Chef Mason Hereford was born in Charlottesville, Virginia where he grew up loving sandwiches. Well, one sandwich in particular: a turkey and cranberry sauce number with sharp cheddar, herb mayo, and lettuce on a French roll. It's called the Jefferson and it had a formative impact on his life. At a young age, he proclaimed he would, in fact, open his own sandwich shop one day.
Today he owns two restaurants in New Orleans, one of which, a much-beloved sandwich shop, Turkey and the Wolf, was named Best Restaurant in America by Bon Appetit Magazine in 2017.
He worked at bars through college at UVA and got a taste of the service industry. It was then that he developed a passion for cooking professionally.
Hereford worked in restaurants around the country, including San Francisco and Charleston, before moving back to New Orleans in 2008. He became the chef de cuisine at Coquette and at Sweet Olive, which has since closed. He opened Turkey and the Wolf in the Irish Channel in 2016. The most famous dish on the menu is a fried bologna sandwich.
Hereford opened his second restaurant, Molly’s Rise and Shine, in 2019. This restaurant is a playful breakfast spot that serves American classics with a twist, such as the Grand Slam McMuffin and Sweet Potato Burrito. Both of his restaurants are casual with retro flare. It is clear that Hereford believes cooking and dining should be fun and creative.
Hereford's first cookbook, Turkey and the Wolf: Flavor Trippin' in New Orleans, is a New York Times Bestseller. He also appears as a contestant in the Netflix reboot of Iron Chef, titled Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, which premiered on Netflix on June 15, 2022.