(Mary-Gates Allen/SoulGrown)

French cooking is a part of Chef Jacob Stull’s DNA. With a family that immigrated from France to the New England area, Stull enjoyed authentic French cooking throughout his childhood. This upbringing served as a source of inspiration for Stull, prompting him to start a career in the restaurant industry. He had seen others go before him and find success, sharing a hometown with the Voltaggio brothers, two well-known chefs who own a number of successful restaurants in D.C. and New York City.

He had a dream for what he could bring to the industry and, before long, found training at restaurants in nearby D.C. and in other well-established kitchens on the East Coast. He spent time honing his skills in several cities across the U.S. before settling in New Orleans for a time. The city became home to his first pop-up dining experience, where Stull worked to perfect the tasting menu concept.

After finding success in New Orleans, he was searching for a place where guests would be open to the experience of art and food, and Birmingham fit the bill. Stull saw a great amount of potential in Birmingham and a gap in the market for pop-up tasting menu experiences. He decided he would bring something unique to the area.

(Mary-Gates Allen/SoulGrown)

In 2019, he began hosting his first series of pop-up dining experiences in Birmingham. Stull enjoyed creating one-of-a-kind menus for his guests, experimenting with a range of dishes and drinks, drawing on inspiration from his breadth of experience in kitchens across the country. Shortly thereafter, COVID-19 took over the city and shut down intimate gatherings, and Stull opened himself up to new opportunities.

(Mary-Gates Allen/SoulGrown)

He was approached by a James Beard Award-winning group out of Atlanta to take the position of Executive Chef at The Alamite Hotel in Tuscaloosa, a business backed by former Alabama football coach Nick Saban. He decided to take on the project of molding the hotel’s restaurant concepts, Forte and Roll Call. His time at Forte was pivotal in allowing him to perfect dishes that reflect his family’s French heritage while connecting with guests in a meaningful way.

“Forte was a modern French brasserie. The goal was to take Julia Child-era American dishes and draw inspiration from that.”

Guests fell in love with the consistently rotating menu of both classic and reimagined French dishes with a familiar flair. Stull marks this as an important shift in the city’s dining landscape, proving that many Southerners were ready and willing to embrace dishes with a story.

It is with this confidence he has decided to make his return to Birmingham to bring the city something it has never experienced before. Stull’s newest pop-up tasting menu concept, Rêve, will encapsulate all of what he has learned alongside all that he has dreamt of in presenting high-quality French cuisine inspired by his heritage. Rêve, translated from French as “dream,” is exactly what he will be asking his guests to do.

“I want to give people new experiences through food, an escape from their daily lives, an experience they will never forget. I want them to feel like they’re the most important people in the world.”

For Stull, Rêve is the opportunity to bring his story to the South, “Through the tasting menu, we are telling a story and evoking emotion through it to make a connection with people. You are showcasing ingredients and a skillset, but also showcasing yourself and your art. You’re putting yourself on a plate.”

(Mary-Gates Allen/SoulGrown)

While the menus will have a French focus, Stull plans to incorporate Southern ingredients to craft dishes that resonate. The events will be in different locations across the city, with an occasional dinner being held in Tuscaloosa to bring the concept to those who supported him at Forte and Roll Call. Dinners will take place on Sundays and include a 12-course tasting menu.

Tickets are available now with Rêve’s first pop-up experience taking place on April 7th.

Find tickets and details here.

Chef Jacob Stull also offers private dining experiences. If interested, contact him at