Cortona Chef Nate Olivia, a former chef de cuisine at Erling Jensen, cooks in his new kitchen in Cooper-Young.
Here's a perfect pairing of my dual roles as writer and teacher: One of my journalism students at the University of Memphis writes an excellent food story. In this case, the writer is Crystal Russell, and her story on Cortona Contemporary Italian in Cooper-Young is a look at the restaurant's updated menu shaped by chef Nate Olivia and manager Jennifer Dickerson.
Both Olivia and Dickerson are part of the restaurant's new management team, and their menu reflects a more contemporary and upscale turn for the trattoria opened two years ago by former chef/owner David Cleveland.
Russell published her story on MicroMemphis, a site written by journalism students as part of their capstone course before graduating. If you haven't seen their work, be sure to check it out. The students cover every angle of Cooper-Young, and the site is both newsy and entertaining.