. Memphis, 88 on March 27 

Howard's Donuts, 8130 Bellevue Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 88 on March 28 

Sekisui Bartlett, 2990 Kirby Whitten Rd., Bartlett, TN, 87 on March 30 

Dunkin Donuts, 1674 Whitten Rd., East Memphis, 87 on March 30 

Church's Fried Chicken, 2442 Summer Ave., Binghampton/E. Memphis, 87 on March 26 

Super Submarine Shop, 614 S. Highland St., U of M Area, 87 on March 26 

Supreme Hot Wings, 1674 Whitten Rd., East Memphis, 87 on March 26 

IHOP, 2810 Wolfcreek Pkwy, Cordova/Wolfchase Area, 86 on March 28 

Mi Pueblo, 3750 Hacks Cross Rd., Southwind Area/SE Memphis, 86 on March 27 

Formosa, 6685 Quince Rd., Kirby/Quince Area/E. Memphis, 85 on March 30 

Grand Buffet, 2015 Exeter Rd., Germantown, TN, 83 on March 27 

IHOP, 4725 Showcase Blvd, Parkway Village/SE Memphis, 83 on March 27 

Saito Restaurant, 6600 State Rd., Bartlett, TN, 83 on March 27 

La Hacienda, 1760 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 83 on March 28 

T.J. Mulligan's, 6635 Quince Rd., Kirby/Quince Area/E. Memphis, 82, date not listed 

Daylight Donuts, 3711 Lamar Ave., Southeast Memphis, 79 on March 30 

Danver's, 7970 Hwy. 64, Bartlett, TN, 77 on March 26 

Lil' Anthony's Café, 3700 Lamar Ave., Southeast Memphis, 65 on March 27 (FAILURE)

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