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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI APRIL/MAY 2017

- The Debutante Farmer -


It’s Time for a

fiesta Walthall County



+ McEwen’s + Ground Zero Blues Club + Betty’s Eat Shop + Phillip M’s TheMISSISSIPPI Wayward Kraken eat.+drink. •1

2 • APRIL/MAY 2017

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Digital Subscriptions Available!



Chocolate Share the Love

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February/March 2017


+ Catfish Blues + Lillo's Family Restaurant + Taste Bistro & Desserts + Phillips Drive-In + Second Street Bean

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MAY 1-6, 2017

Access issues on all your devices - iOS, Android, and desktop computer. Download the free Eat Drink Mississippi app to purchase and view in app. On desktop computer, visit and search for Eat Drink Mississippi or visit for a direct link.

Getting a taste of Mississippi has never been easier! 4 • APRIL/MAY 2017



140 Township Ave. Ridgeland, MS 39157

111 Market St. Flowood, MS 39232


CONTENTS April/May 2017 • Volume 6 Number 3

24 in this issue 14 WHAT’S HOT Maple Pecan Scones

18 CHEF’S CORNER Q&A with Chef Danie Rodriguez of Chef Danie Cooks

22 THE DEBUTANTE FARMER Elizabeth Heiskell Takes Success from Oxford Farm to the Today Show

26 MISSISSIPPI MADE Mississippi Pickle Fork

30 IT’S TIME FOR A FIESTA Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

34 WALK. EAT. EXPLORE. Tasty Tours of South Mississippi Offers Bites of History and Food in Downtown Gulfport

36 SAVOR STARKVILLE Thriving Culinary Scene in Starkville Draws Visitors in for a Taste

42 IN THE BLOGLIGHT Eating Out with Jeff Jones

41 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 5

Missing an issue? Back issues are available for order on our website! VOLUME 5, NUMBER 4

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI JUNE/JULY 2016



+ Oxford Canteen + Levon’s Bar and Grill + Culinary Cowboy + Longhorn’s Steakhouse + Ed’s Burger Joint

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June/July 2016

MISSISSIPPI Summer Salads Sweet Treats page 34


page 68

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11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Mignon Faget Trunk Show



+ Blue Canoe + Cicero’s + Brummi’s Yummies + Chunky Shoals Fish Camp + 200 North Beach


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

for the Season page 22


Celebrate Mother’s Day Early May 9th 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. De Buyer Crepe Demo

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI August/September 2016

Mother, May I?




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+ Southern Eatery + CRAVE Bistro + Livingston + Skidmore’s Grill + Tasty Tails eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI •1


page 22

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December/January 2017



+ GRIT + Crystal Grill + Moo’s Barn & Grill + Nightingale’s Pantry + Hook Gulf Coast Cuisine eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

Share the Love

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February/March 2017


+ Catfish Blues + Lillo's Family Restaurant + Taste Bistro & Desserts + Phillips Drive-In + Second Street Bean

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3720 Hardy Street, Suite 3 Hattiesburg, MS

601-261-2224 6 • APRIL/MAY 2017

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

CONTENTS April/May 2017




Chickens I Have Known


Betty’s Eat Shop in Brookhaven


Coast to Coast Culinary Career

52 FROM THE BOOKSHELF The Cooking Lady - Ann Hollowell with Tom Henkenius

54 RAISE YOUR GLASS Hornitos Black Barrel Old Fashion Punch

56 THE HILLS McEwen’s in Oxford

54 ON THE COVER: Steak Fajitas, page 31. Photography by Lisa LaFontaine Bynum.

60 THE DELTA Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale

64 THE PINES Phillip M’s in Choctaw

The Wayward Kraken in Biloxi


FEATURED EVENT Walthall County Dairy Festival

in every issue 8 From the Publisher 10 From Our Readers 16 Fabulous Foodie Finds 20 Deep South Dish 78 Events 80 Recipe/Ad Index 82 Till We Eat Again

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 7

{ from the publisher }


t seems as if there’s a national food holiday of some sort every day of the year. Here in Mississippi, we don’t require a reason to eat well. It’s just our way of life. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a holiday to help lessen the guilt of overindulging.

In case you didn’t know, the month of April is National Bacon Month and May is National Hamburger Month. At my house, we tend to celebrate those year-round. There are some extra tasty days occurring this time of year. National Chocolate Mousse Day is April 3rd, National Caramel Day is April 5th, Chocolate-Covered Cashew Truffle Day is April 21st, National Shrimp Day is May 10th, and National Buttermilk Biscuit Day is May 14th - just to name a few. And, there are some not so tasty days (in my opinion) as well National Licorice Day on April 12th and National Escargot Day on May 24th. While it’s technically not a food holiday, one day that has become widely celebrated in American culture is Cinco de Mayo (May 5th). Many celebrate it in name only as an excuse to nosh on Mexican food, not even knowing the true meaning. If you’d like to join in the fun this year, we’ve got delicious recipes by Lisa Bynum for your fiesta. You’ll find them beginning on page 30. Many years ago, I participated in a Christmas gift exchange where each participant was to bring a gender-neutral gift. I ended up with a salad spinner. Leaving the gathering with my new gadget in hand, I felt like I had won the booby prize. As it turns out, it’s one of the handiest kitchen gadgets I own. This was one of those “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” occasions.

salad spinner, we’ve gathered several items to assist you in making your favorite salad. Check them out on pages 16-17. One of my favorite salads is Spring Strawberry Pecan Salad. I can’t get enough of it this time of year since Louisiana strawberries are in season. I’ll share the recipe below. Get to spinning and let's eat!

Spring Strawberry Pecan Salad Spring Mix lettuce (or your favorite variety of greens) Red onion, thinly sliced Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe follows) Sliced strawberries Honey roasted pecans* Place desired amount of lettuce and red onion into a salad bowl. Drizzle with Dijon Vinaigrette and toss. Top with strawberries and pecans. * I use Fresh Gourmet brand Honey Roasted Pecan Pieces found in the produce section of Kroger.

Dijon Vinaigrette

Mine has a pull cord that works like a combo of the pull on a hand-crank lawn mower and a yo yo. When you make the first pull, you have to do it with just the right amount of momentum so that it will retract when it gets to the end of the cord. Since that time, manufacturers have made great improvements to the salad spinner. Now, you just press a plunger on the top to get it spinning. It’s like an adult version of the Fisher-Price spinning top I had as a child.

3/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup white sugar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard Salt and pepper, to taste

Salads are a great way to welcome Spring. Our palates tend to enjoy lighter fare this time of year. In addition to the handy

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, honey, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper together. Store unused dressing in refrigerator.


"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31


EAT DRINK MISSISSIPPI (USPS 17200) is published bi-monthly by Carney Publications LLC, 296 F.E. Sellers Hwy., Monticello, MS 39654-9555. Periodicals postage paid at Monticello, MS, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to EAT DRINK MISSISSIPPI, P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130.

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Sweet Treats

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page 68

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for the Season page 22





mber 2016


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+ Blue Canoe + Cicero’s

+ Brummi’s Yummies + Chunky Shoals Fish Camp + 200 North Beach




Yuleti Yummiedse


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IPPI • 1




/JANU ARY 2017

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+ Southern Eatery + CRAVE Bistro + Livingston + Skidmore’s Grill


+ Tasty Tails eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI •1











ve e the Lo

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+ GRI T + Cry stal Gril + Moo ’s Bar l + Nig htingalen & Grill + Hoo k Gul ’s Pantry f Coa st . MISS ISSIPPI Cuisine •1

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arch 2017



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{ from our readers } Love your magazine!

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI J.J. Carney Publisher/Editor John Carney Executive Editor Anne Morgan Carney Executive Assistant

VENDORS WANTED We are currently seeking magazine vendors in all areas of the state. If you would like to sell this magazine at your business, call 601-756-1584 or email for more information.

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DROP US A LINE! Thank you for your interest in this magazine. We would love to hear from you. Please understand that letters submitted become the property of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI and may be edited for length and clarity. E-mail us at, leave a comment on our Facebook page, or write to P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130.

NEW ADDRESS? If you’re a subscriber and your address has changed, please let us know. The post office doesn’t provide forwarding service for the magazine and we don’t want you to miss an issue. Send your change of address to us at P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130 or e-mail us at 10 • APRIL/MAY 2017

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CALL TOLL FREE 877.930.6190

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JULIAN BRUNT is a food and culture writer from the Gulf Coast whose roots run more than three hundred years deep in Southern soil. He is deeply concerned with culinary and cultural traditions and thinks no man worth his salt that cannot hold forth in tall tale and willingly endure the heat of the kitchen.

LISA LAFONTAINE BYNUM is a freelance writer from Grenada. Her work has appeared in several publications in Mississippi. She is a graduate of Delta State University where she received a BA in Marketing and her MBA. In her free time, she enjoys food writing and photography. She currently resides in Brandon. Photo by Alisa Chapman Photography

COOP COOPER is a journalist, film critic and filmmaker based in Clarksdale. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.F.A. in Cinema, and received his Masters in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Hollywood. You can read his past film-related articles at www.

KIM HENDERSON is a freelance writer living in Copiah County. While at Mississippi College, she was named their most outstanding journalism student and has since been published by sources ranging from the Associated Press to LifeWay Christian Resources. She currently writes a weekly slice-of-life column for Brookhaven’s Daily Leader.

12 • APRIL/MAY 2017

KELSEY WELLS LAMBERT is a news writer at Lawrence County Press in Monticello. She is a graduate of Southwest Mississippi Community College where she served as editor of The Pine Burr. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications at William Carey University and served as a staff writer and life editor of The Cobbler student newspaper until she became managing editor her senior year. She and her husband currently reside in the Divide community where she is active in her church and community.

SUSAN MARQUEZ lives and writes in Madison. She has a degree in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Southern Mississippi and had a long career in advertising and marketing before stumbling into a freelance writing career in 2001. Hundreds of published articles later, Marquez still loves to tell the stories of the interesting people, places, and events throughout the South.

KATHY K. MARTIN is an Ole Miss journalism graduate who currently lives in Collierville, Tennessee with her husband and two children. She works as a freelance writer and chairs her church’s Christian writers group.

RICHELLE PUTNAM is a Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) Teaching Artist/Roster Artist (Literary), a Mississippi Humanities Speaker, and a 2014 MAC Literary Arts Fellow. Her YA biography, The Inspiring Life of Eudora

Welty (The History Press, April 2014), received the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Silver Medal. She is also the author of Lauderdale County, Mississippi; a Brief History (The History Press, 2011) and co-author of Legendary Locals of Meridian, Mississippi (Arcadia Publishing 2013). Her mission as a writer and teaching artist is to help children see the beauty of words and to realize their power.

JANETTE TIBBETTS is a ninth generation Mississippian. She grew up on a Jones County dairy farm, attended Millsaps, taught school, and was a merchant. She is the founder and curator of “The Sandbank,” a Beatrix Potter Collection, at USM. She is a freelance writer and photographer. Janette writes weekly garden and food columns for magazines and newspapers. She was awarded a writer’s grant from the Mississippi Art’s Commission and the National Endowment of the Arts. She lives with her husband, Jon, and writes in their home near Hattiesburg. A published author of short stories, she is presently completing a novel.

MEGAN WOLFE is a freelance writer and photojournalist from San Francisco. Her work can regularly be found in the Collierville Herald, The South Reporter, and other mid-South publications. She is currently based in Holly Springs, where she spends her free time creating multimedia projects to promote community events and the local arts.



DONATE NOW! Every $1.00 donated provides seven meals to hungry Mississippians.

Almost 1 in 4 Mississippians — about 690,000 people — don’t have enough to eat. More than 1 in 4 children (28.7%) go to bed hungry most every night.

Stomachs are growling all over the state. Hunger is a problem all across America, but in Mississippi, it’s practically an epidemic.

mer camps m su rties

daily prog ra s

bir t



pa ay • 601.981.5469 • Jackson, MS This project is partially funded through a grant by Visit Jackson.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 13

{ what's hot }

Coffee Companion

Scones make an ideal companion to a morning cup of coffee or tea. Simple and delicious, this recipe for Maple Pecan Scones from Linda Collister’s Quick Breads (Ryland, Peters & Small) is ideal for scone lovers who want something quick to make in the morning.

Maple Pecan Scones Serves 6 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder A good pinch of salt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes 1 cup pecan pieces 1 extra-large egg 1/4 cup pure maple syrup About 3 tablespoons milk Preheat the oven to 425 F. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Mix in the pecans. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Stir into the flour mixture with a 14 • APRIL/MAY 2017

round-bladed knife to make a soft, coarse-looking dough. If the dough is dry and crumbly and won’t stick together, stir in more milk 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is very wet and sticky, work in another tablespoon of flour. Tip out the dough onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour and gently work it with your hands for a few seconds so it looks smoother. Put the dough ball onto a greased baking sheet. Dip your fingers in flour and pat out the dough to a round about 1-1/4 inches thick and 7 inches across. Using a knife, cut the round into 6 wedges, but do not separate the dough before baking. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave until the wedges are cool enough to separate. Serve warm the same day. The cooled scones can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 1 month.

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{ fabulous foodie finds }

Salad Fixings With the arrival of Spring, our palates tend to turn from hot, hearty dishes to lighter fare like salads. Making a good salad takes more than just throwing some lettuce into a bowl. These items will help you toss up a delicious salad in no time.

Hand-crafted and Painted Floral Salad Plates, $44.00 each Etta B Pottery

Prodyne Acrylic Salad Bowl with Servers, $19.99 Amazon

see page 80 for store information 16 • APRIL/MAY 2017

Gourmet Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar for delicious salad dressing, $5.95 - $28.95 J. Olive Co. - Hattiesburg, Oxford, and Ridgeland

Ronco® Salad-o-Matic™ Salad Maker, $24.99 Bed Bath and Beyond

OXO Stainless Steel Salad Spinner, $49.99 The Kitchen Table - Hattiesburg

Chef’n Emulstir Salad Dressing Mixer, $14.99 Viking Cooking School Retail Store - Greenwood eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 17

{ chef's corner }

Q&A with Chef Danie Rodriguez of Chef Danie Cooks


hef Danie Rodriguez has been a chef in the Gulf Coast area for the past 20 years. She started her first restaurant, Pappa Roni’s, in Vancleave with a 14-year successful run. She went on to open Capone’s Italian Ristorante in Ocean Springs (and later in D’Iberville) and LUNCH in Biloxi. Rodriguez now focuses on culinary education. She is a proud member of Slow Food, USA, an honorary member of Culinary Corps, a member of Real Food Gulf Coast, the Ocean Springs Chamber, the D’Iberville/St. Martin Chamber, and the Gulf Coast Italian American Society. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Restaurant Association and worked as Culinary Director for the Mary C Culinary Café in Ocean Springs. Rodriguez won 2nd place in the 2014 Great American Seafood Cook-off on the Gulf Coast and was the first female chef to ever compete for the title. She was recognized by the Department of Marine Resources for the State of Mississippi as one of the top seafood chefs in the state. Who or what influenced you to become a chef? I have been influenced by a lot of great chefs along the way. Julia Child, Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey, and Lydia Bastianich are just a few. I also have always had a great love of cooking and food. As a child, I would read cookbooks like novels and try to imagine cooking all of the great food that I read about.

What culinary services do you offer? I offer culinary classes for adults and kids twice a month at my classroom in Biloxi (837 Howard Ave). I offer week long summer camps for kids from May through July, private in-home chef services for individual meals or for larger catered events, and a line of products that I sell at The Fresh Market in Ocean Springs from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday mornings. I also have a cooking show that airs four times a week (Tuesday and Thursday at 11:30 a.m., Saturday and Sunday at 6:00 a.m.) on WXXV FOX 25 called Chef Danie’s Culinary Class. I have been on air for five years sharing culinary techniques and recipes. I write a food blog,, and have a website, And, on top of all that, I am the Culinary Arts Instructor at Gulfport High School where I work to promote culinary education. What made you want to teach cooking classes? I have always enjoyed teaching, and inspiring the next generation of chefs is definitely my passion. What is your favorite food memory? I raised my children in my restaurant. They worked any job they could as soon as they could and we were always together. My favorite food memories are all about something called “Family

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Chef Danie Rodriguez Meal.” “Family Meal” in the restaurant was always at the end of the night after everything was cleaned and the whole staff would sit to eat before they went home. We have had some very interesting conversations around that table and I watched my kids grow up around that table. How would you describe your cooking style? My cooking style has always been about cooking whole foods, cooking with the seasons, and everything made from scratch. I am most known for Italian foods, but I really cook all styles of food. What are your signature dishes? If I had to pick signature dishes, I would have to say Lobster Ravioli, Meatballs, Chicken Spinaci, Lasagna due coppia, Flounder Caprese, and definitely Foccacia Dip. But I make a pretty awesome pizza, too. What’s your favorite ingredient? Anything fresh. What’s your favorite dish to prepare? I love cooking with seafood and the Gulf provides so many treasures for us to cook.

PASTA ROSAMARINO by Chef Danie Rodriguez

1 pound fresh fettuccine pasta 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons butter 1 cup fresh seasonal veggies (broccoli, squash, zucchini, asparagus, etc) 8 ounces fresh button mushrooms, sliced 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips 2 stalks fresh rosemary 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 1 teaspoon granulated onion 1 cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese Salt and pepper, to taste 2 Portabello mushrooms, sliced

to bubble, add the Parmesan cheese. Allow to thicken for 2 minutes and toss with pasta that has cooled. The warm sauce should heat the pasta back up. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Portabello mushrooms.

Cook fresh pasta in boiling salted water for 2-5 minutes. If using dried pasta, cook for 5-7 minutes. Drain pasta and toss with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil on a flat sheet pan. Spread pasta out to slightly cool and to keep the pasta from cooking any longer. In a large sauce pan, add garlic and butter and saute 1 minutes. Add veggies, button mushrooms, bell pepper, and begin to sauté.  Take one of the stalks of rosemary, hold it in one hand, and use the other hand to slice down the stalk of rosemary against the growing pattern of the leaves to get all of the rosemary off of the stem.  Add rosemary to pan and reserve the other stalk for the top later. Season veggies with granulated onion and granulated garlic. Sauté veggies for approximately 3 minutes, then add heavy cream to pan. When the cream starts

What’s your favorite dish to eat? I really love all food and even though I am Italian, I especially love all of the Asian flavor. I really love pho, which is a Vietnamese soup, anytime. What do you enjoy doing on your days off? What days off ?

What do you enjoy cooking at home? I am always experimenting with new dishes and ingredients. You should always be learning and growing as a chef. When you’re not at work, where do you like to eat out? As the President of the Restaurant Association for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I would have to say we have some of the best restaurants in the country right here. And I enjoy all of them. edm

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DEEP SOUTH DISH Food. Family. Memories.

Mary Foreman, a native of Biloxi, is the author of the popular website, where she shares her favorite, homespun, mostly from scratch and, very often, heirloom and heritage, Southern recipes. She is also author of her first cookbook, Deep South Dish: Homestyle Southern Recipes.

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Jazz Up Your Taste Buds with a Tasty Crawfish Dish BY MARY FOREMAN


t’s just about time for Jazz Fest, y’all! Officially it’s called the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - a long running music event held in the birthplace of jazz. With multiple stages featuring soul-stirring music from jazz and gospel to Cajun, zydeco, rock, funk, blues, Caribbean, and so much more, this year’s festival begins on Friday, April 28th and runs through Sunday, May 7th. Entertainers include Harry Connick, Jr., Stevie Wonder, Pitbull, Meghan Trainor, Alabama Shakes, Patti LaBelle, Aaron Neville, and Earth, Wind & Fire, among numerous others. A full line-up of talent, performance dates, and times is available on their website at Along with the fabulous musical entertainment, there are also artisan and cultural treasures available for sale - photography, paintings, sculptures, jewelry and furniture - as well as on-site demonstrations for things like basket weaving, metal work, and pottery turning throughout the various villages. One of the greatest attractions next to the music, however, is the food, and there are booths, with a wide range of classic Southern, Cajun, Creole, and even international foods. You’ll find fried chicken and livers, fried okra, pork chop sandwiches, collard greens, crowders, and other Southern favorites. Deep South fare like red beans and rice, etouffee, gumbo, stuffed shrimp, crawfish bisque, oysters on the half shell, catfish, softshell crabs, muffulettas and po’boys, jambalaya, boudin, shrimp and grits, remoulade, maque choux, crawfish bread, and crawfish salad rolls, just to name a few, are found in abundance, along with French Quarter favorites like chicken-on-a-stick and Lucky Dog hot dogs. Even your sweet tooth is covered at the festival with goodies like handmade ice cream sandwiches, sno-balls, homemade yogurt, huckabuck frozen cups, beignets, pralines, pecan, sweet potato and cream pies, eclairs, cream puffs, and bread pudding. If you’ve never been, I think it’s a bucket list experience that everybody should live at least once. This is my favorite copycat recipe for Crawfish Monica, one of the most sought-after dishes at the festival. Once only available at Jazz Fest, folks would wait a whole year for another taste of it. It’s a spicy, rich and creamy crawfish and pasta dish that was created by Chef Pierre Hilzim and named after his wife, Monica Davidson. It’s glorious and worth every single calorie – though calories at a festival never really count, right? It’s also a dish that is deceptively easy. Though I personally think there are three secrets to making it the best, the most important of which is to either use freshly boiled crawfish, or alternatively, only frozen Louisiana crawfish tails. Don’t be tempted by cheaper, foreign-imported crawfish for this dish and be mindful of imports that use packaging touting a Louisiana sounding name. Look for the “Certified Cajun” stamp on the package to be sure you are getting the real deal. You’ll also need loads of garlic and as much Cajun seasoning as you think you can handle, taking care not to overdo it. With red pepper, you can always add to, but you cannot take away. So, start slowly, taste as you go, and keep adding a little more with each taste. I use about a tablespoon for this dish most of the time and, personally, don’t find that overpowering. Crawfish Monica is traditionally made with rotini pasta and I recommend that, though other short-cut pastas may be substituted. If you don’t happen to be a fan of crawfish, you may substitue with shrimp, crab, and even oysters. edm

Creamy Crawfish and Pasta From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

1 pound dry rotini pasta 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic, or to taste 2 green onions, sliced 2 cups half and half 1 to 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, or to taste 1 pound cooked fresh or frozen Louisiana crawfish tails, with fat, thawed 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions; drain well and set aside. Melt butter and sauté garlic for 2 minutes over medium heat; add the sliced green onion and cook another 2

minutes. Stir in half and half and the Cajun seasoning, starting with 1/2 teaspoon; taste and continue adding to taste, to reach desired heat level. Bring up to a near boil, stirring regularly, then reduce to medium, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the crawfish, including fat, and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes, or until nicely thickened and heated through. Stir in the pasta and parsley, taste and add salt, pepper and additional Cajun seasoning as needed. Serve immediately, or hold over very low heat another 10 minutes, if necessary, stirring occasionally. Serve with hot French bread. Cook’s Notes: Do not rinse the fat from the crawfish - that’s an important flavor addition! May substitute crab, chopped oysters or peeled and de-veined shrimp for the crawfish. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 21

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- The -

Debutante Farmer Elizabeth Heiskell Takes Success from Oxford Farm to the Today Show story and photography By Megan Wolfe


lizabeth Heiskell has a knack for reinventing herself. With a hands-on work ethic, she navigates a prolific career that includes full-time catering, two cookbooks, a vegetable farm, her own brand of Bloody Mary mix, and monthly appearances on the Today show. As it happens with many chefs, Heiskell found guidance in a mentor at a young age. In high school, she started working for Chef Karen Carrier, one of the only professional, female chefs in Memphis, Tennessee in the late ‘80s. Carrier’s strength

and drive left a deep impression. “The thing about Karen is that she worked as hard as we did,” said Heiskell. “If plates needed to be picked up, she picked them up. She did whatever needed to be done to make sure the party was a success.” Heiskell added, “And that’s how I do parties now. If plates need to be picked up, I pick them up. I think it’s good for employees to see that.” After college, Heiskell created her own business that

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 23

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specialized in gift baskets and small dishes for events. The business quickly transitioned into catering, and became her focus. In 2011, she and her husband partnered with the owners of Covey Rise Farms in Louisiana to found Woodson Ridge Farms in Oxford. The farm doubled as her catering kitchen and events venue. However, as Heiskell points out, sometimes you have to do things the wrong way before you can do them the right way. Their first year, the couple over-planted their tomato crop, growing 10,000 plants. They were overwhelmed with tomatoes, but the extra stock pushed Heiskell to think creatively. When she couldn’t give them away, she tried canning, and then bottling them in a fresh Bloody Mary mix. She branded the bottles under the label “Debutante Farmer,” a nod to her Delta upbringing, and started selling them as a specialty item in gift shops. The mix caught on like wildfire. “I think when your hands are touching it, when you make the mistake, or when you find the success, then it is imprinted on you forever,” said Heiskell. “It’s completely different if you’re reading about something or you’re watching someone else do something. It’s my favorite way to learn.” Still, Heiskell didn’t slow down. In the summer heat, four

days a week, she loaded a van with vegetables, and drove from restaurant to restaurant to distribute the farm’s produce. “The van had no air conditioning, bars on the windows, and locks on the doors,” said Heiskell. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but it was one of the most incredible experiences in my entire life.” Elizabeth Heiskell Catering recently relocated to The Jefferson Oxford, a premier events venue. There, Heiskell caters as many parties as possible, including weddings and fundraisers, while continuing to host dinners, and teach cooking classes at Woodson Ridge Farms. Aside from catering and events, Heiskell is looking forward to the release of her second cookbook, What Can I Bring?, in October of 2017, and her monthly appearances on the Today show, where she teaches viewers how to cook a variety of appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Her Debutante Farmer Bloody Mary mix can be found at Oxford Floral and The Everyday Gourmet in Jackson. Thinking back to her mentor, Heiskell cites one of the things that most impressed her about Karen Carrier, “She was completely fearless. She never got to a point where she sat on her laurels and said that she was already successful.” The same can be said for Elizabeth Heiskell, the Debutante Farmer. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 25

{ mississippi made }

26 • APRIL/MAY 2017

Nab a Pickle with Style story by susan marquez


magine your grandmother’s best silver, all shined up and ready for a gathering. Imagine a platter filled with pickles, olives, and other crudité. Any proper party giver would never have her guests pick up their tasty tidbits with (Heaven forbid) their fingers! Instead, she’d make sure the correct utensil was provided to transport the food to the party-goer’s plate. But imagine the party giver isn’t as proper as her grandmother once was. Enter the Mississippi Pickle ForkTM, and voila! A bit of sassy attitude has just been introduced to the soirée. The makers of the Mississippi Pickle Fork have repurposed vintage silver to create a new everyday heirloom. It’s perfect for pickles, olives “or anything else you need to git after in a jar,” according to the company’s website. The prototype for today’s pickle fork was made in 2011. The first five forks were crafted and placed in an antique store in Bay St. Louis to see if they’d sell. The store owner placed all five of the forks by the cash register, and the next day all five had sold—and she wanted more. In 2014, the “slightly baudy but incredibly fun to give” gift was recognized by Martha Stewart’s Makers’ Division. That spawned a gift shop in Bay St. Louis where other quirky-yet-utilitarian items were made and sold. Today the maker resides in an antebellum home in Columbus where she has plenty of room to homeschool her children and make more pickle forks. The pickle forks have certainly caught on as a fun party trend. They are sold online as well as in twelve retail sites. Packaging for the forks is as unique as the forks themselves, incorporating sections of a vintage map of Mississippi. “A couple bought twelve of the forks to use upside down in Bloody Marys, using the extended tine for olives and capers,” the maker said. “That was probably the most creative use we’ve seen for the forks!” The pickle fork is also ideal to serve ham or other meat slices, as well as a cornucopia of hors d’oeuvres, often with several of the forks for a particularly heavy hors d’oeuvre platter. The pickle forks also make unique oneof-a-kind gifts. They have been appreciated internationally, going to customers in England, Russia, Venezuela, France, and Dubai. The maker received orders from almost every state last Christmas. Businesses have been giving them as

corporate gifts, often as an ice breaker at first meetings. They were given at a brunch for an educator’s convention, and it’s not unusual for brides to give them as bridesmaids’ gifts. The idea came from the maker’s grandfather, who owned a barbeque restaurant. He had one that he’d tease customers with, calling it his special diet fork. But when the forks were designed using vintage silver and packaged so cleverly, they started selling immediately. edm Mississippi Pickle Fork

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 27

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

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Visit our website for Mississippi culinary news, recipes, cooking tips, culinary events, and more!

Southern-Inspired. Seasonally-Crafted. Devilishly Good.

Serving Jackson for Over 10 Years

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Lunch served Monday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Dinner served Thursday to Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. 1491 Canton Mart Rd. Ste. 12, Jackson 601.957.1441

Call now to book our private event room. 100 E MAIN ST. • STARKVILLE 662.324.1014 WWW.EATLOCALSTARKVILLE.COM MON 11A-2P • TUES-THURS 11A-9P • FRI 11A-10P SAT 5-10P • SUN 10A-2P

Taste is a gourmet bistro specializing in sandwiches, soups, salads, daily chef-created entrées, and ready-to-heat cuisine. We use the finest, freshest ingredients in all of our dishes and prepare a variety of delicious foods for you to enjoy at our table or yours! Taste is the exclusive carrier of Buttercream Bakery’s fabulous, scratch-made, small batch desserts. Come in and enjoy a treat in house or order something fabulous for your entertaining needs. No catering event is too big or too small! 5419 HIGHWAY 25, STE. L, FLOWOOD • 769.235.6232 WWW.TASTEBISTROANDDESSERTS.COM

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 29


From business meetings to weddings, Restaurant Tyler is the recipe for extraordinary events.

It’s Time for a


By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum No one is exactly sure when Americans started celebrating Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla and not the Mexican Independence Day as many so commonly believe. One thing we do know for sure, it’s a fun excuse to enjoy warmer weather and Mexican cuisine. Here are three Latin-inspired recipes to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo deliciously.

Steak Fajitas Serves 6-8 Marinade: 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1/3 cup water 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large garlic clove, finely minced 3 teaspoons distilled white vinegar 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon onion powder Fajitas: 1 pound flat iron steak 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 onion, thinly sliced 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon soy sauce 2 tablespoons water 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice 30 • APRIL/MAY 2017

Salt and pepper, to taste 6-8 (10-inch) flour tortillas Shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, or other garnishments, optional Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Place flank steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over steak and seal bag. Allow to marinate refrigerated- for 12-24 hours. Remove meat from marinade and discard remaining marinade. Grill over medium hot coals for 4-6 minutes on each side, or sear in a hot skillet until steak reaches desired doneness. Allow steak to rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice into thin strips across the grain. Preheat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté’ onions and bell pepper in oil until vegetables are crisp/tender, approximately five minutes. Add soy sauce, water, and lime juice. Continue to cook until onion begins to caramelize and peppers begin to char slightly. Stir in sliced meat. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap tortillas in plastic wrap. Microwave for 15-20 seconds until tortillas become pliable. Remove from plastic wrap. Spoon fajita mixture down the center of each tortilla. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

Steak Fajitas

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Tortellini with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

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Frozen Mango Margaritas Frozen Mango Margaritas Serves 2-4 4 cups frozen mango chunks 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice 3 ounces tequila 2 ounces orange liqueur 1/2 ounce simple syrup 3/4 cup orange juice Cinnamon, for garnish, optional

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour frozen margaritas in a glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired.

Tortellini with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce Serves 4 8 medium sized tomatillos, husks removed 6 whole cloves garlic 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 bag (10 oz.) cheese tortellini pasta 4 cups raw loosely packed spinach leaves 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 10 cherry tomatoes, halved Salt and pepper to taste Crumbled queso fresco cheese Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Quarter tomatillos. Place on a baking sheet with garlic cloves. Drizzle tomatillos and garlic cloves with olive oil. Place in oven and roast for 35 minutes. Combine roasted tomatillos, garlic, spinach, broth, oregano, thyme, sugar, salt, and pepper flakes in a blender or food processor. Process until sauce is smooth and well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Cook tortellini according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, drizzle tomatoes with remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes to warm, drained pasta. Pour tomatillo sauce over pasta and toss to combine. Garnish each plate with crumbled queso fresco cheese. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 33

Walk. Eat. Explore. Tasty Tours of South Mississippi Offers Bites of History and Food in Downtown Gulfport story and photography by julian brunt


t looks like old downtown Gulfport is finally stirring from its long economical slumber. Restaurants and shops are opening and locals and tourists are beginning to stroll the streets. There is more to do and see today in Gulfport than ever before and two enterprising sisters, Wendy Fairley and Jessica Adams, are taking advantage of it. Their new venture, Tasty Tours of South Mississippi, is an innovative service for those who want to sample the restaurants that are making the Gulf Coast a true foodie destination. The sisters describe it as Walk, Eat, Explore, and a more succinct description would be hard to come by. Not only do you get to check out a handful of restaurants in one afternoon, you get a walking tour and a history lesson as well. Recently I was invited to come along and I have got to tell you, we had a blast. This tour was of old downtown Gulfport, but the sisters plan on offering tours of Ocean Springs soon with other locations to follow. We met at the old Carnegie Library on 24th Avenue, a historic building in its own right and now the home of the Gulfport Galleria, and headed to our first destination, Tony’s Brick Oven Pizzeria. It was just a block or two away, but along the way the sisters took turns pointing out interesting sights, like the old Markham Hotel and the Art Modern designed old bus station. The information Fairley and Adams provided was on point, not too wordy, but just the historical highlights. You do not have to be a history buff to enjoy this part of the tour. Tony’s Brick Oven Pizzeria is a cozy restaurant with a solid menu of Italian-inspired food, but with just enough local influence to make it unique. Of course, the delicious pizzas you watch being cooked in the large brick oven are the highlight. If you go, make sure to check out the Meat Lovers, Downtown Supreme, and Gumbo Pizzas – the top three sellers. 34 • APRIL/MAY 2017

OPPOSITE PAGE: Fishbone Alley, tour group getting ready to depart, Jessica Adams with a tamale from Tamale Shak. THIS PAGE: Smoked Tuna Dip at Murky Waters Blues & BBQ, Half Shell Oyster House sign, Voodoo Shrimp Po-boy with a side of Sweet Potato Creme Brulee at Half Shell Oyster House, brick oven at Tony’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, pizza from Tony’s.

Next, we headed for Half Shell Oyster House, a restaurant group that has really made a name for itself with eight locations and plans to continue growing. Ninety-five percent of everything that comes out of this kitchen is made from scratch, and that is pretty impressive when you see a menu loaded with the likes of seafood-stuffed portabella mushrooms and seafood pie. Leaving the Half Shell, we paused at the newly opened Fish Bone Alley, the center of Gulfport’s new “social district,” an artsy and food driven project that is only in its infancy. Here we learned about the origins of the po-boy and the history of early Gulfport. Murky Waters Blues & BBQ was our next stop and this place’s delightful mingling of good barbecue and Mississippi’s own blues music is a serious winner. We tried the tuna dip and BBQ-loaded quesadillas, along with the house-made BBQ sauce. Not a bite was left on any plate. We walked just a block down the street, found a nice green space, and got down to another history lesson and some delicious tamales from Gulfport’s only Tamale Shak. Then it was around the corner and a block away to the amazing Pop Brothers specialty popsicle shop. Here you will find some of the most amazing and inventive popsicles you have ever tried, but I have got to tell you the Oreo popsicle is my favorite. Tasty Tours of South Mississippi is an innovative idea that will be a great idea for families, serious foodies, and the curious traveler. For just a hair over $50, it seems a real deal and a fine adventure. edm Tasty Tours of South Mississippi 228.265.1138 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 35

The Cotton District Photo by Jeremy Murdock

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Savor Starkville Thriving Culinary Scene in Starkville Draws Visitors In for a Taste story by Susan Marquez


uietly, organically, a vibrant culinary scene has been growing in Starkville. With the farm-totable movement, restaurateurs like Ty Thames of Restaurant Tyler and Bin 612 and Jay Yates of The Veranda are using locally-sourced foods that truly represent the community they serve. “I’d say Starkville’s culinary scene began about ten years ago when Ty started his restaurants,” said Jennifer Prather, who serves as the special events and project coordinator for the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, the umbrella organization for the Starkville Chamber, Main Street, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Economic Development. “We’ve got great chefs making great food that the community is fired up about.” Starkville has become known as Mississippi’s College Town and over the past few years has become a culinary destination, with more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the state. Add to that an influential and award-winning farmers market and that makes for a perfect storm for foodies. The Starkville Community Market features local growers, food producers, and artisans displaying their wares. It has become a major source for locally-grown and crafted food for the community each Saturday from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. and Tuesday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The market runs May through August and has become a gathering place for folks to attend cooking and gardening demonstrations, activities for kids, and live music. In addition to fresh produce

and baked goods, there are live plants and arts and crafts. The opening day for the market this year is May 6th. “We’ve had Community Market vendors who have developed their businesses into brick-and-mortar stores,” explained Prather. “The Biscuit Shop is one of them.” Michelle Tehan took her scratch-made biscuits from the farmers market to her own shop on South Washington Street in Starkville. “Another business that was born at the Community Market is DeRego’s Bread,” Prather said. “Troy DeRego has traveled around the world and cooked on a Navy submarine. He has created Starkville Sourdough and other artisan breads that he sells in his shop on West Main Street. He is now making wholegrain sourdough crackers that he will ship across the United States.” The synergy that has been created in the culinary world in Starkville is palatable. Restaurants buy produce from the farmers market and surrounding farms. The bread and pastries made at the new shops are served in the restaurants. “Troy even makes croutons from the bread that the restaurants use in their salads,” Prather said. “It’s all a very authentic, cohesive system that serves as a big entrepreneur engine for the community.” In addition to the many restaurants and the outstanding farmers market, Starkville is the home of several food-related festivals and events. It begins in January with the annual SOUPer Bowl event that features soups from area restaurants. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 37

TOP - Starkville celebrated its growing farm to table culinary culture with a Farm to Fork dinner benefitting the Starkville Community Market. Photo by Laura Daniels ABOVE - DeRego’s Bread is sold at the weekly Starkville Community Market from May through August. Photo by Jeremy Murdock ABOVE RIGHT - Sam McLemore of Bountiful Harvest Farms sells fresh produce at the Starkville Community Market. Photo by Laura Daniels RIGHT - One of Starkville’s more popular events is unWINE Downtown. Photo by Laura Daniels 38 • APRIL/MAY 2017

TOP - Bone-in Cold-smoked Grilled Pork Chop over root vegetables with confit of house-smoked bacon from Restaurant Tyler. Photo by Jeremy Murdock LEFT - Restaurant Tyler Photo by Broadcast Media Group BOTTOM - The Little Dooey Photo by Broadcast Media Group

Quarterly unWINE Downtown pairs wine tastings with after-hours shopping at area merchants for a very popular community event. There’s an annual Best of Boil spring crawfish competition and a Tastebud Tour of Mississippi’s College Town. An always-sold-out Farm to Fork dinner features local chefs preparing ninety percent of the offerings with foods purchased from the farmers market. Football season kicks off with a citywide tailgate party. Starkville Restaurant Week is scheduled for April 17-23 this year. An entire website is devoted to Starkville’s culinary offerings and events. The site is and it features a culinary map of Starkville, video interviews with chefs, a listing of all events and culinary news, and more. “We are truly working to promote Starkville as a culinary destination,” said Prather. “More and more people are finding a place at the table here.” edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 39

Dillon Han Chef of City Bagel Café and Italian Bistro

Dillon Han is the chef of City Bagel Café and Italian Bistro. He started his career at the kitchen table with his first chef mentor and grandmother, Virginia Lynn. His diverse ethnicity of Korean and European drew him to explore all types of cuisines. He grew up on the move with military parents, becoming exposed to the regional food from the United States. Han graduated from culinary school in 2008 and has since been exploring kitchen styles from New England to Mississippi. After his fiancé, Emily Lloyd, was accepted into veterinary school at Mississippi State University, he decided to join the Tyler restaurant group in Starkville. The drive of the restaurant is to create a laid back familiar atmosphere loaded with housemade bagels and flavorful authentic Italian dishes. Catch a peek of him in the open kitchen working with the fresh bread and pasta or just listen for his unique laugh that rings out over the buzz of the dining room.

Italian-style Shrimp and Grits baked Gulf shrimp nestled in a cinnamon-brined roasted pork shoulder with peperonata over creamy Parmesan polenta

Cinnamon-brined Pork Shoulder

Pork Brine

by Chef Dillon Han

by Chef Dillon Han

8-10 pound pork shoulder Pork brine (recipe follows) Cajun spice blend Place pork shoulder in brine and let sit in refrigerator for 8-10 hours. Remove the pork from brine and place in a large roasting pan with one quart of water in the bottom so the fat does not burn. Cover pork shoulder with any Cajun spice blend. (I make my own, but I recommend Paul Prudhomme’s blend.) Roast at 475 degrees in a non-convection oven until golden brown. Then turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees until fork tender or meat falls off the bone. Baste the meat every 20 minutes and rotate the pan 180 degrees to ensure the exposed part of the shoulder does not become dry. (I use a ladle.) Let meat cool in the juices until cold enough to pull apart. Serve immediately or it will last in refrigeration in a sealed container for two weeks. 40 • APRIL/MAY 2017

Yield: 2 quarts 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon allspice 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons paprika 1 bay leaf 8 cups water 1 cup kosher salt Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot, cover and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Chill before using.

Barton Dinkins was born with a love for food and the restaurant industry in his blood. His parents met working in a restaurant and as he was growing up were involved in many ventures, including ownership of a bakery, tamale shop and a deli. Dinkins combined the childhood activity of cooking with his father with his education from Mississippi State University, and fulfilled his dream when he opened Two Brothers Smoked Meats in 2014. Finding its home in Starkville’s Historic Cotton District, Two Brothers prepares and serves the freshest smoked meats paired with vegetables bought from local farmers, all inspired by his experiences cooking and grilling in the backyard with his dad. Dinkins’ mission is to continue to learn and pursue creating better food and a better atmosphere for his customers and staff every day.

barton dinkins Owner and Chef of Two Brothers Smoked Meats

Mustard Glaze by Chef Barton Dinkins

1 pound brown sugar 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1/2 cup yellow mustard 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard Combine all ingredients in sauce pan on medium heat until sugar is fully dissolved.

Pork Belly Tacos - house-smoked pork belly, brown sugar mustard glaze, white BBQ coleslaw, and fried onion straws on corn tortillas

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{ in the bloglight }

by kelsey wells lambert


hile stepping into your kitchen and creating a new dish or a favorite family meal may delight your inner food lover tendencies, some days a home cooked meal is simply not a possibility. Busy schedules often become chaotic during the spring, when a flurry of graduations, weddings, children’s sports practices and games, and the addition of outside chores and gardening overwhelms us. It is during these times that we turn to restaurants, often local eateries, to curb our appetites and give us the comfort food we desire. Whether picking up a quick meal on the way home from a baseball game or hosting a wedding rehearsal dinner, local restaurants are a key factor of summer celebrations. Itawamba County resident Jeff Jones, a self-proclaimed foodie and lover of all things containing meat and cheese, loved dining at local restaurants and finding new places to share a tasty meal with family or friends. He searched national restaurant review pages for ideas, but still often missed “off the beaten path” restaurants that offered stellar food. He often felt that the reviews on these pages did not really give a sense of the atmospheres of the places he visited. With these thoughts in mind, Jeff launched “Eating Out With Jeff Jones,” a blog dedicated to discovering Mississippi eateries with spectacular service and dishes and showing their offerings to the world. Jones has now blogged over 150 eateries from Tupelo to Gulfport. His posts are available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and at “After reading one of my articles, I want folks to feel like they were there with me,” he said. A visit to the blog will have your mouth watering in no time. While many of his pictures are simply snapshots of his plates before consumption, he also gives detailed descriptions of the contents of each dish. He includes photos of the 42 • APRIL/MAY 2017

outsides of the restaurants and several establishing shots of the eateries’ interiors to give readers a taste of the atmosphere and formality of each place he stops. Over time, Jones has found some surprising stops on his journey. One of the most surprising may be the seafood buffet offered at Bev’s Pit Stop, located on 363 between Mantachie and Saltillo on the Lee/Itawamba County line. Its unassuming exterior as a gas station gives way to delicious- looking seafood, chicken, Sunday plate lunches and even steaks. Jones has been overwhelmingly pleased with the response to his blog, with some posts reaching up to 50,000 people. His travels have given him opportunities to be featured in Invitation Tupelo magazine and The Itawamba County Times. Jones also writes a monthly column for The Times and promotes local events through his blog. “Good food to me is like music, there is enough variety for everyone to enjoy,” said Jones. edm

Several of Jeff Jones’ favorite Tupelo restaurant dishes include, from top left, The “Hot Doug” from Blue Canoe, Surf & Turf Tacos from Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen, BBQ Pizza from Anthony’s Neapolitan Pizza, Loaded Crawfish Mashed Potatoes with Red Beans and Rice from Nautical Whimsey, and Skillet Cookie from CRAVE. According to Jones, The “Hot Doug” is not your average hot dog. It features hand-crafted pork and duck fat sausage from LB’s Meat Market in Oxford and comes topped with house-made chili, cheddar cheese, onions, jalapeños, and a garnish of roasted red bell pepper. “After speaking to the owner, Adam Morgan, he said that most people can’t finish the Doug...but, of course, I’m not most people. Halfway through my sandwich, I was crying like a baby...not sure if it was because of the fresh jalapeños or because it was sooo good. Maybe a little of both,” Jones said.

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{ memory lane }

Chickens I Have Known


by janette tibbetts

y sister was five years old and I was nearly three when our mother started allowing us to gather the eggs. In order to keep the nests from becoming overcrowded and the eggs from getting broken, we visited her White Leghorns in their henhouse and retrieved their eggs before noon and again in the late afternoon. Although farm children grew up early, I remember I was just considered my sister’s understudy and was only allowed to carry the basket while it was still empty during my first months in the henhouse.  However when my sister, Temple, started to school, I was on my own for the noontime gatherings.            Our outlandish but fun-loving father, who returned from his shipbuilding job after WWII with many new words in his vocabulary, was addicted to farming generally and dairy farming particularly. He was mathematically inclined and would spend hours fastidiously figuring out profit and loss sheets for each cow in his large herd. He weighed their milk, tested their butterfat, and determined the value of their production before subtracting the cost of their feed in order to arrive at each cow’s net earnings.   After crunching the numbers for hours, he would walk through the house in a huff, throw his ledger on the kitchen counter and say, “Those cows are not giving enough damn milk!” According to perhaps our over-exaggerated family lore, one morning after returning from the henhouse without any eggs, I threw my empty basket on top of Father’s ledger and said, “Those hens are not laying enough damn eggs!”  Our mother, who was helpless at controlling our father, warned me that if I ever said that word again she was going to have our preacher talk to me.        Our grandmother allowed her Rhode Island Red laying-hens, along with a single large red rooster named Kit Carson, to free range on a grassy knoll beyond her house. One day while my sister and our cousins

44 • APRIL/MAY 2017

were playing hide and seek, I ran near Kit Carson and he attacked my leg with his spur. I screamed and my grandmother flew down the back door steps, caught him by his neck, and choked him down enough to placed him in a small coop. She inspected my wound and cleaned my barely scratched skin with alcohol and said I would not ever have to worry about Kit Carson again because he would be going to church Sunday. After my leg quit stinging from the alcohol, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the mean old rooster because I knew how I dreaded having to go hear the preacher “get on to” me. Sunday when we arrived at church I spotted Grandmother, but I did not see her rooster until after the service when she started unpacking her big lunch basket. Beneath the yeast rolls, potato salad, pies, and cakes was Kit Carson lying on his back with both legs sticking out in the middle of a large blue enamel pan full of chicken and cornbread dressing!   As a young adult and parent, my favorite chickens belonged to Lonnie Holder, the janitor at the bank. His Bantam hens, with multicolored feathers growing in unusual patterns all the way down their legs and nearly to their toes, were only about 1/3 the size of a standard hen. They laid green eggs only the circumference of a quarter that contained large yolks and when new chicks hatched, Lonnie  would invite us to bring our children to Oak Bowery, just outside of Heidelberg, to see his new colorful flock. The tiny biddies were breathtakingly delicate and a sight to behold as they snuggled between the feathers on their mother’s legs. We often talked about those precious chicks and the week prior to Easter Lonnie would give our children a dozen of his hens’ exquisite eggs.  The Bantam eggs displayed among the fronds and fuzzy feet in the rabbit’s foot fern (in photo on opposite page) are a gift from our Regional Daylily Vice President, Debbie White, from Bay Minette, Alabama.    Last week my husband, Jon, and I drove down below Lucedale to Blane and Ann Davis’ Country Farms Quail operation and store. Although the Davises specialize in custom deer processing, smoked pork sausage, quail meat, and eggs, we went to view their interesting operation and to purchase their highly recommended pickled quail eggs for our spring brunch.  We were not disappointed! edm 

Spring Brunch Menu White Chicken Salad Cucumber Sandwiches Pickled Quail Eggs

Potato Salad

To serve, slice pickled quail eggs in half length-wise and dot with black roe.

Pickled Quail Eggs


Assorted Fruits and Vegetables

1 cucumber 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 12 slices thin white sandwich bread Peel and discard 1-inch of stem end of cucumber. Cut cucumber in half and de-seed. Finely chop cucumber. Mix chopped cucumber with mayonnaise. Spread mixture on bread. Remove bread crusts. Slice bread into quarters.   Cover with slightly damp paper towel and store in airtight container. 

Croissants Biscuits Strawberry Cupcakes Mimosas eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 45

White Chicken Salad Chicken breasts baked while still encased between the meat’s naturally occurring skin and rib cage locks in its flavor and preserves the taste and hydration while at its height.

leaves on baking rack. Layer parsley, thyme, and generous stems of tarragon on bay leaves. Place breasts rib-side down on herbs. (Bones will protect meat from green stain while it’s absorbing the flavors.) Cook 20 minutes. After meat is removed from the oven, chicken will 4 whole chicken breast (8 split breast with rib cage and skin) continue to cook 5-8 minutes. Allow chicken to cool and 1 tablespoon sea salt rest for 30 minutes. (This helps meat retain juice.) 1 teaspoon onion salt Remove and discard skin, bones, and herbs. Slice breast 1 teaspoon white pepper (black pepper with husks across the grain. (Do not pull apart.)  removed) Warm vinegar enough to dissolve Karo. Sprinkle Herbs - dried bay leaves, fresh parsley, thyme, and tarragon    sweetened vinegar mixture throughout chopped breast.  Mix sour cream and mayonnaise together. Add and mix well. Add celery and water chestnuts.  For mixing salad: Peel, core, and chop apple. Saturate with juice of fresh 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar lemon. Add apple to chicken salad and mix well.  2 tablespoons white Karo Refrigerate in glass container. 1/2 cup sour cream Place in serving bowl. Garnish with fresh crow’s feet 1/2 cup mayonnaise   violets.  1/2 cup celery (white portion of stalk stringed and Yes, violets are edible. They taste similar to lettuces and chopped) long ago memories may be easily recalled while picking 4 ounces sliced water chestnuts  fragrant blossoms. Wash in still water and dry on paper 1 large Golden Delicious apple  towels. Juice of one lemon Salad may be served on plate or presented with or in small croissants. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub chicken skin with salts and pepper. Space eight bay 46 • APRIL/MAY 2017

POTATO SALAD While this recipe is often referred to as American Potato Salad to differentiate it from German Potato Salad, it is my mother’s recipe. She never added mustard or dill pickles. During her lifetime, she made my sister and me a gallon of sweet pickles every summer. If we wanted another jar, her only request was for us to return her gallon jug and we always obeyed. I often carried this salad to church suppers. When I received requests for the recipe, I would say, “I start with 1/4 cup of my mother’s sweet pickles.”  Although I have friends whom I admire very much who still make and can pickled cucumbers, I use my time and energy in other ways and substitute Rainbow’s chopped sweet pickles.  2 pounds of Irish potatoes 1/2 cup mayonnaise 3 hard boiled eggs 2 tablespoons salt 1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 cup chopped sweet pickles 1 tablespoon pickled pimento Dash paprika  Italian parsley, for garnish Peel and cut potatoes into cubes. Place in boiler and cover with water. Cook over medium heat until tender. Drain and cool. Add mayonnaise to potatoes. Boil eggs by placing on bottom of pan. Add 2 tablespoons salt and cover with tap water. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Rest 15 minutes. Bathe in ice water and peel immediately. The ice water shrinks and pulls the egg away from the shell.  Chop eggs and mix with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add eggs and sweet pickles to potatoes. Chop pimento and add.  Store in glass container.  Place in bowl and sprinkle with paprika.  Garnish with Italian parsley.  

Seven Strawberry Cupcakes One spring during my childhood when only seven strawberries in our garden were ripe by Easter, my mother, Bernice Watkins, ingeniously developed a strawberry cake recipe. On that long ago morning, we lovingly dubbed the surprisingly delicious confection Mother’s Seven Strawberry Cake. Seventy years later, our family still identifies Mother’s cake with the number of strawberries she had available. When my children were young and preferred cupcakes, I adapted Mother’s original cake recipe for cupcakes by lowering the heat and limiting the baking time. These cupcakes are as delicious as the original cake, firm enough to offer on a buffet line, and easier to serve than cake slices. Makes 24 cupcakes 1 cup unsalted butter 2 cups sugar 4 large red eggs 2-3/4 cups plain flour 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry Jell-O 1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring Cool Whip, for tops of cupcakes Strawberries, for garnish Butter, eggs, and whipping cream should be mixed at room temperature. Butter and flour two 12-digit cupcake pans and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. In separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder together. Add Jell-O. Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with whipping cream. Mix well and add vanilla. Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full. Place in top oven rack. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cakes began to pull away from tins and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Invert pans on metal rack. Cool 10 minutes before removing pans. Cool completely. Serve with Cool Whip and garnish with strawberries.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 47

{ from mississippi to beyohnd }

Coast to Coast Culinary Career

Sarah Logan Werner is director of marketing and operations at Crafstman and Wolves in San Francisco where her husband, William, is lead pastry chef and recipe creator. 48 • APRIL/MAY 2017

By Kathy K. Martin


arah Logan Werner moved from the Mississippi Gulf business in 2012, she grew up in Pascagoula, surrounded by Coast, where she grew up, to now working and living her parents, Scotty and Pam, two siblings, and a large extended on the West Coast. With many fond family memories family that gathered together for every holiday and family of her hometown of Pascagoula birthday. “We all really loved to get and many trips back home, she together and we usually brought currently lives and works in San way too much food.” She recalls Francisco with her husband, Chef her grandmother’s traditional William Werner, her young son, Parker House rolls and Aunt Owen, and a baby girl named Gayle’s green bean casserole. Her Emma on the way. The family mother, however, was a bit more owns and manages Craftsman and adventurous and had her own Wolves, a modern patisserie and recipes. Sarah recalls that when she café with three locations across was younger and explored eating the city and a location at the Ferry vegetarian, her mother made her Building Farmer’s Market on homemade hummus, pestos, and Saturdays. vegetable sandwiches. While her husband serves After she graduated from the as lead pastry chef and recipe University of Southern Mississippi creator for the kitchen team and with a degree in marketing, staff of about 50 employees, she headed to Europe for an Sarah handles marketing and internship based in London. As public relations for the brand. she traveled, she says that her food The unique name for their profile expanded and opened up business pays homage to a new world of food and wine to the craftsman and the many her. She returned home and lived challenges of pursuing a craft. with her sister in Sarasota, Fla., Sarah Logan Werner shows off her son, “We’re the opposite of a typical where she worked for the Ritz Owen, as well as sweet treats from coffeehouse or bakery in our look Carlton and met her husband. Craftsman and Wolves. and our feel. We have fun with When he was transferred to San flavors and offer items you can’t Francisco, she worked in sales get anywhere else.” She says that and marketing for the hotel’s spa Craftsman and Wolves creates and the couple explored the food unique pastries, cakes, tarts and scene there. “We were like little confections that are available in kids in a candy store. I tasted the their contemporary spaces, as well best strawberry of my life and as in their online store. then the best tomato of my life.” Favorite menu items reflect After a few more years with the the distinctness of Craftsman hotel, she worked for Wagstaff and Wolves. One of their most Worldwide, a public relations popular items is called The firm that represented cookbook Rebel Within, which combines authors, hotels, and other food and housemade sausage, asiago beverage companies, where she cheese, and scallions in a savory said she got boot camp experience muffin shape with the oozy until she was able to work full-time surprise of a soft-cooked egg for Craftsman and Wolves. in the center. The MexicanShe continues to return home inspired horchata cake is made to Mississippi to visit family and with traditional cinnamon and let her little boy experience riding vanilla ingredients, but elevated to in a boat on the river and eating There are three locations of Craftsman grandeur with caramel, hazelnuts, gumbo. While at home she makes and Wolves in San Francisco. This is the and a spray of white chocolate on a stop at Bozo’s Grocery & Grill interior of the Pacific Avenue location. top. Many of the most requested for a po’boy and Anderson’s confections are also available Bakery for doughnuts. online, such as varieties of caramels, seasonal marshmallows, While she may be a West Coast resident now, Sarah still has milk jams, and granola. a heart for her home state and the food and family that got her Long before Sarah and her husband launched their there. edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 49

One of the most popular items at Craftsman and Wolves is The Rebel Within. It combines housemade sausage, asiago cheese, and scallions in a savory muffin shape with the oozy surprise of a soft-cooked egg in the center.

Craftsman and Wolves’ Pate de Fruit collection

Matcha Snickerdoodles by Chef/Partner William Werner

Makes 50 cookies 2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons matcha, divided 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 1-1/2 tablespoons honey 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped 1/2 cup granulated sugar Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and 2 tablespoons of matcha in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, and lemon zest, and mix until very pale, about 4 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and, with motor running, add the flour mixture; mix until no dry spots remain. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the white chocolate. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill at least 2 hours and up to 5 days. If chilling more than a few hours, let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour to soften before 50 • APRIL/MAY 2017

scooping and baking. Whisk the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons matcha in a small bowl; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Scoop the dough by the scant tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each about 1 inch apart. Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until bottoms and edges are barely golden and cooked (top will no longer look wet), 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately, but gently, toss cookies in the reserved matcha sugar and place on wire racks; let cool. Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Valrhona Chocolate Chip Cookie by Chef/Partner William Werner

Makes 15 cookies 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1-1/4 cups high-gluten bread flour 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1-1/4 teaspoons salt 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1 cup brown sugar (packed) 1 vanilla bean, scraped 1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature 2 eggs at room temperature 2 cups 80% Valrhona chocolate, chopped Maldon sea salt

refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop cookies, evenly spacing 6 onto a parchmentlined 18-by-13-inch baking sheet. (Use a green #12 scoop*, equal to 1/3 cup.) Repeat for the rest of the dough. (* Vollrath or Hamilton Beach green #12 scoop can be purchased online at Sprinkle a very small amount of sea salt on the tops of the cookies. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are set and each whole cookie is a nice, even brown color, and slightly puffed in the middle. Allow the cookies to set for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together, and then sift through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside. Combine the sugars and vanilla bean, and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars, and vanilla bean on medium low until the mixture is even and there are no visible chunks of butter. Take care not to overmix—it will lead to cookies that spread out during baking. Scrape the bowl. On medium low speed, add eggs one at a time, pausing after each to fully mix them into the butter and sugar mixture. Once the eggs are fully incorporated, add sifted dry ingredients in 3 installments on the lowest mix speed. Right before the last addition is fully incorporated, add the chopped chocolate and mix until dough is even and there is no visible flour. Let dough rest in the eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 51

{ from the bookshelf }

The Cooking Lady Real Food from My Southern Kitchen By Ann Hollowell with Tom Henkenius Published by Pelican Publishing

by kelsey wells lambert


nn Hollowell is well-seasoned in all cooking styles found south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Born into the heart of South Louisiana, her first culinary experiences featured Cajun and Creole flavors. A family move to Texas brought in hints of Tex-Mex spices and techniques. She attended college in Jackson, and married and settled into the Mississippi Delta. Here she raised her family on Southern fare with a twist of freshness and the incorporation of all she had learned. Hollowell brims with life and humor as the host of The Cooking Lady, and her tried-and-true Southern delicacies are now showcased in her cookbook, The Cooking Lady: Real Food from My Southern Kitchen. She collaborates with journalist and producer Tom Henkenius to bring her style of Southern cooking with healthy and fresh aspects to tables across America. “While many Southern recipes are known for being fatty and fried, I believe they don’t have to be. Everything in moderation, we were taught,” she says. Hollowell uses traditional ingredients such as butter and cream cheese in her recipes, but she prefers pan sautéing to deep-frying and is open to using fat-free or reduced-fat versions of traditionally rich ingredients. As the wife of a “picky eater,” her creative cooking skills have developed as she incorporated fresh flavors into traditional Southern dishes. While many of the dishes in The Cooking Lady are simple to create and feature everyday ingredients, Hollowell’s presentation of the recipes is anything but ordinary. Couple mouthwatering food photography with the humorous and touching personal stories that precede each recipe, and The Cooking Lady will make the reader feel as if they are spending the afternoon taking “cooking lessons” from a cherished relative or friend.

52 • APRIL/MAY 2017

Southerners and scientists agree on the importance of eating breakfast as the way to make any day start right! A bite of Bachelor Brunch Casserole, a slice of Brown Sugar Bacon, or a gooey and delicious nugget of Monkey Bread is sure to open sleepy eyes on any morning. Entertaining is a fundamental part of Southern culture, and guests will certainly be pleased with Bacon Parsley Sandwiches, Chutney Puffs, or a taste of Crack Dip from the “Appetizers” chapter. A soup and salad meal can make any meeting or gathering more delightful. Consider a hearty bowl of Jane Henry’s Chili or the comforting taste of Cream of Green Pepper Soup paired with the fresh crunch of Green Salad with Lemon-Maple Syrup Dressing. In the South, sides are just as important as main dishes, and The Cooking Lady does not disappoint with offerings of Garlic Cheese Grits, Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Veggie-Stuffed TwiceBaked Potatoes, along with Stuffed Artichokes and Sauteed Squash. Use these sides with main dishes such as Catfish Almandine, Chicken Cordon Bleu and Sugar Steaks to create an unforgettable meal! Desserts and drinks polish off Southern meals and this delectable volume of culinary offerings. Baked Pears in Puff Pastry, Chocolate Bread Pudding or Spicy Carrot Cake go perfectly with Almond Tea or, for others, a Mint Julep. The Cooking Lady offers exactly what its subtitle proclaims- real food. This is the perfect book to pick up when in need of a good recipe for any meal or occasion. With a commitment to freshness, a dedication to Southern tradition, and easy-to-create delicacies, The Cooking Lady cookbook is a perfect addition to any collection. edm

red pepper jam 12 large red bell peppers 1 tablespoon salt 1 pint white vinegar 3 cups sugar Remove the seeds and pith from the peppers and chop into small-to-medium pieces. Add the peppers to a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, and let them sweat for about 4 hours. Drain well then transfer to a large pot. Add the vinegar and sugar and

simmer gently for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal gently with sterilized lids. Makes approximately 6 (8-ounce) jars Cook’s note: You can let your imagination run wild serving this different ways: red pepper jam with sweet, soft Brie on a pita chip, or maybe taking the place of cranberry sauce at the Christmas table with that big, beautiful turkey. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 53

{ raise your glass }

Hornitos Black Barrel Old Fashion Punch 2 ounces Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila 1 ounce agave syrup 2 dashes Angostura bitters Ice Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy! Recipe courtesy of Sombra Mexican Kitchen in Flowood and Ridgeland 54 • APRIL/MAY 2017


Ground Zero Blues Club Clarksdale


McEwen’s Oxford The Hills

The Delta -

PhiChoctaw l ip M’s The Pines

- Betty’s Eat Shop Brookhaven



Our wonderful state is divided into five travel regions - The Hills, The Delta, The Pines, Capital/River, and Coastal. It is our goal to give equal coverage to all regions of the state in every issue. The following sections are color coded by region for your convenience. We hope you will take the time and travel to all regions to take advantage of the diverse culinary styles present throughout our state. We do suggest that you call to verify operating hours before visiting any of these wonderful establishments.

The Wayward Kraken Biloxi


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 55

The Hills

Buttermilk Fried Oysters 56 • APRIL/MAY 2017

The Hills

McEwen’s 1110 Van Buren Ave., Oxford • 662.234.7003 •

story and photography By Megan Wolfe


he difference between undercooked or overcooked can be 30 seconds. Chef Dustin Little knows this. With military precision, he aims to give McEwen patrons a perfect, fine dining meal in 15 minutes. At 7:30 a.m., the race begins. Chef Little arrives and checks the fridge and pantry. Text messages from his purveyors tell him what fresh produce and meats to expect during the day. Based on these elements, he erases his white board and plans two lunch specials: a fourpart “farmer’s plate,” and a feature. Today, the farmer’s plate includes creole stewed green beans and tomatoes, pan roasted Brussels sprouts with honey, toasted almonds, and Gorgonzola cheese, a yellow bell pepper stuffed with dirty rice, and curried eggplant and baby pac choi soup. Tomorrow, this plate, and the feature, will change. 90% of the food is prepared mise en place. French for “everything in its place,” each component of every dish is meticulously prepped before service and organized at each station in the kitchen. Every day, vegetables are chopped, sauces are made, grits are cooked. Hours are poured into this

process before lunch, and again before dinner. Chef Little learned the technique from the Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, Oregon, but found its importance reaffirmed in the kitchens of Spice Seared Duck his mentors: French-trained chefs Jeffrey Potter and Marco Violano, a former sous chef of Wolfgang Puck. Chef Little credits his time with Potter and Violano with his ability to create daily specials on-thefly. “Culinary school teaches what herbs are, and what the techniques are,” he says. “But when you train with chefs, you learn what they’ve learned, and you gain the experience of the dishes they have. I got to see them prepare thousands of dishes.” The lunch crew cycles out, and the dinner crew cycles in. Prep for dinner service begins at 2:00 p.m. By 5:00 p.m., tickets roll in. More artistry is demanded at dinner. The kitchen is hot; the energy is organized chaos. Chef Little hands the grill off to his sous chef, and moves to the middle station where he can plate, and delegate. He has a new Feature planned for the night: fresh Alaskan halibut with an arugula pesto and grilled eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 57

The Hills

Pan-seared Chilean Sea Bass 58 • APRIL/MAY 2017

The Hills

Chef’s Choice Cheesecake

asparagus, topped with shrimp creole. “It’s very humbling,” he says. “I make mistakes, and sometimes, I have to throw something away. And that affects me negatively. It affects my food costs. But I would rather the guests get the perfect plate than send out something that isn’t the best they’ve ever had.” He adds, “I wouldn’t work in this profession if I couldn’t do it in a fine dining restaurant.” Outside of the daily specials, McEwen’s kitchen delivers dish after dish of vibrant, delectable staples that include the “11 Spice Seared Duck” with roasted butternut squash purée, the “Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass” with orange soy glaze and Mississippi shiitake mushroom risotto, and the “Black & Blue NY Strip” with prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Chef Little summarizes his style as “Southern-meetsFrench fine dining,” with a little bit of Creole influence. “It’s about balance. If I ordered the duck dish, I would eat a bite of the duck with the squash, some of the pac choi, and then take a bite of the red pepper,” says Chef Little. “I would try to combine all of those flavors together. The blackberry-cherry compote is really sweet, the butternut squash purée is earthy, and the grilled pac choi is earthy, too. Then you have the spiciness from the pepper.” The last few tables submit their tickets around 8:30 p.m. Chef Little retreats to do the produce order. Depending on the day, he’ll leave McEwen’s as late as 10:00 p.m. Tomorrow, at 7:30 a.m., he’ll wipe down the white board and create two new specials for lunch. Then, he’ll put everything in its place. edm

Banana Cream Pie

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 59

The Delta

Ground Zero Blues Club 387 Delta Ave., Clarksdale • 662.621.9009 •


by Coop Cooper A.K.A. The Small Town Critic

ounded in 2001 by Bill Luckett, Morgan Freeman and Howard Stovall, Ground Zero Blues Club has become Clarksdale, Mississippi’s number-one attraction. Tourists from all over the world travel to eat and hear blues music at the club which was recently voted the top blues club in America by and has garnered similar accolades from many prestigious publications from across the globe. Manager Ashley Sullinger has worked at the club for thirteen years, first as a waitress, then bartender and finally as the manager for the last ten years. Throughout that time, she has met customers from all over the country and the world, some of who come far distances to visit regularly. “I’ve met some of my best friends who were passing 60 • APRIL/MAY 2017

through here and now come by whenever they can. Some of them who live close enough come two to three times a week,” says Sullinger who also has the privilege of working directly under one of the most famous American actors of all time. “I love working with Morgan. He’s really down-to-earth, a good guy and easy to get along with. He remembers the names of everybody working in this club,” says Sullinger. Sullinger says Freeman visits the club about once every month or two since he resides in the state, but it depends on his busy work schedule. His visits have been less frequent recently since he began producing and directing the TV show Madame Secretary. Both he and Bill Luckett occasionally play club hosts to VIP guests and out-of-town friends passing

The Delta

through. Described as “very Southern” by Sullinger, the food on the menu primarily consists of the fried variety. Open for lunch on weekdays and Saturdays, Ground Zero offers plate lunch specials along with traditional Southern food. Fried appetizers such as Fried Pickles, Fried Grits, Fried Green Tomatoes, Mozzarella Sticks, Potato Skins, Hot Wings, the Lala’s Fried Shrooms, the Big T Nachos, Jalapeno Poppers, Onion Rings, Sausage and Cheese tray, and an Appetizer Sampler Tray are available. The club also offers salads such as the Super Chikan Salad, which includes fried or grilled chicken bits, the Whiskerfish Salad including slices of catfish, and the Gobble Gobble

Hambone Salad with ham and turkey. The sandwiches/burgers are about as Southern as it gets with Fried/Grilled Catfish BLTs, the Homewrecker Chicken Sammich, Fried Green Tomato Sammich, the Real Deal (pulled pork) Sammich, Authentic Southern Pulled Pork Barbecue Sammich, and multiple styles of burgers including the Crossroads Burger with bacon and mushrooms, or the Big Boss which is the works topped off with a fried egg. There are also specialty sandwiches named after beloved local musicians like the Muleman Club and the Howl-N-Madd Cheesesteak Sammich. Other entrees include Potato Ala Morgan, which is a baked potato fixed as Morgan Freeman prefers with butter, sour eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 61

The Delta

Highway 61 Burger

Bill Luckett is owner of Ground Zero Blues Club and currently serves as Mayor of Clarksdale. 62 • APRIL/MAY 2017

cream, chives, cheddar cheese, fresh pulled pork, and BBQ sauce. There is also a BBQ Plate, a Mississippi Delta Catfish Dinner, the Super Chikan Tender Plate, the Delta Veggie Plate, and Mr. Turner’s Hot Tamales. All entrées come with a choice of two sides such as seasoned or regular french fries, turnip greens, baked beans, coleslaw, green beans, okra, or black-eyed peas. There is also a small menu for kids and a dessert menu featuring pecan pie, peach cobbler, and Clarksdale’s famous Sweet Magnolia Ice Cream. Of course, it wouldn’t be a blues club without a bar and Ground Zero’s is fully-stocked. Accommodations are offered above the club at the Delta Cotton Company Apartments (eight total) which can be rented as hotel rooms. The rooms come in several sizes to cater to different sized groups (from two to eight people), and although they may be available for same-day rental, keep in mind that during festivals and other special events, the rooms are booked an entire year in advance. Room guests should also come ready to party because when the music is in full swing downstairs, the music reverberates upstairs through the floorboards. The club can be rented out for private parties, with the weekdays being the cheaper option. Prospective bookers pay a rental fee for the venue and for security/bartenders. Bands can be booked through the club or brought in by the guests, with an hourly fee for the sound engineer. The club also hosts open holiday parties during New Year’s Eve, Halloween, and a charity fundraiser for St. Patrick’s Day.

The Delta

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: Fried Green Tomatoes. Ground Zero bar. Sister Lucille Band. Ground Zero dining room.

Ground Zero often features favorite local bands such as Heather Cross, Lala and Element 88, Deak Harp, Steve Kolbus and the Clarksdale Blues Revue, Lucious Spiller, David Dunavent, Josh “Razorblade” Stewart, Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry, and Leo “Bud” Welch. It also showcases bands from all over Mississippi, the South and the world. The stage has held bands from Israel, France, Sweden, China, Japan, and countless other countries. In 2012, the band Flaming Lips played at Ground Zero as one of their venues for their Guinness World Record-breaking tour for the most live shows performed in different cities within a span of 24 hours, beating hip-hop artist Jay-Z’s 2006 record. The club occasionally plays host to various celebrities and movie productions drifting through the area. Most recently, Mark Zuckerberg, billionaire founder of Facebook, spent the evening there with his wife, Priscilla, and Morgan Freeman to hear James “Super Chikan” Johnson perform. Over years, the club has hosted reality show episodes with Ozzy and Jack Osbourne, Gene Simmons from the band KISS, Charmed stars Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs, the cast of Little People, Big World, and many others. Ground Zero is also one of the most filmed venues in the state with countless documentaries and motion pictures filmed there. In 2016, the feature film Thrasher Road filmed multiple scenes on the property, as did It’s Time, a feature film about the aftermath of Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins’ paralyzation during a

game against Vanderbilt in 1989. On Thursdays, starting at 8 p.m., the club hosts a Jam Night where guests can bring their own instruments - or use the hosting band’s equipment - and sign up to join in and perform live in front of the audience. Thursday also frequently offers a Steak Night where massive, juicy ribeyes with all the trimmings are cooked on the outdoor grill. Owner, and also the Mayor of Clarksdale, Bill Luckett visits the club a few times a week to meet and greet the guests and learn a little about who they are and where they are from. He and Morgan Freeman disagree on who first came up with the idea for Ground Zero. “He says it was mine, I say it was his, so I say now that it was ours,” says Luckett. “We opened it to answer that question that was being asked by tourists at the Blues Museum and around town, which was ‘Where can we find live blues music?’ and we said we would create that answer which was Ground Zero Blues Club. You can meet the world here sitting right here on this porch and it’s just amazing.” Luckett claims the record number of countries represented in Ground Zero on a single night was thirteen, although he admits there may have been more. “I know of at least six couples who met here and went on to get married,” says Luckett. “We are full of happy coincidences and interesting things going on around here at Ground Zero.” edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 63

The Pines

Rack of lamb with rosemary jus and parmesan tart

64 • APRIL/MAY 2017

The Pines

Phillip M’s 13541 Highway 16 W, Choctaw • 866.447.3275 ext. 33800 •

story and photography by richelle putnam


or over 37 years, Pearl River Resort Executive Chef said Chatham. “My goal is to teach someone what I know so Louis Chatham lived his dream through a variety of they can have my job one day.” All Phillip M’s employees must positions within the culinary field, from Chef Owner work on the casino floor at least a year before they work in the to Executive Chef. He also helped open some of the country’s restaurant. “It’s an apprenticeship. Learning proper etiquette finest hotels like The Four Seasons Hotel Houston Center, and the proper way to serve, an employee can go on to any Marriott, Renaissance, Hilton, and Stouffer. Chatham’s Place, restaurant and know how to do things mechanically correct.” the family restaurant he opened in Orlando, Florida in 1988, Phillip M’s is known for its original, made from scratch was named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America.” recipes, such as the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes that are pankoBut it wasn’t easy. breaded and pan-seared with creole remoulade and the Jumbo “I went to college twice and was a failure both times,” said Lump Crab Au Gratin served in parmesan cream sauce with Louis. “My parents were gracious enough to rescue me.” gruyere and parmesan cheese crust. As a dishwasher at the Sheraton Hotel in Orlando, it “When we say from scratch, we’re buying jumbo lump crab dawned on Chatham (he was 25 at the time) that he loved meat, mincing onions, celery and bread crumbs and making the being in the kitchen. He asked the executive chef at the crab cakes. We never buy our products prepared.” Sheraton Twin Towers what it took to get into the business. At Phillip M’s, sauces are made fresh daily. Chatham His answer: The Culinary Institute of America in New York. explained that there are five mother sauces and from those five “I started my career in 1975 at the CIA and graduated in sauces, all other sauces are created. Hollandaise is a mother 1977. My first day I was blown away at the professionalism of sauce. Chatham creates his béarnaise sauce by straining a red my first chef. It set the standard and set me on course for a wine shallot and tarragon reduction and adding his hollandaise. professional career.” He garnishes with fresh tarragon and parsley. Chatham came to Phillip M’s Casual Fine Dining restaurant Seafood is delivered weekly and live lobsters are imported as the Room Chef in 2003 and stayed for five years until the from Maine. Featured are Chatham’s sea scallops with sweet administration changed. He was rehired at Phillip M’s and later promoted to Executive Chef, a position he has held for three years. Strategically located within the casino facility to suppress the sounds from gaming floor activity, Phillip M’s provides an intimate dining experience in a European setting of sparkling chandeliers, ornately framed mirrors and lush color palette of red, gold and silver. “We have strict guidelines Japanese-style New York Strip on our dress and attitude with a red wine demi, heirloom and we hold ourselves to a potatoes, and micro greens high professional standard,” eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 65

The Pines

Sea scallops with sweet corn cream and micro greens

Blackened salmon with crab and shrimp

66 • APRIL/MAY 2017

The Pines

Filet Oscar - an 8 ounce filet served with lobster claw meat, asparagus, and hollandaise sauce

Phillip M’s Executive Chef Louis Chatham

has earned many awards and recognition from his peers and food critics, including Esquire Magazine and the ACF Presidents Medallion. Elected into the American Academy of Chefs in 2008, Chatham is also a Certified Executive Chef and an ACF approved culinary judge. “If you are disciplined enough to do the same dish for 20 years, a customer can come back five years later and get the same dish and it’s exactly what they expected. That takes discipline. That’s what it is all about…consistency and quality.” edm

Warm Brownie Stack eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 67

photo by j.j. carney

corn cream and micro-greens and his blackened salmon with crab and shrimp. Phillip M’s uses only prime quality beef, aged no more than 21 days. For this feature, Chatham prepared his Japanese-style New York Strip with red wine demi, heirloom potatoes and micro greens, as well as his Filet Oscar, an 8-ounce filet with port wine reduction, served with lobster claw meat, asparagus, and hollandaise sauce. His rack of lamb, also featured, is served with rosemary jus and parmesan tart. Phillip M’s is the only Mississippi casino restaurant to earn Wine Spectator’s coveted “Award of Excellence” and Chatham


Betty’s Eat Shop 126 S Whitworth Ave., Brookhaven • 601.265.2525 •


Story by Kim Henderson | photography by christina foto

or me, it was the short rib grilled cheese. Five items into my tasting foray at Brookhaven’s newest downtown eatery, it arrived, a mound of tender shredded beef encased in white cheddar cheesiness and chefmade black pepper mayo, book-ended by seared Texas toast. One taste of the classic-done-right made me eager to try anything on the menu – even the items I couldn’t pronounce. And that’s the kicker at Betty’s Eat Shop. Comfort foods like mac & cheese sidle up next to fried calamari as easily as trendy marble tops the ‘50s-style soda fountain counter. There’s abstract art and an antique ice box in the mix, too, as well as tomato relish and duck confit. Yes, anyone inside Betty’s Eat Shop for more than five minutes can sense the contrasts, but figuring out that Owner/Chef Matt 68 • APRIL/MAY 2017

Fitzsimmons is the most interesting contrast of them all? Well, that may take a while longer. Known these days by locals as an upstart restaurateur, Matt Fitzsimmons once rode a wave of a different kind of popularity – as Brookhaven High’s top-scoring basketball guard. The Daily Leader archives provide some insight: “Fitzsimmons watched a near-capacity crowd begin heading for the exits when Lawrence County held a 9-point, 61-52 lead with 1:47 left in the game. Instead of throwing in the towel, Fitzsimmons and his Panther teammates rallied for a thrilling 68-66 overtime victory.” That was sixteen years ago, and I asked Fitzsimmons how his drive to score 17 points in the last quarter of that game relates to his drive to operate a successful restaurant now. He indicated the two scenarios aren’t so very different: “There’s a



team atmosphere here, and I’m juggling multiple things. It’s like trying to see the whole court in basketball. I want to know how to react. And there’s the pump of adrenaline during rush hour.” Betty’s namesake is Fitzsimmons’ late grandmother, whose boxes of handwritten recipes (the one for Beef Stroganoff looked interesting) are out on display. You’ll find some of her specialties on the menu, but they are likely to have an added modern twist. That’s because Fitzsimmons has been schooled by some big-name chefs, and it shows in his labor-intensive offerings and an emphasis on fresh, local, and in-house. He spent some time at Trattoria Lucca in Charleston under Chef Ken Vedrinski, where the focus was keeping it simple and not overcomplicating food. “Don’t use six ingredients when five will work,”

Fitzsimmons explained. “If you’re doing simple food you give every ingredient its proper attention.” Next, Fitzsimmons moved to City House in Nashville, where he was under the tutelage of James Beard Award winner Tandy Wilson. “He was the first chef I worked for that tried to get all his supplies from farmers,” Fitzsimmons explained. “I saw how he interacted with them, and I’ve used that here. He even invested in greenhouses.” That focus has led Betty’s to purposely secure Mississippi suppliers like Home Place Pastures in Como (meat), Delta Blues Rice in Ruleville (rice), Delta Grind in Oxford (cornmeal and grits), Mississippi Natural Products in New Hebron (mushrooms), and Alderman Farms in Brookhaven (eggs). “The eggs we get from Alderman Farms make a beautiful eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 69


Chef Matt Fitzsimmons

Short Rib Grilled Cheese

70 • APRIL/MAY 2017


pasta,” Fitzsimmons said. “Theirs are more toward the bright yellow. When you make pasta with local eggs it’s a different texture and look that can’t be replicated with store-bought eggs.” In addition to wet and dry pasta, Betty’s also makes its own ricotta and sauerkraut. According to Fitzsimmons, 95 percent of what they serve is made in-house. They even grind their own sausage. The menu changes often at Betty’s but always includes Southern, Creole, and Italian components. The lunch plate is popular with downtown workers, who get a full meal and a drink for $10 dollars. During the lunch hour I visited, the main dish was red beans and rice. Other offerings included a smoked catfish sandwich, mushroom fettuccine, and a shrimp salad with red wine dressing. A sampling of the evening menu caters to both fine and familiar tastes: roasted Brussel sprouts with tasso or beets and chorizo for starters, and fettuccini Bolognese, fried chicken, and Gulf fish for entrees. The kitchen is visible from the seating area, and an open, wood-burning brick fireplace allows patrons to view the cooking process. Fitzsimmons is often joined in that spot by Andy Allen, a graduate of New England Culinary Institute who is also a Brookhaven native. When Betty’s opened last June, Allen was working at Saltine Restaurant in Jackson and was ready to move back. “We are fortunate to have him,” Fitzsimmons acknowledged. Proof of their extra-effort culinary style is found in something as simple as an order of French fries. The Betty’s crew brines their potatoes before a two-stage frying process,

and the result is one of the best sides I’ve ever eaten. As I finished off the last of mine, a train headed to parts unknown cruised the tracks across Whitworth Avenue. The call of its whistle seemed symbolic of yet another contrast: What would make a big city chef want to come back to his hometown and start from scratch? “It was a difficult decision to leave Nashville,” Fitzsimmons acknowledged, “but I was always working for this moment. Being there and in Charleston showed me that food drives a town, and I wanted to be part of that energy here in Brookhaven.” edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 71


Call of Cthulu - creamy seafood bisque topped with scallions

72 • APRIL/MAY 2017


The Wayward Kraken 871 Howard Ave., Biloxi • 228.365.1931 • story and photography by julian brunt


he good folks at The Wayward Kraken in Biloxi describe themselves as a gastropub. It’s a good description, but I’ve got to tell you I was surprised at just how delicious the food was. The Wayward Kraken caters to gamers, so you might expect good snacks, but owner Canonblue Lalley, besides being an innovative entrepreneur, is also a world class chef. The Wayward Kraken is a warren of rooms, each dedicated to a particular game, a coffee shop (where you can get great pastries as well), and a place just to relax. If you are more of

a foodie than a gamer, the dining room and the patio (which has an Alice in Wonderland theme) will be the right place for you. Don’t let the names on the menu throw you, they are meaningful only if you are a gamer, just check out the descriptions. The menu is small, but just the right size, in my opinion. With just ten selections, don’t let the short list fool you. This menu is extremely well thought out and makes up in quality for what it might lack in depth. One more special note: This place works because of

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 73


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Coastal attention to detail. Food is made to order; fresh ingredients are used; cilantro is chopped daily, never carried over; fries are dropped when the order is placed; and food is made as you would make it for a friend. No kidding! A good place to start is the amazingly good seafood bisque. If I did not like anything else on the menu (and in fact I loved everything on the menu), I would urge you to visit this place just for the bisque. It is creamy, well-balanced, and the seafood is cooked to perfection (nothing ruins a dish like overcooked seafood). It’s nicely seasoned and beautify garnished with chopped scallions. Hands down this is the best shrimp and crawfish bisque I have ever had. Next up for me was the chicken tacos (look for Ocarina of Lime on the menu). Again, the seasoning was perfect, the chicken was tender, and they were loaded with real cheese, lettuce, tomato and serious pop of cilantro and lime. Another brilliant idea on this menu is the loaded fries (look for UrukFries). Crispy fries are made to order, seasoned with a molasses rub, and topped with bacon, melted cheese, jalapeños, sour cream, and scallions. There is the option of adding a grilled beef steak and it is highly recommended. The Wayward Kraken is definitely not a steak house, but I have not had a more tender steak anywhere on the Coast. Please don’t get the idea this place is only for gamers. It’s not. The food is great, the location is central, and it is a delightful combination of a highceilinged old town Biloxi building and modern day meeting place for those who want to play, have fun, and eat well. But, whatever you do, make sure you try that bisque! You won’t soon forget it! edm

ABOVE - Uruk-Fries topped with steak LEFT - Ocarina of Lime Chicken Tacos RIGHT - Dr. Who Galaxy Cupcakes and Cake Pops

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 75

76 • APRIL/MAY 2017

{ featured festival }

Have a “Dairy” Good Time in Walthall County I

by kelsey wells lambert

f you hear “mooing” sounds from Holmes Water Park off Highway 98 in Tylertown on the first Saturday in June, don’t be alarmed! Chances are that the noise is coming from a human visitor at the 40th Annual Dairy Festival. The festival, which has received acclaim as one of the “best old-time festivals in existence” and is believed to be the largest “free” festival in the area, has humble roots in rural Walthall County. In 1977, the festival began as a way for local dairymen to show their appreciation to locals for their support of the dairy industry. Now, over 50 volunteers under the Walthall Chamber of Commerce welcome 25,000-30,000 people to the park each year. This year’s festival is scheduled for June 3. The best part of the Dairy Festival is that you can have a day full of fun for free! Admission and all the day’s events are free to enjoy! Non-profit groups do sell food items and craft vendors have goods available for purchase. The opening ceremony is held at 8 a.m., kicking off a full day of competitions, fun and excitement. The dairy industry provides free samples of plain milk, chocolate milk and ice cream sandwiches throughout the day, supplemented by the festival committee to make sure everyone has plenty! Contests of all sorts abound. The Walthall Homemakers Volunteers’ baby contest, a Dairy Festival Queen pageant for ages 4-16, a pedal tractor competition locally known as “The Pedal Pull,” an ice cream eating contest, Dairy Fest Sack races, mooing and cow-calling, cane syrup judging and a bubblegum blowing contest ensure that all visitors have a friendly competition to enter. Two other major contests of the day are Walthall General Hospital’s Bake-Off cake baking contest and a butter churning contest. The homemade butter produced in the competition and cakes from the Bake-Off are available for purchase at an

auction following the butter churning. One of the most unique contests of the day is when the Tylertown Rotary Club hosts International Turtle Racers Association turtle races. In 2016, over 200 turtles registered for the races. Each turtle must pass the inspection of turtle doctor Javier Pacheco. In addition to all the competitions, visitors to the festival can experience many other events all day. For 2017, political cartoonist Ricky Nobile will be drawing free caricatures on a first come, first serve basis. A petting zoo will let children experience the sights, sounds and touch of some of their favorite animals and includes free pony rides. Children will also enjoy a “Fun Farm” games and jumpers area, activities from the National Guard, free balloons and kiddie train rides. Adults will want to take in an antique engines and tractor show, a Ham radio demonstration, commercial and political booths and displays, the Cow Bag Nationals street rod and vintage car show, shiitake mushrooms, chainsaw art and a spinning wheel demonstration. There are few restrictions on this day of fun, but no pets of any type, with the exception of service animals, are allowed at the festival. Also, private tents cannot be pitched on the main festival grounds, but an area within walking distance of the festival will be designated for this purpose. For 40 years, the Dairy Festival has been a tradition in Tylertown and Walthall County. You are invited to experience the fun! Be sure to stay until after nightfall, when a fireworks display fills the night sky in celebration of another successful day. edm Walthall County Dairy Festival June 3rd

OPPOSITE PAGE: A cow lays in contentment while children pet it. A young boy participates in the Ice Cream Eating Contest. Governor Phil Bryant tries his hand at churning butter. RIGHT: A large crowd gathers for turtle races. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 77

Food Festivals & Events Through April 8th

Columbus Spring Pilgrimage The 77th Annual Columbus Spring Pilgrimage began March 30th and ends April 8th. In addition to home and garden tours, there will be a crawfish and shrimp boil, Artisan’s Alley, Catfish in the Alley festival, half marathon/5K run, Tales from the Crypt, carriage rides, double decker bus rides, a garden party with mint juleps and cheese straws, and more. For more information, visit or call 800-9203533. •••

April 17th-23rd

Starkville Restaurant Week The Starkville Convention & Visitors Bureau will hold its 5th annual Starkville Restaurant Week on April 17-23. The week aims to showcase the very best culinary specialties Starkville has to offer. For seven full days, local participating restaurants will showcase their specialties and diners will have an opportunity to vote for one of three local charities each time they dine out. The charity with the most votes at the end of the week will walk away with a check for $5,000. For more information, visit www. •••

April 8th

Taste of Starkville On April 8th, the Starkville Area Arts Council will present the Cotton District Arts Festival and Taste of Starkville in Starkville’s historic Cotton District. The Cotton District Arts Festival blends incredible art, mood, and music into one of Mississippi’s most entertaining events. The annual Taste of Starkville restaurant competition brings together Starkville’s top local restaurants to showcase their elite dishes. In 2016, the competition included everything from Amish Peanut Butter Spread to Philly Cheese Steak Egg Rolls. The festival is host to over 125 artists, as well as a juried arts competition and show, Writer’s Village, International Village, Children’s Village, Celtic Village, Taste of Starkville restaurant competition, 5K and 1 mile runs, Pet Parade, student art competition, and much more. For more information, visit 78 • APRIL/MAY 2017

April 20th

Tupelo - Wine Downtown Visit Downtown Tupelo on April 20th for Wine Downtown. Participating businesses will have wine and food pairings during this progressive wine tasting event. For more information, visit or call 662-841-6598.

May 5-6th

Greenwood - Que on the Yazoo Que on the Yazoo is a barbecue competition on the banks of the Yazoo River in historic downtown Greenwood. The event is sanctioned through the Memphis Barbecue Network and is a Patio & PRO Competition. Que on the Yazoo also features a steak cook-off, sponsored by the Steak Cook-Off Association (SCA). The barbecue competition is open to teams and judges from throughout the Southeast to cook and sample the barbecue offerings. The festival also features live music and other activities for BBQ enthusiasts of all ages throughout the weekend. There is no admission fee. For more information, call 662-453-7625 or visit •••

May 11th

Taste of Ocean Springs Food & Wine Festival The Annual Taste of Ocean Springs Food & Wine Festival features “tastes” from more than 20 area restaurants and bars. Come gather underneath the live oaks, enjoy light music and exceptional “tastes.” The festival will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Downtown Ocean Springs. Tickets go on sale April 1st. For more information, call 228-875-4424 or visit

May 12th

Starkville - King Cotton Crawfish Boil There will be plenty of heads and tails at the 2017 King Cotton Crawfish Boil on May 12th. Held on Page Avenue in the Cotton District of Starkville, the event features delicious crawfish, corn and potatoes, plus all the beer and drinks you want provided by Clark Beverage Company. This event also features the Best of Boil competition where local cooking teams showcase their best crawfish recipes for a panel of local celebrity judges. For more information, visit or call 662-323-3322. •••

May 19th-21st

Jackson - Greek Fest Greek Fest offers the opportunity to learn and experience Greek culture right here in Mississippi. The event will be held on May 19th-21st at Holy Trinity - St. John the Theologian Greek Orthodox Church in Jackson and will feature authentic Greek food, dancing, homemade goods, and games for children. For more information, call 601-355-6325 or visit www.facebook. com/jacksongreekfest.

To have your food festival or culinary event included in future issues, please contact us at All submissions are subject to editor's approval. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 79

Recipe Index

Advertisers Index

Cinnamon-brined Pork Shoulder, 40 Creamy Crawfish and Pasta, 21 Cucumber Sandwiches, 45 Dijon Vinaigrette, 8 Frozen Mango Margaritas, 33 Hornitos Black Barrel Old Fashion Punch, 54 Maple Pecan Scones, 14 Matcha Snickerdoodles, 50 Mustard Glaze, 41 Pasta Rosamarino, 19 Pickled Quail Eggs, 45 Pork Brine, 40 Potato Salad, 47 Red Pepper Jam, 53 Seven Strawberry Cupcakes, 47 Spring Strawberry Pecan Salad, 8 Steak Fajitas, 30 Tortellini with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce, 33 Valrhona Chocolate Chip Cookie, 51 White Chicken Salad, 46

Christina Foto, 28 County Seat, 29 Crazy Cat Eat Up, 28 Etta B Pottery, 6 Flowood Chamber, 9 McEwen’s, 29 Mississippi Children’s Museum, 13 Mississippi Food Network, 13 Mississippi Market, 83 Restaurant Tyler, 29 Sanderson Farms, Back Cover Sante South Wine Festival, 11 Simmons Catfish, 9 Sombra Mexican Kitchen, 4 Starkville, 3 Taste Bistro & Desserts, 29 Taste of Mississippi, 15 The Kitchen Table, 6 Thurman’s Landscaping, 81 Tupelo, 2

STORE INFORMATION from pages 16-17

Amazon Bed Bath and Beyond Mississippi locations - Flowood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Meridian, Southaven, Tupelo Etta B Pottery J. Olive Co. 6555 US Highway 98 W, Ste. 22A Hattiesburg, MS 39402 601.336.7702 265 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. J Oxford, MS 38655 662.380.5013 141 Township Ave., Ste. 109 Ridgeland, MS 39157 601.850.3860 80 • APRIL/MAY 2017

The Kitchen Table 3720 Hardy St. Ste. 3 Hattiesburg, MS 39402 601.261.2224 Viking Cooking School Retail Store 325 Howard St. Greenwood, MS 38930 662.451.6750

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Till We Eat Again


Jay Reed, a graduate of Ole Miss, lives in Starkville where he is a pharmacist by day and a freelance food writer by day off. He is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and writes "Eats One Ate," a weekly column in the Starkville Daily News.

82 82• •APRIL/MAY APRIL/MAY2017 2017

Language of Food Spoken Here BY JAY REED Do you speak food? In today’s world of celebrity chefs and reality TV cooking competitions, I’ll bet we all have a bigger vocabulary than we used to. Alton Brown provides the scientific lingo, the Pioneer Woman feeds us cowboy terms, and Gordon Ramsay puts a little “spice” in everything. You might even pick up a little Italian from Giada – if at the very least you aren’t rolling the “r” in mozzarella, then you’re just not paying attention. I’m not even sure what language is best to study if you really want to speak food. I flipped open a national food magazine to the recipe pages and found these words: Man’oushe, Kare-Kare, Pocho, Einkorn, and Laap. Without reading the recipes, I don’t have a clue what any of them mean, and I consider myself an avid reader of food-centric literature. I’m sure many would default to French on pondering this idea. Certainly the citizens of France would agree – they are very proud of their language, so proud that there are laws preventing the tinkering with it. I’ll have to hand it to them: making a snail sound more appealing to the tongue by calling it “escargot” was a slick move. Despite my three years of high school French and a few weeks of listening to home school tapes in the car, I was a little intimidated on my first visit to France. Who knows what I might get served? My food vocabulary en Francais was very limited. I knew I didn’t want to leave the country without trying foie gras, but it may not have sounded so appealing if the menu had said “fatty liver.” That seems more like something that would raise your life insurance rates – not a culinary delicacy. And since my introductory taste came at a chain restaurant called Hippopotamus (Julia Child, forgive me), it could have been hippo liver for all I know. The French really have this terminology thing down pat. Menus could just say “Sandwich au Jambon,” but they chose instead to call a ham sandwich a “Croque Monsieur.” The Croque Madame adds an egg to the party. Or vice versa – I get confused. You would think things would be easier in Great Britain. At least they speak English, or so they say. (I was standing behind a fellow in the customs line in Dubai once upon a time, and it took me about ten minutes of polite eavesdropping to figure out this Irishman was speaking my own language – for the most part.) When in the UK, be careful ordering a biscuit. You might be served an Oreo instead of a hot, fluffy vehicle for sausage gravy. If you ask for some jelly to go on the imaginary biscuit, a bowl of Jell-O and a funny look may appear. Chips are fries, crisps are chips. And then there’s haggis. If that is what you are served, it’s just better not to ask questions. Now let’s talk about poutine. We don’t want to leave out our brothers from the north, eh? Thankfully, you don’t have to go all the way to Canada to try this dish, though legend says it was born there. In fact, I am convinced that poutine was actually taken across the border by a fellow Southerner. How could it not be? The base of the dish is a layer of potatoes – a French fried foundation. On top of that is a Southern food group all its own – gravy. That’s a fair amount of indulgence already, but there is also cheese sprinkled about and sometimes bits of wild game. If it weren’t for the name, this would have “Mississippi Boy” written all over it. But the sneakiest word in culinary history has got to be “sweetbreads.” When I first saw it on a menu, my mind went directly to the likes of pumpkin, banana, or even zucchini bread. Sweet. Breads. Instead, we were served a little pile of thymus glands. Oh, they were elegantly presented, to be sure, and the cooking was done by one of the South’s finest chefs. But I’m not sure I need to have them again – that item on the bucket list is firmly crossed out and I have moved on to the next one. To be fair, though, I will confess: for offal they weren’t… awful. edm


We’d like to talk to you about chicken. Don’t be fooled by other chicken companies who use labels like “raised without antibiotics.” That’s just a marketing gimmick to get you to pay more money. Fact is, by federal law, all chickens must be clear of antibiotics before they leave the farm. At Sanderson Farms, we don’t go for gimmicks like that. We just raise fresh, delicious chicken.

84 • APRIL/MAY 2017

Profile for Eat Drink Mississippi

April May 2017  

Our April/May 2017 issue features the Mississippi Pickle Fork, recipes for Cinco de Mayo, the Walthall County Dairy Festival, restaurants ac...

April May 2017  

Our April/May 2017 issue features the Mississippi Pickle Fork, recipes for Cinco de Mayo, the Walthall County Dairy Festival, restaurants ac...