Our Team

Family comes first. Meet ours.

Jonathan 'Wild Man' Cox

Jonathan "Wild Man" Cox

Executive Chef

Charlotte native Jonathan Cox loves adventuring and it shows. From a stint in a Michelin 2 star restaurant in Vico, Italy to backpacking through Europe to the dishes he constructs at Dogwood, Jonny knows how to grab attention on the plate and keep it.

His commitment to creating a positive kitchen culture featuring dishes that are both simple and honest is his focus—as well as putting aside pride and continuing to learn.

From his beginnings with Rare Roots at Dressler's Metro to his time in Italy to his current position as Executive Chef at Dogwood, Chef Cox is always looking for the next adventure.

Jonathan 'Willi' Williford

Jonathan "Willi" Williford

General Manager

Beginning his life as a back of the house jack of all trades Jonathan worked his way up the ranks and soon found himself in the front of the house and then managing alongside Jon Dressler's at Mortons.

Working at all the Rare Roots concepts Jonathan proved himself adept at managing people, guests, and numbers (his second true love). His first love, though, is his lovely daughter Claire who can tell a great joke, be silly, and play a mean guitar.

Spending time at all the concepts has afforded Jonathan with a unique appreciation of the diverse staffs and all the details that make success possible. Jonathan will be off to new Rare Roots adventures because as he says "… I do what I'm told…"

Jonathan 'Willi' Williford

Michele Clapsaddle

Michele Clapsaddle

Assistant General Manager

Growing up in small town PA, Michele never thought about the strange lands below the Mason-Dixon line, but as fate would have it she was accepted to UNC-Charlotte and this northern influenced southern city became her home.

Learning the volume game at The Olive Garden, the small, chef-driven style of boutique dining at Ann Breeze's Palatable Pleasures and completing a long stint at 300 East, Michele became completely immersed in hospitality. But, by far the most fortuitous move of all was being hired to be on the opening team at Dogwood where all the lessons of the past coalesced into a fun, challenging, love-filled present and future adventures.

Michele helps run the show at Dogwood now and is curating one of the most thoughtful wine lists in SouthPark.

Eli Privette

Eli Privette

Bar Manager

Born and raised in Waxhaw, NC, Eli has been a rising star behind the bar since the day he was old enough to drink. He joined Rare Roots Hospitality as a server at The Porter's House in 2017, but only because he wasn't old enough to mix drinks (legally). In 2018, he heard the Call of the Clam and joined the opening team for Fin & Fino, where he learned the ways of the cocktail world under the direction of Brittany Kellum, "BK." He became Bar Manager of Dogwood in Summer 2020.

Outside of Dogwood, Eli's biggest interests are music, cooking, golfing, and spending time with his lab/pull mix, Butch.

Eli Privette