A native of New Orleans, Troy Gilbert grew up visiting the Mississippi Coast on weekends and eventually attended St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis. As an adult, he began sailing the coast and exploring the Gulf Islands and has written about these waters for publications such as Sailing World, BoatUS, Mississippi Magazine, Southern Boating, the Times-Picayune and many others. In 2015, he won a Boat Writing International Award for a story on cruising Mississippi’s Gulf Islands, which is included in this book. On the Coast is Troy’s fourth “hybrid” cookbook and follows Dinner with Tennessee Williams which was released in 2011 and also has deep Mississippi roots. His earlier two books are New Orleans Kitchens and the Cafe Degas Cookbook. Troy lives in New Orleans and is generally either typing on his backporch in Lakeview while sipping wine from his grandparents old wine glasses or traveling throughout the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean and Europe writing about boating, culture and competitive sailing. His work and photography can be found at gulflatitudes.com.
Matthew Mayfield has been known to claim as having first heard the call of the Mississippi State “cowbell” in his mother’s womb while she was cooking shrimp and grits. He was birthed in Pascagoula and eventually attended Mississippi State where he graduated in 1995. He followed that up with a stint at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York where he graduated top of his class in 1998. Matthew immediately returned to the Gulf Coast and settled in New Orleans and worked in several fine dining establishments before moving back to the coast to open his own restaurant in Pascagoula. Today he is co-owner of Tay’s BBQ which was originally an old BBQ joint owned by his wife’s family in the 1940’s and that they resurrected in 2002. Matthew lives in downtown Ocean Springs with his wife Hanna, their twin 5 year old daughters and four boats in various states of disrepair.
Raised in the Seacliff neighborhood of Gautier on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi Sound and next door to the Walter Anderson family’s ancestral home of Old Fields, Billy Solitario grew up fishing and sailing the Gulf Islands and started sketching and drawing these scenes as a young lad. In 1994, he graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.F.A. and moved to New Orleans. In 1997, Billy received the prestigious Gwendolyn Ozol Scholarship, studied painting full time and received a M.F.A. in painting from Tulane University. Today, Billy is a professional artist and has his own gallery on Magazine Street in New Orleans – Studio Solitario. His work is held in the permanent collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans and can also be found at LeMieux Gallery in New Orleans, the Red Bird Gallery in Seaside, Florida, Brown’s Fine Art in Jackson and the Pink Rooster Gallery in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Billy currently resides in Uptown New Orleans with his wife Nici and their 10 year old son and he frequently returns to the Mississippi Coast to visit friends and family as well as to fish and work on new paintings. Billy’s work can be found at billysolitario.com.