As Executive Chef of The Citizen, Coleman Jernigan began his culinary journey at an early age alongside his mother, who worked as a sous chef. Jernigan, who describes himself as having grown up in the kitchen, was drawn to the creative, hands-on process of cooking, with some of his earliest memories being learning how to flip an omelet and baking cookies.
Despite his culinary upbringing, he took a brief hiatus from the kitchen to study at East Central Oklahoma State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and Political Science. He quickly realized his true calling was in the hospitality industry and moved to New Orleans, LA in 2008.
Here, he honed his culinary skill set across several areas of expertise, including bread baking, pastry arts, fine dining, casual dining, and wholesale production. In 2010, Jernigan joined the team at Manhattanjack as Head Baker in the wholesale division. From there, he went on to work as the Executive Chef at Manhattanjack’s retail location in Uptown New Orleans. In addition, Jernigan served as the Executive Chef for Altamura Trattoria from 2016 - 2017, located in the historic Magnolia Mansion in the Garden District of New Orleans. In 2018, he traded his views of the Big Easy for the beaches of Pensacola, FL where he served as Partner and Executive Chef at Cypress restaurant. In fall 2020, Jernigan joined Jeremy Walton and his team to open The Citizen.
Jernigan brings with him years of experience as both an employee and restaurant owner that will help guide The Citizen’s path and allow him to lead his team with a multi-viewpoint perspective. In addition to his role as Executive Chef, Jernigan looks forward to mentoring his fellow colleagues and ensuring that the mission of the restaurant, to be a good citizen, is lived out each day.