Justin Murrah Bio
Huntsville, Alabama is my hometown, where I grew up, where most of my “firsts” happened. I have almost always had a job in some sectors of the food industry. In high school, I worked at a local Grocery store. I worked my way around the whole store throughout high school, from stock boy to Assistant Butcher.
I Graduated from S.R. Butler High School in 2005 and received a substantial scholarship from the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama, where I studied Music/Education and Geography/GIS. I met Jen Rodgers, my wonderful wife of 9 years, at UNA, where she was also a Geography/GIS student. We have two incredible boys, Maximus is 8 and too smart for his own good and loves games, reading and playing soccer. Rowan is 4 and has a wild spirit and tells it like it is; he loves building blocks, dogs, and food... (oh how he loves food!)
I worked at Domino’s Pizza while I went to college, delivering pizzas and eventually managing the store. From there I started working at the Olive Garden, first as a busser and eventually working literally every position within the restaurant.
In 2011 we moved to Douglasville, Georgia where my wife is from. I soon became the Culinary Professional at the Olive Garden. My responsibilities included overseeing and enforcing proper execution of recipes, training of employees in the kitchen, and upholding the high standards of Darden Restaurants. I was highly involved in developing strategies and techniques designed to minimize labor and food cost without sacrificing the quality of food. Despite years of working in food, this is when I actually started to develop my passion for preparing, cooking, and presenting food at both high quality and high volume.
I continued my culinary ventures as the Executive Chef of Chapel Hills Golf & Country Club. This was a new perspective in the food industry. I still maintained my high standards of quality, but I had a lot more creative freedom. I started creating my own menus with food I designed. I also managed the food for events at Chapel Hills including wine tastings, weddings, graduations, neighborhood pool parties, local beer brewery nights, Murder Mystery dinners, golf tournaments, and other countless small party events like birthdays or Breakfast with Santa. This creative freedom and catering experience really allowed me to embrace culinary arts to the fullest and unlocked my passion for experimenting with flavor and high-quality ingredients.
In July 2018 my family and moved back to the Quad Cities area. I was admittedly apprehensive about the move and was not sure what I was going to do. I found myself curious about the Logan Room on the N. Montgomery in Sheffield and I realized there was a restaurant being built. After a week or two, I started asking questions about it and figured I could lend a helping hand...well here we are! I am excited about The Red Clay Table. Ryan and I are striving to provide a quality dining experience for the community. We will put our southern twist on some classic dishes and allow people to try some unfamiliar delicacies.
My highest and first priority is to make delicious food for everyone to enjoy. I do not have many secrets when it comes to food, so please if you have any questions about recipes or technique do not hesitate to ask me. I also want to provide exclusive and personal experiences in the future, if you would like something specific, please ask me and I will do everything I can to make it happen.
The Red Clay Table is going to be a wonderful adventure for me and for Sheffield. I'm so happy I found my way back to North Alabama.