Florence’s Film Foodie

Stylist Jack White spices up The Shoals

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Owner of the new bistro in downtown Florence, Jack’s Place, Jack White graduated from the University of North Alabama and anticipated to go into film and television after graduation.

He did just that.

White found a way to incorporate his food into films and television shows such as “The Hunger Games,” “Anchorman,” “Arrested Development,” “Two and a Half Men” and over 50 more.

“I came back through the area when I was working on the first ‘Hunger Games’ movie,” White said. “I was working out of my kitchen in Pulaski. I re-fell in love with Florence. So much has changed since I was here.”

White said it felt like “semi-retiring” opening a restaurant, but it feels more consistent. He is not opposed to continue his work as a food stylist.

Most of his recent work has been in Atlanta.

“More films were shot in Atlanta last year than Los Angeles,” White said.

White began his career in food when he worked at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Nashville. He went to New York to pursue an acting career and waited tables while he was there. Working at restaurants in New York opened the door to working with food stylists in Los Angeles.

The first movie White worked on was “Doing Time on Maple Drive.”

“This was also Jim Carrey’s first movie,” White said. “He wasn’t the lead. He played the alcoholic uncle.”

White’s most recent film was “Logan Lucky,” the 2017 film starred Daniel Craig and Cullman-native Channing Tatum.

White said the most difficult style he has done on a movie was for “The Hunger Games.”

“When someone like Jennifer Lawrence eats something you’ve done and calls your name out in front of everyone,” White said, “that’s the reward.”

He also said his favorite recipe he has made was one he had made for “The Hunger Games.”

White doesn’t go into his work with a blind eye, he researches the stories and plots of the sets he’s featured on.

“It’s not everyday Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts applaud you.”

“If you read the books, you know Katniss’ favorite food is lamb stew,” White said. “I used to make it at my restaurant, Savory Jack’s, in Pulaski. The food didn’t make it into the movie but it’s a recipe I try to make when I have lamb.”

Foodies can get a taste of the food from sets, as White continues using recipes that were show-stoppers (or show-runners). For example, White uses the dinner rolls recipe in “The Hunger Games” as the crust for the pizzas at Jack’s Place.

He has also styled food for the Food Network show “Ultimate Recipe Showdown.”

“Guy Fieri was a judge on the show,” White said. “He stood up and congratulated me. He said he’d never been on a show where he didn’t have to stop rolling constantly.”

And White has never run short on compliments and successes. He said “August: Osage County” is the movie he is most proud of, not only for his creations but for the stars who appreciate them.

“It’s not everyday Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts applaud you,” White said.

He said part of the reward is being able to see the work on screen and know it is something that will be around forever.

As for our locals eager to dive into a culinary experience?

“Learning the technical part of cooking is important,” White said. “Once you have that down, then you can start exploring with your personal style and taste buds.”

Read the list of White’s filmography and learn more about Jack’s Place Bistro on their website.