Mama Mozzarella, an Italian deli restaurant concept with a twist, is coming to Gather GVL next month, Sept. 2022. Taking over the booth formerly belonging to The Pasta Addict, Mama Mozzarella will feature sandwiches, wraps + fun bites (like a Sicilian quesadilla) with an emphasis on local ingredients. We can’t wait to try the Caprese BLT with prosciutto and Calabrian chili mayo.
Meet the chef
Chef Baileigh Reardon, originally from Charlotte, NC, started cooking when he was a student at the University of Mississippi. He went on to work with award-winning + renowned chefs in Mississippi and Charleston before bringing Mama Mozzarella to Greenville.
We asked Chef Baileigh three questions about his culinary background, his return to the Carolinas + what to expect from his first restaurant concept.
Tell us about your culinary background and how you landed in Greenville.
I grew up with a mother + grandmother who both encouraged my participation in the kitchen, giving me positive memories relating to food. I started cooking in “real” kitchens during my time at Ole Miss. I needed a job a couple days a week and ended up helping open the first food truck in the state in 2015.
I worked there for roughly three years. I found my way into Snackbar in Oxford, MS working with John Currence + Vishwesh Bhaat, both James Beard winners. I stayed there until I felt I was ready for a bigger market.
Next up was Charleston. I started out as a junior sous at Le Farfalle, owned by a legend in his own right Michael Toscano. I then went to Wild Common, a tasting menu in Charleston. This was my dream restaurant and working for one of the best people imaginable, Orlando Pagan.
I got a call from a friend from college in Biloxi, MS wanting to open a restaurant (Field’s Steak & Oyster Bar Biloxi). I went down there for two years to get everything up and running.
Now that the restaurant scene is somewhat back to normal I figured now was a great time to approach a growing market in a place I love. Greenville is becoming the South’s worst kept secret. I know people all over the country that are starting to hear about this little town.
As a Carolinian, what does it mean to you to be able to bring everything you’ve learned home?
Opening my first concept in Carolina was something that was a priority to me. I’ve been lucky enough to live in some amazing places throughout the South; but there always feels like there’s something missing. I can’t tell you if that’s from missing family or just wanting to be in familiar territory, but I can tell you there’s an overwhelming sense of nostalgia coming back.
What can people expect from Mama Mozzarella?
I’m going to try to put my own twist on the Italian deli. From the traditional minimalist cuisine to the bastardized American counterparts, I love it all. We’re going to serve mostly sandwiches + wraps with some fun bites, keeping things as local as possible. I can’t give it all away just yet, but a couple of offerings from the opening menu are toasted 5 cheese ravioli, fried zucchini curls with honey-dijon aioli, meatball patty and red pepper parmesan, a caprese BLT with prosciutto and calabrian chili mayo, and what we call a Sicilian quesadilla (something that will please both little and big kids). We plan on also offering an assortment of Italian sodas and gelato.
Are you excited about Mama Mozzarella opening at Gather GVL next month? Let us know.