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+ The Auction Block Steakhouse + The Blue Biscuit + 10 South Rooftop Grill & Bar + Taste & See + Keg & Barrel

Eudora Welty's White Fruitcake page 30

Heritage Breed



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30 43

“I make Mrs. Mosal’s White Fruitcake every Christmas, having got it from my mother, who got it from Mrs. Mosal, and I often think to make a friend’s fine recipe is to celebrate her once more, and in that cheeriest, most aromatic of places to celebrate in – the home kitchen.” • Eudora Welty, foreword The Jackson Cookbook •

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Spiced Cranberry Sangria


Savory Bread Pudding


Chef Alex Eaton Says Thanks to His Mom


Sand Ridge Farm in Lucedale Becoming Local Source for Top Quality Pork


Cat Island Cookies


Aberdeen Furniture Maker Is Bringing Familes Back to the Table


Eats One Ate - Jay Reed


Philadelphia Home Arts Club's Annual Progressive Dinner Has Members Going Cabin to Cabin for Good Eats

46 FROM MISSISSIPPI TO BEYOND Brad McDonald Has Southern Roots That Run Deep




Whitney Miller's New Southern Table: My Favorite Family Recipes With a Modern Twist Whitney Miller


Mississippi College Art Students Share the Joy of Christmas With Feast for Residents of Wingard House


The Auction Block in Thaxton


The Blue Biscuit in Indianola


Taste & See in Philadelphia

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 81 Coming to Terms 82 Till We Eat Again


10 South Rooftop Bar & Grill in Vicksburg


Keg and Barrel in Hattiesburg


Wassail Fest in Columbus

ON THE COVER: Eudora Welty enjoyed baking white fruitcake to give to friends at Christmastime. See page 30. Food styling and photography by Lisa LaFontaine Bynum. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 7

{ from the publisher }


get my love of food honestly. My mother is a whiz in the kitchen and passed her love of baking (and eating) desserts along to me. My daddy knew his way around the kitchen as well, often filling in for momma when she was busy or away. The holiday season will be hard for me and my family this year as my daddy will not be with us. After a series of strokes during the past year, he passed away at home in August with momma, my brother, and me by his side. Daddy was a master with meat. That was his charge for every holiday meal and one he did with joy and pride. He had an enormous custom-built smoker that was often filled with chicken, Boston butt for pulled pork, turkey, ham, or sometimes steak. He was well-known in our hometown for his smoking skills and cooked for several fundraisers and other community events during the later years of his life. Turkey is always the star at the Thanksgiving table, but it makes a regular appearance at Christmas as well. We loved daddy's smoked turkey, but we felt extra special when he would take the time to fry a whole turkey for us. That was always a treat that he was happy to provide. And, New Year's Day doesn't pass without the obligatory black-eyed peas, cabbage, and pork. More times than not, the pork is in the form of chops – sometimes fried, but often grilled or smoked. Along with the meat cooking duty came the meat carving duty – another skill at which my daddy was a master. Many times I was standing by his side while he sliced the meat. It wasn't because he needed my help (I'm actually terrible at carving meat). It was because I love the fried turkey skin, the end pieces from ham or pork loin, and the charred, crusty edges of the meat (especially the Boston butt). Daddy didn't mind, though. He knew which pieces I loved and would trim them off and toss them my way. I will miss the small, seemingly trivial moments like this with him terribly.


My daddy, Dennie Thurman, and me in July 2015

Daddy's smoking legacy lives on as he taught my brother and my husband how to man the smoker. They do a mighty fine job and always made him proud when they took their turn preparing the meat. No recipe, technique, or skill was a secret with my daddy. He was always happy to share with others, giving instruction as needed. Many times he would volunteer to cook the meat for someone. He took great pleasure in helping others. Life on earth is much too short and often taken for granted. As we move into the Christmas season, keep in mind how important family is. I urge you to get in the kitchen with whoever is preparing the meal and share the moment with them. Plus, you may get lucky and get a piece of crust from the meat thrown your way. Now slice the meat and let's eat!

"When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality." Romans 12:13


EAT DRINK MISSISSIPPI is published bi-monthly by Carney Publications LLC, PO Box 1051, Monticello, MS 39654-1051. Periodicals postage pending at Monticello, MS, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to EAT DRINK MISSISSIPPI, PO Box 1051, Monticello, MS 39654.


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eaCHtIC.KEd N & WAFFLE S MISS rink. ISSIP PI - The Not So

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IPPI • 1

BILOXI Shrimping Trip





BER 2015




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Summer Treats

PeacCTLY hy

Watermelon FESTIVAL



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MBER 2015




of Fall


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+ Vica ri + Ros Italian Grill e’s Dow + Swa y’s Bist ntown Bak + Stro ery & mboli’s ro Tearoom + Cast Italia Iron Cafe n Eate ry




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ouse • Pub + AC’s Steakhk on Deer Creek + Five O’clocServ Full r Company + Lou’s d Burge + The TwisteTiger + The Blind



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{ from our readers } I read your magazine for the first time recently and couldn't be more impressed! I thoroughly enjoyed it from cover ot cover and cannot wait until the next issue. My only complaint is that it’s not monthly! Keep up the great work and thanks for showcasing our wonderful state in such a great light. Tina McDonnieal Thompson Facebook Fan ••• I love Eat Drink Mississippi. I grew up in Monticello and my sister, Janice Dear, gave

me a subscription for my birthday years ago. Now, I insist on it every year. I have kept every issue and we often refer each other to a certain issue for a certain recipe. The pictures are wonderful, the articles well-done, even the paper seems special. What a great tribute to a great state. We have lived in Florida (now Destin) for 40 years, but I’m still proud of my Lawrence County roots as you so clearly are, too. Thanks again for a beautiful product. Lynn (Fortenberry) Mayfield Destin, Fla.

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+ Vicari Italian Grill + Rose’s Downtown Bakery & Tearoom + Sway’s Bistro + Stromboli’s Italian Eatery + Cast Iron Cafe

+ AC’s Steakhouse • Pub + Five O’clock on Deer Creek + Lou’s Full Serv + The Twisted Burger Company + The Blind Tiger



Day in the


August/September 2015

Recipes TURKEY


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October/November 2015

Roasted Brussels Sprouts page 31

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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

SUSAN MARQUEZ lives and writes in Madison. She has a degree in RadioTV-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.

LINDSAY MOTT is a freelance writer on the Gulf Coast who graduated with a journalism degree from Spring Hill College in Alabama. Over the years, she has grown to love all the great food, music, scenery and more that Mississippi has to offer. Her dream meal would consist of fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, caramel cake, and coffee.

GENNIE TAYLOR, a Forest native, is the publications coordinator at East Central Community College in Decatur and a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer. She is the former editor of The Demopolis Times, a five-day daily newspaper in Demopolis, Ala., and managing editor of The Scott County Times, a weekly newspaper in her hometown. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, she has received numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Mississippi and Alabama Press Associations. She is married to Steven Taylor and they have a daughter, Mallory Grace. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking.

KELSEY WELLS 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 currently resides in the Divide community where she is active in her church and community.

KATIE HUTSON WEST is a freelance writer from Tupelo. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University where she earned a B.S. degree in Marketing, Communications, and Business Psychology. An avid traveler, when home she resides in Starkville.

{ raise your glass }

Spice up Your Holidays

Spiced Cranberry Sangria 1 orange 16 McCormick Gourmet Whole Cloves 1 bottle (750 milliliters) sweet white wine, such as Moscato or Riesling 3 cups cranberry juice 1 cup fresh cranberries 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier 2 McCormick Gourmet Cinnamon Sticks 1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract Cut orange into 8 wedges. Press 2 cloves into each wedge. Set aside. Mix wine, cranberry juice, cranberries, liqueur, cinnamon sticks and vanilla in large pitcher until well

blended. Add orange wedges. Refrigerate 3 hours or until ready to serve. Serve in icefilled glasses, if desired. Non-alcoholic version: Substitute white grape juice for the wine and orange juice concentrate for the orangeflavored liqueur. Tip: If transporting Spiced Cranberry Sangria to a party, prepare recipe without adding the wine. Take the spiced cranberry juice in a clean, portable tightly covered beverage container leaving enough room for the wine. Then pour the bottle of wine into the container at the party. Serve and enjoy! Servings: 6 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 13

{ what's hot }

Holiday Hosting


Time-saving Tips for Effortless Entertaining


his year, find creative ways to elevate your holiday hosting with a time-smart approach that’s no less gourmet. Look for versatile recipes that can be made ahead, reheated in minutes, and served straight from the oven to make holiday entertaining stress-free. Creative combinations of fresh, seasonal ingredients transform typical casserole dishes from mundane to gourmet fare fit for any holiday occasion. But delicious time-smart cooking actually starts with the right cookware, such as the Anolon Advanced Umber casserole pan, which seamlessly moves from stove top to oven to table with a unique umber finish that brings warmth to your holiday spread. Another time-smart way to elevate your holiday entertaining is offering a selection of high quality wines to accompany your meal. Look for wines that consistently exhibit intense layers of flavor with

complexity and balance, such as Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve collection. For example, KendallJackson’s 2013 Pinot Noir uses grapes grown in California’s cool coastal vineyards to achieve flavors of ripe strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and dark cherry. Five months of aging in French oak barrels layers on aromatic hints of toast, vanilla and cedar. Start your holiday menu with a versatile and savory bread pudding, created by Irvin Lin, author of the blog, Eat the Love. This winter dish is ideal for a crowd and offers the flexibility of serving smaller portions as a side item or larger portions for a main course. “This bread pudding is perfect for a holiday brunch, easy lunch, or casual holiday dinner,” Lin said. “It can be made ahead of time for convenience and served at room temperature or warmed up.” edm

Savory Mushroom, Bacon and Gruyere Bread Pudding By Irvin Lin, Eat the Love blog

1/2 pound bacon 1/2 pound (about 1/2 loaf) crusty sourdough bread 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper, divided 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 6 cloves garlic, minced 1-1/2 cups chopped onions 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/2 cup chopped red pepper 1/2 pound sliced button mushrooms 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves 2 teaspoons dried oregano 4 large eggs 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese, divided Place bacon in freezer to chill. This will help make it easier to chop. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes and place in large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over bread and sprinkle with thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and garlic powder. Toss with spatula to coat evenly, then spread bread evenly in one layer onto rimmed baking sheet. No need to clean bowl yet. Bake bread for 20 minutes or until bread starts to turn golden. Remove from oven and lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove bacon from freezer and finely chop it. In 3 1/2-quart oven-proof stovetop casserole pan,

cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Use slotted spoon to move bacon pieces to bowl lined with paper towel. Pour bacon grease out, but don’t wipe out pan. Add garlic to pan and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds or until it starts to smell fragrant. Add onions, celery and red pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and cook until all vegetables are soft, about 5 more minutes. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Pour toasted bread into original large bowl and add vegetables and cooked bacon. Add parsley leaves and dried oregano, and mix together with large spatula. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Pour over bread and vegetables, add 1/2 the shredded Gruyere cheese and mix with spatula. Pour entire contents back into casserole pan. Sprinkle top of pudding with remaining cheese. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until top of bread pudding has turned golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve warm. Servings: 6 Variations: Make the bread pudding vegetarian by omitting the bacon, using 1 tablespoon of olive oil to saute the vegetables and adding 1/2 cup of smoked Gouda cheese to the filling. If you can’t find Gruyere cheese, feel free to substitute Jarlsberg or Swiss. To reheat the pudding if you prepare ahead of time, bake for 15 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 15

{ fabulous foodie finds }

Gifts of Steel Aerolatte Steam Free Milk Frother, $19.99 Bed Bath and Beyond

Lenox Tuscany Classics Stainless Steel Ice Bucket, $49.99 Belk 16 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Trudeau Graviti Electric Salt & Pepper Mills, $39.95 each Williams-Sonoma

Classy and durable, gifts made from stainless steel are ideal for the impossible-tobuy-for person on your list.

Stainless Steel Drinkware, $10.95 - $12.95 Pier 1

Yeti Rambler 20 ounces, $32.99 Various dealers across the state

Steel Guitar, Football, or Mustache Spatula, $9.99 each Kirkland's

see page 80 for store information eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 17

{ chef's corner }

Thanks, Mom: Holidays are for Food, Friends, and Family by alex eaton


ood has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up it seems as though my family always displayed their love for one another by cooking. The food culture in my family is interesting with a full-blooded Lebanese Cajun grandmother on one side. We would have raw kibbeh, baked kibbeh, grape leaves, and stuffed squash at one grandparent's house, and then standard holiday food with the other side of the family. I grew up knowing that while the foods my family shared over the holidays was a little different than most, it had the same meaning. Cooking food for the ones you love is one of the best ways to show people how much you care for them. My earliest memories of cooking came from calling my mom while both parents were at work to get lessons on cooking my after school snack. I wasn’t having a bowl of cereal; I needed a steak or chicken for my snack. I remember always thinking I wish I were good at this. Cooking with my mother's guidance would continue on through my boy scout and college days where I would always take over cooking for my friends – not because I was the best, but I was the only one who cared enough to get the food cooked right and hot, all at the same time. After Mississippi State University, I attended Johnson And Wales culinary school where I graduated top of my class. I did this by calling my mom during bathroom breaks, getting her tips or recipes on what to cook in each class. I would call her tell her my assignment and then she would text me her recipe. I would win or get the highest grade every time I used her guidance. You would think that using my mom’s guidance would change after I graduated culinary school and moved to New Orleans to work in some of the best restaurants in the country. However, when it came time to open my restaurant, I called on her again. The recipes that my mom

Alex Eaton, right, and his mom, Christine Eaton 18 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Chef Alex Eaton cooked for me growing up inspired the majority of my top sellers at The Manship. The quality meals she cooked for me had love and passion behind them. I knew they made me feel good, so I decided to try them out on my guests. Food is best when it is shared with the ones you love. The holidays are a time when friends and family are around in abundance. Football games, hunting camps and house parties are perfect times to cook meals for the ones you love and let them taste the passion in your food. One of the best things my family prepares for a large group of loved ones is Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream. It is a crowd pleaser and something that can be cooked just about anywhere. I hope you enjoy this recipe with the ones you love as much as I do. edm Alex Eaton is Executive Chef at The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen in Jackson. Born in Jackson to a half Lebanese family, cooking has always been a huge part of Eaton’s life. His younger years were spent cooking on open fires at Boy Scout campouts where he achieved Eagle Scout and his first taste of cooking for others. While studying business at Mississippi State University, Eaton worked his first professional cooking job at The Veranda Restaurant. After graduating college, he decided to follow his passion of cooking and enrolled at Johnson and Wales School of Culinary Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He has honed his culinary skills in numerous restaurant kitchens across the country. Eaton resides in Jackson with his wife, Jamie; son, Louis Alexander; and dog, Snoop.

Prime Rib 1 (8-10 pound) prime rib 1/2 cup olive oil Salt, to taste Pepper, to taste Garlic powder, to taste 1/4 cup dijon mustard Leave prime rib out at room temperature for two hours. Truss the roast with butcher twine until even throughout. Rub with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a grill and sear on high heat until browned on all sides. Next, rub dijon mustard all over roast and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place roast in 225 degree convection oven and cook until internal temperature reaches 115 degrees. Pull out and rest for 20 minutes.

Horseradish Cream 1 quart sour cream 2 cups horseradish 1/2 cup dijon mustard 4 teaspoons seasoned rice wine vinegar 4 teaspoons kosher salt 4 teaspoons black pepper 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce Mix all ingredients together and serve

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 19

DEEP SOUTH DISH Food. Family. Memories.

Pusharatas Are a Sweet Biloxi Tradition


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.



ntil I started blogging and shared my mama’s recipe, I thought everybody knew about the Christmas tradition of pusharatas – the delicious, bite-sized fritters we all grew up with here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Turns out it truly is a regional tradition that was started about 40 years ago and has passed down from mother to daughter to greatgranddaughters in the Biloxi area, and few outside of my hometown have ever even heard of them. You may recall reading an article in Eat Drink Mississippi a few years back about pusharatas, written by Julian Brunt, where he shared some of the history of our pusharatas, a delicacy that came to us from the Croatian immigrants of The Point. Every December, the Slavonian Ladies Auxiliary gather for their annual fundraiser for an all-night fry-a-thon, where they prepare more than ten thousand of these little fruit fritters. Proceeds fund several charities through the years, including scholarships for members. There is a very specific window for ordering them. They are highly sought after, and if you miss out, chances are you’re out of luck until next Christmas because few people who pre-order are willing to part with any. Throughout the year, they sometimes show up in smaller quantities at booths during one of our local festivals. It’s a confection made from flour, sugar, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, apples and citrus fruit, pecans, vanilla… and, if you’re so inclined, a bit of whiskey. Like many families, every Christmas my mama and her sisters would gather to have their annual cookie making night, and pusharatas were always on the list. We kids would often help with eating, um… I mean dipping the freshly fried dough in the powdered sugar glaze to finish them. For my family, like most, pusharatas also made appearances at other parties and gatherings and events like weddings, but Mama’s recipe, as with most all of the traditional recipes, were for very large batches. That is excellent when you are giving them away as gifts, of course, but sometimes you just want enough for your own cookie trays. So, I wrote a scaled down recipe to make it easier to continue the tradition at home. Most of the older recipes also called for grinding up the apples, lemons, and oranges completely whole (skin, pith and all), using an old fashioned tabletop hand grinder. But I feel it made the batter a little bitter, so I prefer to zest the citrus and peel and core the apples. You’ll use milk to form a thick batter, but how much milk you’ll add will depend entirely on how juicy the fruit is. You want a consistency that is thick like with fritters or hushpuppies. Pusharatas are made in a deep fryer, and are easy to make using a small cookie scoop to drop them into the hot oil. Take care not to overcrowd the fryer, and drain them on a baking sheet topped with a rack until cool. For glazing you’ll need at least two pounds of powdered sugar, as the glaze on these should be very thick. It’s a bit of a messy job – wearing food-grade plastic gloves for dipping makes it easier, and having help is handy, with one person frying and draining, another glazing. I prefer to do the powdered sugar in batches rather than all at once. Small pieces tend to fall off as you’re glazing and invades the smoothness of the glaze, so I make up a batch, dip as many as I can, rinse the bowl, and make up another batch. If you place the drying rack over a sheet pan, you can scrape off the drippings back into a bowl and reconstitute them as well. edm

Small Batch Pusharatas ŠFrom the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

3 cups self-rising flour 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 large apple, peeled and cored 1 large naval orange, zested then peeled 1 large lemon, zested then peeled and seeded 1/4 to 1/2 cup raisins 1-1/2 cups chopped pecans 1/2 tablespoon of whiskey, optional 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1 to 2 cups whole milk, as needed Cooking oil, for frying 2 pounds of powdered sugar, sifted Half and half or milk, enough to form a thick glaze Whisk together the flour with 1/2 cup of the sugar and the baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Zest the orange and lemon and add the zest to flour; toss and set aside. Peel and core the apple and peel and seed the citrus. Chop the fruit, retaining the juices, or pulse in a food processor but do not puree. Mix fruit and juices with the remaining sugar, stir to dissolve, taste and add more sugar

if needed. Add mixture to the flour along with the raisins, pecans, whiskey, vanilla and only enough milk to form a thick batter. How much milk you need will depend on how juicy the fruit is. Consistency should be similar to very thick cooked oatmeal. Let batter rest for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a deep fryer or a heavy deep pot to 350 degrees F. Use a small cookie scoop and drop, in batches, turning once until browned on both sides. Don't overcrowd the fryer. Drain on a baking sheet topped with a rack and let cool. Prepare the glaze in batches and dip the pusharatas, rolling to cover, lift with a fork, letting excess drip off and return to the rack to dry. Yield: About 4 dozen Cook's Notes: Pusharatas are best when freshly made and like any other doughnut, do not keep well for long. I allow my pusharatas to sit, uncovered, overnight until thoroughly dry. Do not store in a tightly covered container, as this will soften your glaze and make them mushy. If gifting, present them in a simple paper bag, or in a box, placed in individual paper cups.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 21



Breed Red Wattle pigs forage for acorns on Sand Ridge Farm.

Sand Ridge Farm in Lucedale Becoming Local Source for Top Quality Pork story and photography by julian brunt

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 23


ale Stevens has known for most of his adult life what to this quality in the grocery store, and once you try it you will he wanted to do for a living. He’s not a man to give never go back. up on a dream, but sometimes good fortune takes a But let’s get back to Sand Ridge Farm. Dale and Tina circuitous path. He’s been working for NOAA for many years, started with one boar and two sows. There was a steep learning in their National Marine Fisheries Service, and hopes to retire curve, but they caught on quickly. Today his herd numbers in a few more. But some dreams die hard. more than fifty, and the demand by serious chefs is growing at Dale and his wife, Tina, bought Sand Ridge Farm about an amazing rate, so the herd is growing as well. seven years ago, which is composed of a little more pasture These pigs live in a stress-free environment. In the fall they than woods, but the woods are full of oak trees, a vital gorge on the acorns mentioned at the beginning of this story, component to a and the rest of the dream that was year they forage in about to come the fields Stevens true. At first he plants with special raised a few cows grasses and in and chickens in his the forest. This is spare time, but he the way pigs are wasn’t passionate supposed to live. about them. Stevens uses Then one no hormones, no Christmas, antibiotics, no suffering from a steroids, and their cold, he found diet is as close Red Wattle pigs to non-GMO on Google, and as possible. The was intrigued supplemental from the very first. feed he does use Red Wattles are was developed by a heritage breed, Auburn University. having descended There is not a from one of the more healthy original breeds way to raise brought to the pigs. Americas by the Stevens is very Europeans. At one careful in breeding time Red Wattles his pigs, and has were considered been known to critically jump in his truck endangered by and make a sixteen the American hour trip to buy a Livestock Breed boar that has the Conservancy, but characteristics he now their numbers is looking for. are growing. This Sand is one special pig. Ridge Farm is There is even producing some a Red Wattle of the best pork Association that in the country, Chef Alex Perry of Vestige, left, and Dale Stevens discuss is concerned with and it is a labor of Red Wattles at Sand Ridge Farm. the conservation love. Dale, who is and propagation now a Red Wattle of this elite breed. Association board They also provide documentation for pedigreed animals, those member, would rather be no place else in the world than on that will be involved in breeding. his farm, and, if you are lucky enough to find a restaurant, like So what’s the big deal? Sit down with Stevens over a cup Vestige in Ocean Springs, that serves Dale’s Red Wattles, you of coffee and you will soon find out! These pigs are known as will know why. edm “the other red meat.” They are lean, but well marbled, and the fat is higher in omega 3 fatty acids (that’s the good stuff) than Sand Ridge Farm most fish. The short answer is that Red Wattles are healthy Lucedale and just unbelievably delicious. You won’t find anything close 601.766.3578 24 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


A Southern Tradition In many places around the world, pork is considered to be an auspicious food, and so an ideal way to start the New Year. There is some logic to the notion that putting your best foot forward in a new endeavor, even if it is in a culinary way, is a pretty good idea. The Cubans go for roast suckling pig for New Years, the Germans feast on pork sausages, and in the South it's ham hocks in the beans and peas, but, what the heck, if some is good, more must be better, right? Why not try a garlic stuffed pork roast for New Years or a grilled pork loin? Who knows, perhaps the New Year will be a lucky one for you and your family.

Pork Loin By Chef Alex Perry, Vestige Restaurant, Ocean Springs

Brine: 5 tablespoons brown sugar 6 bay leaves 1/4 ounce fresh thyme sprigs 6 cloves garlic, crushed with the skin left on 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 cup kosher salt 8 cups water 1 pork boneless pork loin Combine all ingredients and heat to combine. Cool down and add pork. Brine 8 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Salt & pepper the pork. Put the pork in the hot skillet & cook until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Move the pork to a roasting pan with a rack set in it. Roast for until the pork registers 135-140 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Rest 15 minutes before cutting. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 25

{ mississippi made }


Purr-fection 26 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

FROM FAR LEFT: Butter Cookies, Spicy Asiago Wafers, Chocolate Mint Bites

Cat Island Cookies Put a Sweet Spin on a Classic Favorite


By Gennie Taylor

at Island Cookies is a bakery that specializes in handrolled-and-cut cookies made with all natural ingredients. Their whimsical shapes are inspired by the natural beauty of the Cat Island located in the Mississippi Sound just south of the picturesque Pass Christian. Raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, co-owners and sisters Leslie Bullock and Shelly McNair opened Cat Island Cookies in October 2014. They put their own sweet spin on the classic butter cookie, using only pure, simple ingredients and no preservatives. 

The sisters have perfected light, crispy, and flavorful “onebite” butter cookies that are described as “simply irresistible.” They are uniquely shaped like small sea creatures, with seasonal shapes included throughout the year. They come in several flavors: Brown Butter, Lemon, Lime, and Orange Blossom. “Cat Island Cookies also offers a small ‛tuile-like’ Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie; wafer-like and crispy, it practically melts in your mouth,” Bullock said. In addition, to satisfy the savory side, Cat Island Cookies offers two different wafers: Zesty Cheddar Bites, and Spicy eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 27

Leslie Bullock and Shelly McNair - sisters and co-owners of Cat Island Cookies Asiago Wafers. Bullock said the company’s top sellers are the Brown Butter and Toffee Chocolate Chip cookies and Zesty Cheddar Bites. Cat Island Cookies also offers seasonal gifts and specialty options of their sweet and savory bites, including Chocolate Mint Bites and small, medium, and large gift sets. The name Cat Island Cookies comes from the westernmost barrier island just seven miles off the Mississippi Gulf Coast. When European settlers first landed on the island in the 1600s, they mistook the island’s many raccoon inhabitants for cats, christening it the “Island of Cats.” Home to both military and pirate operations throughout the centuries, approximately half of Cat Island today is managed by the National Parks Service while the remainder is privately owned. Since opening in October 2014, Cat Island Cookies has grown tremendously, now having retail presence in more than 25 stores in the Southeast, as well as an online store which ships all around the United States, Bullock said. “We look forward to steadily growing our business and extending into larger markets as we expand our operation throughout the Southeast and into other coastal states,” she said. edm Cat Island Cookies P.O. Box 415, Pass Christian, MS 39571 228-222-5931 28 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Celebrate with a Sweetly Salty Snack Sweet treats are a staple of every holiday party, and you can add your own crowd-pleasing recipe with a favorite from your own pantry: peanut butter. It pairs perfectly with other

sweet and salty flavors in this easy candy recipe. Find more ideas for cooking with peanut butter this holiday season at

Peanut Butter Saltine Brittle Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray 1/2 cup butter 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1 sleeve (4 ounces) regular saltine crackers 2 cups milk chocolate chips 1/2 cup peanut butter chips 1/2 cup roughly chopped, dry-roasted, salted peanuts Heat oven to 400 F. Line a 10-by-15-by-1-inch pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In heavy duty, 1-quart saucepan heat butter, peanut butter and sugar over medium heat. Stir constantly until butter and sugar are melted. Bring ingredients to boil; stir

frequently for 3 minutes. While mixture cooks, lay saltines flat in single layer on prepared pan. Pour cooked mixture evenly over saltines. Place in oven and cook 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Let cool for 3 minutes, then spread chocolate completely over top of saltines. Sprinkle peanut butter chips evenly over top of chocolate. Return pan to oven 1 minute to soften chips. Pull tines of fork through softened peanut butter chips to partially cover chocolate. Sprinkle peanuts over top and gently press down. Let cool on rack about 15 minutes; place in freezer for 3 minutes. Remove from freezer and break into pieces. Store in airtight container. Makes: 45 pieces eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 29

Fiction &




story and photography By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum

everal notions may come to mind when you think of by Candlelight Tour. The event, which has been in operation Eudora Welty – author, Pulitzer Prize winner, famous for 20 years, includes the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Mississippian. But, fruitcake? Yes. We are, of course, Old Capitol Museum, Eudora Welty House and Garden, and referring to the kind of fruitcake laced with candied fruit and William F. Winter Archives and History Building. This year’s nuts, spiked with spirits, and eaten during the holidays. theme is “Southern Writers.” Traditional holiday decorations Bridget Edwards, director of the Eudora Welty House are on display and musical performances are enjoyed at each and Garden in Jackson, reveals site. This year, the Welty House that Welty frequently made her will serve another Welty family signature white fruitcake, passed recipe – individual onion tarts down from a family recipe, to alongside fruitcake cookies. share with her closest friends Jazz musician Barry Leach will during the holidays. Sometime perform live at the Welty House. in the 1980s, Welty included the “While many of the sites recipe in her annual Christmas along the tour will be decorated card. Since then, Eudora Welty’s with traditional holiday White Fruitcake has been decorations, we have chosen to republished numerous times in decorate in the manner than Ms. magazines all over the world. Welty would have decorated,” The main difference Edwards explains. “Ms. Welty like between a white fruitcake and to place poinsettias throughout a dark fruitcake are the sugars. the house and instead chose to Traditional dark fruitcake is made decorate with the Christmas with brown sugar and molasses. cards she received. Visitors will White fruitcake is made with be able to view actual Christmas white granulated sugar. Some cards from several of Ms. Welty’s recipes also call for light corn closest friends, including Shelby syrup. One ingredient remains Foote, Richard Ford, Kathryn constant, however – the booze. Anne Porter, and Reynolds While most fruitcakes include Price.” dark rum in its list of ingredients, The Old Jackson Christmas Eudora Welty Welty opts for bourbon. One full by Candlelight Tour will be held cup of bourbon is mixed into the on December 4th beginning at batter before baking. She also recommends baking the fruit 4:30 p.m. Stops include Eudora Welty House, Manship House, cake several weeks prior to Christmas and “improving it” by Governor's Mansion, Old Capitol Building, and William periodically dribbling it with additional bourbon in the weeks Winter Archives. Shuttles will be available to transport people leading up to Christmas. between each stop. The best place to park is at the Jefferson Over the years, Welty’s white fruitcake has earned a place Street entrance to the Fairgrounds. For more information, call as an honored guest during the annual Old Jackson Christmas 601-576-6800. edm Scenes from the Eudora Welty House during the Old Jackson Christmas by Candlelight Tour. Photos this page courtesy of Welty, LLC. Photo of Eudora Welty by Kay Bell. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 31




Eudora Welty’s White Fruitcake The recipe below is written in Ms. Welty’s own words. It was most recently included in the cookbook Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott.

1-1/2 cups butter 2 cups sugar 6 eggs, separated 4 cups flour, sifted before measuring Flour for fruit and nuts 2 teaspoons baking powder Pinch of salt 1 pound pecan meats (halves, preferably) 1 pound crystallized cherries - half green, half red 1 pound crystallized pineapple, clear Some citron or lemon peel if desired 1 cup bourbon 1 teaspoons vanilla Nutmeg, if desired Make the cake several weeks ahead of Christmas if you can. The recipe makes three-medium-sized cakes or one large and one small. Prepare the pans, the sort with a chimney or tube, by greasing them well with Crisco and then lining them carefully with three layers of waxed paper, all greased as well. Prepare the fruit and nuts ahead. Cut the pineapple in thin slivers and the cherries in half. Break up the pecan meats, reserving a handful or so shapely halves to decorate the tops of the cakes. Put in separate bowls, dusting the fruit and nuts lightly in sifting of flour, to keep them from clustering together in the batter. In a very large wide mixing bowl (a salad bowl or even a dishpan will serve) cream the butter very light, then beat in the sugar until all is smooth and creamy. Sift in the flour, with the baking powder and salt added, a little at a time, alternating with the unbeaten egg yolks added one at a time. When all this is creamy, add the floured fruits and nuts, gradually, scattering the lightly into the batter, stirring all the while, and add the bourbon in alteration little by little. Lastly, whip the eggwhites into peaks and fold in. Set the oven low, about 250 degrees. Pour the batter into the cake pans, remembering that they will rise. Decorate the tops with nuts. Bake for three hours or more, until they spring back to the touch and a straw inserted at the center comes out clean and dry. (if the top browns too soon, lay a sheet of foil lightly over.) When done, the cake should be a warm golden color. When they’ve cooled enough to handle, run a spatula around the sides of each cake, cover the pan with a big plate , turn the pan over and slip the cake out. Cover the cake with another plate and turn rightside up. When cool, the cake can be wrapped in cloth or foil and stored in a tightly fitted tin box. From time to time before Christmas you may improve it with a little more bourbon, dribbled over the top to be absorbed and so ripen the cake before cutting. This cake will keep for a good white, in or out of the refrigerator. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 33

Gather at Aberdeen Furniture Maker Is Bringing Families Back to the Table


the Table by Susan Marquez


here’s something special about family and friends gathered around a table during the holidays. It seems the table brings folks together for food and fellowship. It’s the place where stories are shared and memories are made. For those reasons, Mark Perrott is committed to bringing families back to the table, specifically, to the custom kitchen and dining furniture that he build with pride to last for generations to come. A native of Limerick, Ireland, Perrott traces his family name back to 11th century France. Yet, his greatgrandmother was from Biloxi. Married to a native of Monroe County, he first met his wife when they were both teenagers. “I had accompanied my father on a business trip and met a girl from Tupelo. There was a spark, but I had to return home and leave the summer romance behind.” Years later, both divorced, Perrott and that long-lost girlfriend reunited on Facebook. That developed into a long distance romance that piqued Perrott’s curiosity. “I just knew I had to see her again!” Now Helen, an intensive care nurse, is Perrott’s wife. When the couple met again for the second time, Perrott was working with an artisan in the South of France making furniture. “I had always enjoyed working with wood, but what I learned in France took my hobby to a whole new level. I realized that I could have a career making fine custom furniture.” Perrott said while in France he did all manor of custom work from libraries to tables and furniture

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 35

to staircases. Not only did he marry Helen, but Perrott moved from France to Aberdeen and opened the doors to Mississippi Farm Tables in 2013. “We make custom furniture the old fashioned way, with pride, honesty and integrity,” states Perrott. “So much of today’s furniture is made of pressed wood. We don’t do that. We use hard woods like alder, ash and walnut, which is very time consuming. We even make our own chairs. What we make is heirloom quality pieces with mortise and tenon joinery that will be passed on to future generations.” The most popular item Perrott’s company makes is the farm table. Most are 8’ by 4’. “With chairs, the tables can seat ten, with benches, the tables can easily seat 12.” The largest table Perrott has ever constructed was for a family in Jacksonville, Florida. “The table seats 24 people, and took six people to carry.” His customers come from all over, mostly in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama, but the company has made tables and other furniture for people in Pennsylvania, Washington state, New York, Virginia, North Dakota, Colorado, and Texas. All of their customers come via the internet. The workshop in Aberdeen also features a showroom, but their online presence has made Mississippi Farm Tables a national company with an ever growing client base. “We have nearly 5,300 followers on Facebook!” Perrott said that six out of ten of the tables he builds are for people who are building a home. “They call us when they are building so the furniture will fit perfectly in the space.” In addition to tables, the company makes hutches, buffets, desks, and beds. No two items are alike. “We really love knots and grains in wood, and often we’ll do something creative to showcase the wood’s natural characteristics.” Perrott said that a table he made for one woman had a small knot hole in the apron. “She said she loved it, because her grandchildren would leave her rolled up notes stuck in the knot hole!” While he describes himself as “a bit crazy,” Perrott said he always wants his furniture to look good. One of his favorite things about the business is the many people he meets and the stories they share about their tables. “I hear over and over again that families are watching less television since they’ve gotten their table. I build some of the tables with drawers in them for board games. I have heard many times that after dinner, the table is cleared off and the board games come out. That’s what makes this so worthwhile for me. This is truly a value-driven business.” So what’s it like for an Irishman to move from the south of France to Aberdeen? “Well, the cheese selection at the Tupelo Wal-Mart certainly isn’t as good as what I used to find in France,” laughed Perrott. “But I love small-town living. My little village in Ireland could literally fit inside the Wal-Mart. The people here are genuine and friendly and this is a great place to do this business.” edm Mississippi Farm Tables 313 E. Commerce St., Aberdeen 662.681.6846 Mark Perrott 36 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 37

{ in the bloglight }

Eats One Ate story by kelsey wells photos submitted


o say Jay Reed has an interesting life would be an understatement. His parents, both Ole Miss graduates, moved to Starkville not long after he made his appearance in this world. (For those unfamiliar with Mississippi culture, this is the equivalent of moving to a war zone, as Starkville is the home of Ole Miss rival Mississippi State University.) Reed graduated from pharmacy school at Ole Miss, then moved to Asheville, North Carolina. It was there that he met his future wife, Melissa, who had lived from New York to Florida and came to rest in North Carolina at the perfect time for Reed to sweep her off her feet. To top it off, he and Melissa moved to the Middle East for ten years, where their daughter was born. After a journey around the globe, the family returned to Starkville. Throughout his travels, Reed kept journals One of Jay Reed's favorite restaurants is Taylor Grocery in of his adventures, then noticed that he was Oxford. writing more about what he ate than what he saw. His food writing career had begun. He now has a weekly food column in the Starkville and family, people from countries as far away as Morocco and Daily News and even put together a cookbook for family and Brazil have enjoyed seeing his “food stories” accessible to all. friends. If his name sounds familiar to you, it’s probably Reed is definitely open to a bigger and better blog in the because he writes the column “Till We Eat Again” that appears future. He hopes to post shorter, non-print articles and include at the end of this magazine each issue. more recipes. He said that readers tend to respond better to his As friends and family who lived out of the Starkville area current posts that include recipes because they can try making began to request to read his columns, he fell naturally into the dishes at home. blogging. Now his blog, Eats One Ate, features an archive He will have to find time in his busy schedule to post more, of these weekly columns for all to enjoy. Unlike most food however. Reed stays busy as he still practices pharmacy, devotes bloggers, recipes aren’t a major focus of Jay’s blog. time to his family, and serves on the board of directors for “I engage in ‘creative cooking,’’’ he explained. “I may start the Starkville Area Arts Council and the Starkville Community with a recipe, but I rarely stick to it, and have a bad habit of market. not writing down what I used.” Therefore, his articles are He will never lose his passion for food and writing. He generally just shortened versions of his newspaper articles with cites his favorite food quote as the words of Anthelme Brillatpictures of a featured restaurant, chef, or dish. Savarin: “The discovery of a new dish does more for the He is continually amused and amazed at the response to his happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star.” edm blog, noting that he loved seeing that an Elvis Presley fan from England had read his article about Tupelo. Along with friends 38 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Jay's Best Bites

Dawn’s Corn Casserole This is Jay’s go-to recipe, an easy corn casserole sure to appear at family holiday meals.

1 stick butter 1 (8 ounce) carton sour cream 1 can cream corn 1 can Niblets corn (or any whole kernel) drained 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix Melt butter in a casserole dish (9x13 or equivalent) and add the sour cream. Stir together till well mixed. Stir in Jiffy mix until all the mix is moistened. Add both cans of corn and mix well. Bake at 350 for about an hour. If you need to bake something else at the same time at a higher temp (up to 375 or 400) it should still work-just watch it.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sweet Potato Harvest Dip from the Sweet Potato Festival in Vardaman, Pie pop from 929 Coffee Bar at Starkville Community Market, Blueberry Scone from Jubilation Coffee House in West Point, Orange-Pineapple Ice Cream from Trowbridge's in Florence, Ala.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 39

Making the Rounds 40 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Philadelphia Home Arts Club's Annual Progressive Dinner Has Members Going Cabin to Cabin for Good Eats story by john carney | photography by j.j. carney


rogressive dinners have provided food, fun, fellowship, and entertainment for years. World-wide, there are many different varieties of a progressive dinner, but the over-riding theme in any location seems to be to develop comradery. A group of young women in Neshoba County have developed their own brand of progressive dinner and use it each year to kick off Mississippi’s Giant House Party, the Neshoba County Fair. This group, which is intent on developing members’ homemaking skills, as well as working to improve their community, gets together every year prior to the fair kickoff for an evening of fun at their family cabins on the Neshoba County Fairgrounds. They even allow their husbands to participate in the evening of food and fellowship before the fair begins. Members of the Home

Arts Club in Philadelphia get together throughout the year for programs including cooking classes, painting, fitness instruction, gardening, and other home and personal development topics. The club gives its members an opportunity to network with others of their age who have similar interests. In addition to the desire to be better homemakers, the group also channels some of its effort in charity work. This year a golf tournament, including a glow-inthe-dark nighttime component, was held with proceeds going to the United Way. Fund-raisers frequently include the proceeds from t-shirt sales. On alternating years, the group organizes a tour of homes in Neshoba County and have also held bake sales to raise money for charity. To kick off the fair, club members put aside their efforts to learn and develop skills that interest them and put their learning to work, concentrating on good food, fun, and fellowship. In keeping with members’ overall eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 41

Sausage and Cheese Platter Muffaletta Dip

Brittany Stinson, Peyton Williams, Carrie Wallace, Roni Posey, Jessica McCoy,, and Ashley Smith enjoy fellowship and appetizers at the McCoy cabin on the Neshoba County Fairgrounds. 42 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Crawfish Dip

purpose of building better homemaking skills, there is a theme each year for the progressive dinner. For the evening activities this year, Mardi Gras was that chosen theme. Members of the club dressed in their Mardi Gras finest and decorated each host cabin accordingly. For most, the decorations were left in place for the duration of the fair. This year’s event kicked off at the McCoy cabin, just a short walk from Founder’s Square, for appetizers. The bar was covered in dishes filled with tasty snacks like Muffeletta dip, a sausage and cheese platter, crawfish dip, and a classic Mardi Gras beverage, the hurricane. After sampling the appetizers offered at the McCoy cabin, the group moved closer to Founder's Square to the Posey cabin for the main course of jambalaya, garden salad, and garlic French bread. That course was prepared by club member Jillian Mars’ father, Ron Sparnecht. Mars was one of the club members who was responsible for the main course and enlisted her father to help with the meal. Sparnecht grew up in Louisiana on Cajun cooking. The dish was expertly prepared and reflected the chef ’s Louisiana roots. Sparnecht is a retired fire captain. While growing up, he spent time around the meat market that his parents operated in Ponchatoula. Next, revelers moved to the back side of the fairgrounds, near the harness racing track, to wrap up the evening with

Jambalaya eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 43

sweet treats. Desserts were spread in the family cabin of Carrie Wallace and included king cake, beignets, and fruit skewers with dip. Wallace, who also has some Louisiana roots, began looking for a king cake as the centerpiece for the dessert offerings. She soon found that a king cake for a July event is hard to come by. The tasty, sugary cakes are common during the first three months of the year, but not so much during the summer months. She then called an aunt in Louisiana seeking advice and was told that she should bake one herself. She was reminded that she had a recipe in cookbooks from the area. Wallace took the advice to heart, got busy in the kitchen polishing a recipe, and the result was a delicious, sweet and creamy king cake that was perfect to cap off a perfect culinary evening. Progressive dinners are great tools for building friendships and if the atmosphere at this event was in indication, this group, which was founded in 1939, will be around for a long, long time. The group will be hosting its biennial Tour of Homes, December 6, 2015. For more information, contact club president Carrie Wallace. Tickets are $10 each. Houses on the tour are decorated for Christmas and appetizers are served to participants. edm


Members of the Philadelphia Home Arts Club include, front row, from left, Leigh Anne Adkins, Jessica McCoy, Roni Posey (Vice President), Carrie Wallace (President), Peyton Williams, Meagan Miller; back row, Taylor Nicholson, Reagan Spears, Lacey Commer, Chasity Walker, Jillian Mars, Eliza Parsons, Becca Byars, Autumn Durant, Brittany Stinson, Tori Warren, and Ashley Smith.

hurricane 2 ounces white rum 2 ounces dark rum 1 ounce lime juice 1 ounce orange Juice 2 ounces passion fruit juice 1/2 ounce simple syrup 1/2 ounce grenadine Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain and pour into hurricane glass. Garnish with an orange half-wheel and a cherry.

Easy Cinnamon King Cake 3 cans of cinnamon rolls 1 jar of cream cheese frosting 1 jar of raspberry preserves Mardi Gras colored sprinkles Preheat oven to 375. On wax paper, roll out 3 cans of cinnamon rolls to flat in 2 rows. Spread cream cheese frosting across flattened cinnamon rolls, then adding the raspberry preserves on top. Fold together and pinch into one long roll. Mold into s circle on a greased pan and bake for 40 minutes or golden brown. Take out of oven and let cool slightly. Take remaining cream cheese frosting and spread on top. Use Mardi Gras sprinkles (preferably purple, green, and yellow) in desired pattern and serve!

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 45

{ from mississippi to beyond }

Yazoo City native Brad McDonald is giving London a taste of the South with his restaurant The Lockhart. 46 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Southern Roots Run Deep By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum


o doubt you’ve heard the familiar cliché, “You can take the boy out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the boy.” For Mississippi-native Brad McDonald, it’s absolutely true. He spent his childhood near the muddy banks of the Yazoo River, raised in Yazoo City. Today the chef finds himself living near a different river (the Thames) thousands of miles from where he grew up. “I grew up in the fantastic world of Willie Morris, so all you need to do is read a little bit about Good Ole Boy to understand my hometown roots,” McDonald says. “I’m far from a ‘good ole boy’ characterization, but I love everything about the culture of the South and those adventures.” He spent most of his career working in and around New York City until Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012. His Brooklyn restaurant, Governor, was completely destroyed during the storm. McDonald decided not to reopen the restaurant, opting instead to do consulting in London the following year. In January 2014, he was asked to take over the kitchen at The Lockhart on Seymour Place. Prior to reopening the restaurant, McDonald completely revamped the menu, drawing on his Southern roots for inspiration. “Besides [being] really damn tasty, [Southern food] is comforting and it has a history and mystique that is easy to communicate and play up for guests,” McDonald explains. A quick scan over The Lockhart’s menu reveals the Southern influence ― catfish, gumbo, collard greens, and shrimp and grits just to name a few. All items you wouldn’t expect to find on a menu in London, however, McDonald is quick to point out that visitors from the State’s shouldn’t expect the Lockhart’s food to taste exactly like what they get at home. He says of the restaurant’s most popular dish, corn bread and fried chicken, “They’re two of the most

Brad McDonald controversial amongst our Southern diners. I think some folks come expecting grandma’s cooking, and that is not what we do! It’s important to say that we cook Southern food through a British lens. We import only a few key ingredients at great cost and others we simply can’t. For instance, USDA regulations prevent us from importing country hams. So we have always eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 47

tried to cook locally allowing the Southern influence to shine through as much as possible.” The cuisine has been such a big hit among diners that McDonald is working on a cookbook slated for release next year. It focuses on reintroducing Southern cuisine to a British audience and dismissing some of the stereotypes associated with the food and the culture. Says McDonald, “It’s not a light burden to bear, but I hope to make everyone proud.” For now, McDonald plans to continue exposing British diners to the finer point of Southern cuisine, even beyond the iconic dishes that the region is so well known for. He



acknowledges this process takes time, but the support and success he has realized in the last two years motivates him to keep going. But does this Southern boy, turned New Yorker, turned American expat ever miss home? “I’ve got enough on the horizon for now. But, you know, a restaurant a little closer to home is always in the back of my mind.” edm The Lockhart 22-24 Seymour Place, London W1H 7NL

Hearty, Healthy & Homemade

Vegetarian Three Bean Chili 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 large onion, diced 1 large green pepper, seeded and diced 2 large garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 can (28 ounces) Red Gold Crushed Tomatoes 1 can (16 ounces) Red Gold Diced Tomatoes 1 can (15.5 ounces) Goya Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed 1 can (15.5 ounces) Bush’s White Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed 1 can (15.5 ounces) Progresso Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed 1 can (4 ounces) Old El Paso Chopped Green Chilies, drained 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon chipotle Tabasco pepper sauce Chopped parsley (optional) Shredded cheddar cheese (optional) In large saucepan over medium heat, in hot oil, cook onion, pepper and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin, cook 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, white beans, red beans, green chilies, salt and Tabasco sauce. Over high heat, bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. If desired, sprinkle with parsley and cheddar. Servings: 6 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 49

{ from the bookshelf }

Whitney Miller's New Southern Table My Favorite Family Recipes With a Modern Twist Author: Whitney Miller | Publisher: Thomas Nelson | Photography: Justin Fox Burks


by kelsey wells

hitney Miller, a product of the small town of Poplarville, where her parents still reside, grew up like many Southern girls. She admired, then watched, then assisted with, then flourished in the art of cooking with her mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers as teachers and taste testers. In 2010, she became a source of pride for all of the Magnolia State, walking away as the winner of the first MasterChef reality television competition at the tender age of twenty-two. With the win and a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in nutrition under her belt, she has traveled around the country and around the world, spreading Southern hospitality and cuisine everywhere she went. Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table is her second collection of recipes, following the success of Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm. This new volume shares traditional Southern foods and innovative new dishes, all served with a generous dose of Mississippi hospitality. The added feature of the “My Southern Pantry” pages at the beginning of the volume helps cooks stock up on vital supplies before beginning their food journey. Fun anecdotes and memories start each chapter, welcoming all into Whitney’s kitchen as she creates Southern goodness. Every Southerner knows that breakfast is an essential start to a good day and Griddled Blueberry muffins or Sausage and Egg Pie are sure to please anyone. The essential biscuit recipe is included with Whitney’s twist of using olive oil as an ingredient. The “Social” is a staple in the South, and a chapter of snacks including Tea Cake Biscotti and Pecan “Biscuit” Crackers offer a Mississippi twist on traditional party fare. If you’re looking for a lighter option, try the Gazpacho or Strawberry Salad recipes. Side dishes come next, featuring many of the vegetable dishes Whitney grew up eating at her dinner table. The Family Suppers chapter provides meals that the whole family can enjoy creating and eating together, such as Stuffed Bell Pepper Pizzas and Crawfish-Pimento Mac ‘n’ Cheese. The Sunday dinner is another Southern tradition, and serving up Whitney’s Smoked Brisket or Shrimp and Andouille 50 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Gumbo is a sure way to bring smiles. Expecting guests in your home? Why not make Corn Bisque with Shrimp and Grits Croutons or another selection from the Company’s Coming chapter? Of course, without desserts no Mississippi cookbook is considered proper. New Southern Table delivers temptations of Oatmeal Lace Cookies, Mississippi Mud Pie and many more. Sauces that enhance other dishes throughout the volume finish it off with a twist of freshness and originality. Though she now makes her home in Florida, Whitney Miller’s Mississippi roots run deep and are reflected in her new volume of recipes. She is a shining example of Southern hospitality and talent throughout her community and the world. edm

“Whenever I go to New Orleans, just a short distance from my parents’ home, I can’t leave without a visit to Cafe Du Monde for an order of beignets and a glass of chocolate milk. The beignets’ warm and crisp outer shell gives way to the soft, fluffy interior that is indescribably delicious. Since I can’t always make a trip to New Orleans whenever I have a craving for beignets, I decided to

take one of my other favorite desserts, bread pudding, and create a hybrid dessert that would combine the crunchy, fried goodness with a creamy white chocolate center. Make sure you keep a few for yourself before you share them with family and friends, because these small bites of goodness won’t last long.” Whitney Miller

White Chocolate Bread Pudding Beignets 6 cups 1-inch French bread cubes, crusts removed 9 tablespoons half-and-half, divided 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 2 tablespoons pure cane sugar 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped, divided 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Vegetable or canola oil for frying Powdered sugar for garnish Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Place half of the bread cubes in a zip-top plastic bag. Crush into crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a wide, shallow bowl. Set the remaining bread cubes and the bread crumbs aside. Place 5 tablespoons of the half-and-half and the heavy cream in a medium saucepan, and heat over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes or until hot. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, and sugar

in a large bowl. Slowly add the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. In the same saucepan melt 2 ounces of white chocolate with the remaining 4 tablespoons half-and-half over low heat, stirring occasionally. Gradually add to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in the vanilla. Lightly press the bread cubes into the white chocolate mixture to soak. Let soak for 5 minutes. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Take 3 soaked bread cubes in your hand. Add a few pieces of the chopped white chocolate to the center. Form the bread around the chocolate and press together to form a ball. Roll in the bread crumbs and place on the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the soaked bread cubes and chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Fill a large saucepan halfway with oil and heat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Fry the bread pudding balls for 3 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Transfer to the paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar. Makes 4 servings. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 51

{ community }

Making Life

Merry & Bright

Mississippi College Art Students Share the Joy of Christmas with Feast for Residents of Wingard Home 52 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Alana Latorre and Brandon Merritt of The Debra Franco School of Dance perform The Kissy Doll Dance from the party scene of Nutcracker as part of the entertainment for the guests.

Santa makes his entrance with bags of presents for all.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 53

story by Susan Marquez | photography by barbara gauntt


athering the family together for a holiday meal is The night includes a full program of entertainment and a a joyous time, but when a family is down on their devotional. “We invite one of the music instructors to come luck, there’s not much joy to be found. That’s why in and accompany everyone for Christmas carols, then they’ll the Delta Beta chapter of the Kappa Pi national art fraternity play holiday background music during dinner.” A devotional at Mississippi College has worked to present a full threeis led by faculty from the art department. After dinner, Santa course formal meal for the families of Wingard Home each Claus makes a grand appearance with stuffed toys for each December. child. During the school year, students collect additional gifts. Wingard Home is a long-term transitional home for the “We have given gift cards and cash in the past. This year we are homeless and displaced of Jackson and the surrounding giving canned goods and nonperishable food items that can be area. Unlike most shelters, the Wingard home is dedicated to used at Wingard Home.” keeping the family unit intact, using a holistic approach to solve Charlotte Wingard runs Wingard Home with her husband, the problems of homelessness. The mission of the Home is Roy. She said that the Christmas feast at Mississippi College is a to get women, children, and families off the streets, out of the great way to kick off the holiday season. “Every year, the folks government welfare trap, and working toward independence who live here are different, but the common thread is that each and financial and every one stability. of them are It’s the made to feel family aspect special on that that really evening. It’s speaks to like being in Randy Jolly, a high class who teaches restaurant. art classes Our residents and serves as feel important, director of and it’s a the Samuel reminder that Marshall Gore things can art gallery on get better in the campus their lives. of Mississippi It’s always a College. fun evening “Christmas of fellowship is always and it’s nice important in to know our our family, a folks enjoy time when we something Randy Jolly (back row second from left) and student servers Erin-Grace rejoice and Whistler, Jaime Weber, Jessica Linquist, Brittany Jenkins, Nichole Rhea enjoy that is born in we’re thankful love.” an evening with Roy and Charlotte Wingard (seated in middle). for the gifts At the we’ve been dinner, the given. This dinner marks the beginning of this special holiday students and art faculty dress up in crisp white shirts and black season to me, because the holidays are about giving and sharing slacks and they act as the servers for the evening, taking care of joy, and it really puts me into the spirit of what the holidays their guests’ every need. really mean.” The event was created by retired Mississippi College art For nine years, residents of Wingard Home have traveled professor Michael Hataway of Raymond. He tries to return to the Mississippi College campus early each December for a each year to great guests. Jolly inherited the event when he wonderful evening out. “This is a white tablecloth and linen began teaching at the college eight years ago, and he’s enjoyed napkin affair,” said Jolly. “We want them to feel special.” The every moment of it. The highlight of the evening is when Jolly menu includes a salad, an entrée, sides and dessert. “We will dons his Santa suit to hand out gifts. “I love playing Santa. I’ve have something special, like chicken cordon bleu, garlic mashed been doing it since my children were small, and they’re in their potatoes, and green beans,” Jolly said. “And of course, we’ll thirties now!” have chicken strips and other things that children will enjoy.” Wingard Home is located in downtown Jackson, and The food is specially prepared by Campus Dining, the food the ministry depends on private donations and a host of provider for Mississippi College, who offers free meals to the volunteers. For more information, visit their website at www. families. edm 54 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


The Blue Biscuit Indianola


The Auct ion Block Thaxton The Hills

The Delta -

- 10 South Rooftop GrilVicksburg l & Bar -

Taste & See -


The Pines


KegHattiesburg and Barrel -


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.


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 55

The Hills

Ryan and Summer Bramlett and their daughter, Sydnei on the front porch of The Auction Block Steakhouse. 56 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

12-ounce ribeye and baked sweet potato

The Hills

Downhome Delight Get Your Belly Filled at The Auction Block Steakhouse in Thaxton story and photography by katie hutson west


ome, home on the range, where the steaks sizzle and the cakes make you sing. Sitting on rural Highway 6 between Oxford and Tupelo, The Auction Block Steakhouse in Thaxton is a rustic, cowboy saloon known for big, juicy ribeyes, mouthwatering specials, and a downhome atmosphere. It’s a place for the whole family to kick back, enjoy each other’s company, and get their bellies filled. Ryan and Summer Bramlett of Pontotoc have been the proud owners of the steakhouse for the past two years. Both had strenuous 9 to 5’ers before getting into the restaurant business. After the birth of their daughter, they knew they had to make a change and find something they could do as a family. So, the duo opened their first restaurant in Pontotoc six years ago, a country diner

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The Hills

Caramel Apple Cake, Chocolate Brownie Cake, and Twinkie Cake

called Sydnei’s Kitchen (named after their little girl). Although they didn’t have much restaurant experience between them, they knew who did. “We had a lot of help from our friends,” says the thankful Summer of the tight knit community. The pair fit perfectly into the business. Ryan can usually be found in the dining room of The Auction Block, cutting up with customers and helping the staff out with whatever needs to be done. Summer’s forte is more on the catering and event side of things. “I just love doing parties, especially the weddings,” says Summer, adding, “We’re getting things ready for a retirement party on the Ole Miss campus right now.” The perfect backdrop to its rustic theme, The Auction Block is appropriately decorated with black and white pictures of cowboys, weathered farm tools, and a big buffalo skin. The wood and windows used to raise the barnlike structure of the restaurant were imported from an old schoolhouse being demolished in Mantachie. The timeworn desk chairs are even used in the spectator gallery of the Double L Auction House located in the stockyard right behind the restaurant. The Auction Block is more than just a cool looking restaurant, and they have the food to prove it. The talented Jessie Richardson serves as chef and grillmaster and is always creating delicious dishes to offer her ‘cowboy clientele.’ With something new every weekend, the talent at The Auction Block creates specials like Georgia peach pork tenderloin, cowgirl 58 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

chicken (chicken breast stuffed with cheesy spinach), and BBQ stuffed baked potatoes. And of course they have steak specials – steak kabobs, steak tips and gravy, Salisbury steak, and even a 24-ounce ribeye. Divided into beef, chicken, catfish, and seafood, the menu at The Auction Block is sure to please. But when asked what they recommend, the Block’s staff unanimously says steak. Soaked in a well-seasoned marinade and then grilled to perfection, it’s so tender it can be cut with a fork. In addition to entrées, The Auction Block also has specials when it comes to their appetizers and desserts. Selections like Delta hot tamales, fried green beans, cowboy chili, and Totchos (tater tots with all the nacho toppings), are sure to warm you up on those cold winter nights. But be sure to save room for dessert. Homemade cakes - Oreo, Lemon Pudding, Ding Dong, Chocolate Brownie, Twinkie, Caramel Apple, and more – are always on display to tempt the taste buds. The folks at The Auction Block will happily provide all the above and more when catering events. They even cook on site, carrying their big travel trailer, complete with grill and smoker, to any location. And for those who want to have their holiday get-together at The Auction Block, they have plenty of room for you. There’s a party room that comfortably seats 20, even though many more have been known to pile in there. Aside from the great food and casual atmosphere, the

The Hills

service is the real stand out. The staff is fast and friendly, treating everybody like one of their own. “There’s just not that many places you can go that are this family oriented,” says Summer, who feels blessed to be part of such a great team. And because of all the wonderful experiences they’ve had with their two current restaurants, the Bramletts think a third might be on the horizon somewhere down the line. The Auction Block is the place to go to get a lot of food for a great price. Guests over the age of 55 can even enjoy a discount on Thursday nights. Don’t be discouraged if the parking lot’s filled up; there might just be a cattle auction going on. So bring your cowboy appetite down to The Auction Block, where the motto is – “If you leave hungry, it’s your own fault!” edm

Cowgirl chicken and steamed vegetables

The Aution Block 11347 Highway 6, Thaxton 662.489.4343 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 59

The Delta

[Barbecue [Haven] The Blue Biscuit in Indianola Serves Up Barbecue With a Side of Blues story and photography by julian brunt


here’s magic happening in the Mississippi Delta! All along the vaunted Blues Highway things are astir, music is playing, people are building smoky fires, and getting together for a good time. But perhaps the epicenter of that transformation is the enchanting Blue Biscuit in Indianola. It’s a funky joint, it’s a barbecue haven, it’s even a live music venue, and if that’s not enough, you just might be lucky enough to get a cabin or room for the evening as well. There was a day when Mississippi blues could be heard only in a few hip bars in big cities, or dusty roadside joints in the Delta, but today it is a music culture that is celebrated around the world, and tourists are flocking to the heartland to see and experience it all for themselves. Trish Berry, owner of The Blue Biscuit, is in the forefront of those leaders who see the vision, who embrace the change, and have combined all the best elements in one very cool spot, and it’s just across the street from the B. B. King Museum. Funky or not, no restaurant makes my list unless the menu is something to shout about. This one is a two pager, and a quick look at the appetizers tells me I’ve struck gold. Any place 60 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

The Delta

Pulled Pork Sandwich and Hushpuppies eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 61

The Delta

that will serve greens and hoe cakes as an appetizer has got my attention in a big way. There are fifteen starters to choose from, so if you want to do the tapas thing, and order a handful of small dished, this is just right. I am also delighted to see ten burgers on the menu, some quite imaginative. Stand-outs include a burger loaded with pimento and cheese, the pate of the South, and slaw. Another touted as the Breakfast burger includes bacon, eggs, and cheese, and The Best, lots of pulled pork, green onions, jalapeùos and cheese. How could a fellow go wrong? There are lots of other choices, but I have just got to get to the headliner. Pulled pork! This Southern tradition is lovingly smoked for 72 hours, and has been called the best pulled pork in the world by countless fans, including English Chef Rick Stein (Rick Stein Taste the Blues, BBC). It is so good people have been known to come back day after day, sometimes twice in one day. You have just got to love a place that hits so many Southern high notes, including sweet tea brined chicken, Delta deep fried catfish, fried green tomatoes, and tamales . Another special note you are going to love is the cold beer, not cold beer, but extremely cold beer! Come by and visit Trish and friends. You are going to get well fed and you are going to have one hell of a fine time. edm The Blue Biscuit 501-503 Second St., Indianola 662.645.0258 62 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

The Delta

Fried Green Tomato BLT

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 63

The Pines

Small Town Charmer Taste & See in Philadelphia Provides Welcoming and Warm Place for Tasty Cuisine


The Pines


story and photography by katie hutson west

owntown Philadelphia is a treasure trove of quaint shops, rich history, and hospitable people. Situated amongst them is a town jewel, filled with good food and eyecatching art. Taste and See, a deli, coffee shop, and gallery, was opened in May 2014 by Floyd and Lori Bozeman. The second diner for the duo, the Bozemans opened their first restaurant right down the road in their hometown of Sebastopol in 2010. “It was just meant to be,” Floyd says of his newest establishment. Taste and See, whose name comes from the first line of Psalms 34:8, also describes the couple’s talents. The ‘taste’ is all about Lori, who provides a delightfully Southern menu full of personal recipes and fresh ingredients. Floyd takes the ‘see.’ His artwork is on display throughout the eatery, along with his festive wreaths and seasonal flower arrangements. The aroma of their food and the sight of their talent provides a welcoming and warm place to enjoy tasty cuisine and great company. The eatery is full of personality and personal touches. Decades old, the building once housed the local Five and Dime and has since seen a multitude of shops. Graced with exposed brick walls lined with bright paintings, wood beams throughout, funky, second-hand furniture, and big picture windows facing downtown’s bustling Beacon Street, Taste and See is comfortable and cozy. Nestled in

the back of the dining room, an inviting seating area (aka the tea room) is the perfect place to relax with a sweet treat and warm beverage. The Bozeman team offers a menu chock full of sandwiches, burgers, and salads – all with cute names and big flavor. “The Flying Pig sandwich is a must,” says Floyd about the deli’s signature sandwich. This Taste and See favorite piles grilled chicken, bacon, cheese, and homemade southwest ranch sauce on a hoagie. There’s also the Gobbler, the Flapper, and the Uncle Reuben (named after Floyd’s own Uncle Reuben). The homemade, recipe-by-Lori chicken salad is some of the best out there and comes in sandwich form on a croissant. For a little something that’s definitely out of the box, Taste and See presents the Funky Monkey – described as a new twist on an old favorite, this sandwich houses banana and cheddar cheese between two thick slices of Texas toast. Burgers are very popular at Taste and See. Recommended by the artistic owner, who toots it as one of his favorites, is the Williamsville. Named after the neighboring town, it comes covered in Hoop cheese and all the trimmings. Other juicy burgers include the Hawaiian Heifer, the Neshoba County Double, and the Beacon St. Bacon burger. At Taste and See, Wednesday is known as dumpling day. The scrumptious chicken n’ dumplings are hand-rolled using Lori’s own recipe and are a favorite of the locals. Taste and See is also eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 65

The Pines

open the 2nd Sunday of every month. “We serve a homestyle lunch that’s very popular around here,” says Floyd of the dinner where homemade specials like chicken poppy seed, meatloaf, and all kinds of vegetables are offered. After the savory, you gotta have the sweet and for dessert Lori bakes a little bit of everything – cakes, pies, cookies, pastries, muffins, cupcakes, and more – all of which can be purchased whole and taken to that special holiday party. More than just a diner, Taste and See also includes a coffee bar that offers all kinds of hot and cold treats. Warm up with cappuccinos and hot chocolate or choose one of their delicious fruit smoothies that come in a variety of tempting flavors. The Bozemans are big supporters of their town and the locals. Not only do they purchase homegrown goods for their ingredients, like milk straight from the cows at Philadelphia’s Beason Farm and bacon from the nearby Williamsville Brothers, they also display and sell paintings created by other artists in the area. Another act they do for the community is participating in Philadelphia’s very popular Third Thursday event. This social extravaganza, where the downtown merchants roll out the red carpet for their guests, takes place 66 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

the 3rd Thursday of every month. The streets are closed off and all the shops, along with Taste and See, are open after hours. When asked about future plans, Floyd admits he would love to open another restaurant someday. “But right now, with our family all working here together, it’s nice and we don’t want to grow too fast,” says Floyd. Taste and See is a great place for the whole family. Their beautiful dining room is also available for wedding receptions, holiday parties, and more. “We even had a wedding here one time!” says Floyd, whose colorful paintings provided the perfect backdrop. With small town charm, homemade fare, and first-rate hospitality, make sure you stop by to taste and see all that Taste and See has to offer. edm Taste & See Deli, Coffee Shop, Gallery 422 E Beacon St., Philadelphia 601.656.1767

The Pines

Floyd and Lori Bozeman, owners of Taste & See TOP RIGHT TO BOTTOM - The Flying Pig sandwich, Williamsville Burger #2, cupcakes made by Lori Bozeman

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 67


River View Relic 10 South Rooftop Bar & Grill in Vickburg Wows Guests with Fantastic View and Fabulous Food


by Susan Marquez

he view from the top of the First National Bank building is nothing less than spectacular. Downtown Vicksburg from the east side of the building and the majestic Mississippi River from the west. The cherry on top is the setting: a beautiful new restaurant built on top of a building that has been standing over 100 years. Jay Parmegiani is the proprietor of 10 South Rooftop Bar & Grill, the newest addition to Vicksburg’s skyline, which opened May 31. His background in the restaurant world gave him all the tools he needed to come up with a concept, design, and execution of a place like none other in town. A native of Grenada, Parmegiani lived in Vicksburg most of his life. But he lived in Jamaica until the age of four, where his father was the food and beverage director for the Intercontinental Hotel in Ocho Rios. It was there that his French-born father met his mother, a native of Grenada who was vacationing at the resort. “When I was four, my parents heard of a restaurant opportunity in Jackson, so we moved back to Mississippi. Not long after that, we moved to Vicksburg in the mid 1980s where my dad helped to bring Tuminello’s back to life.” For as long as he can remember, Parmegiani worked alongside his father, learning how to cook and how to run a kitchen. As a teenager, he dropped out of high school and learned he had a baby on the way. “It was time I decided to make a go of it on my own,” he recalled. Parmegiani got his GED and moved to Miami to attend Johnson & Wales culinary school. He graduated in 1999 and joined his dad again in Vicksburg at Josh Café in the Battlefield Inn. “I worked with my dad for the next ten years.” In 2009, an opportunity came Parmegiani’s way. “The food 68 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

service at the Vicksburg Country Club was suffering, so I was asked to come in and develop a new concept.” ROCA opened in 2009. “The most surprising thing about ROCA for me was that for the first time, I had to wear several different hats. I was in a leadership position, and I had to deal with the accounting. It has been a great learning experience for me.” His involvement with 10 South Rooftop began when his business partner, Tim Cantwell, who purchased and redeveloped the 1903 First National building, called him about opening a new restaurant. The Trustmark National Bank regional office occupies the ground floor, with loft-style


“Yazoo City” Catfish Tacos

apartments in the upper floors of the nine-story building. “Tim wanted a restaurant to attract more apartment dwellers, so we looked at space inside the building, and next door to the building, and finally, Tim took me to the roof and said he thought he could just add a floor and build out a new restaurant. That seemed like a huge undertaking to me, but he was persistent, and he believed in me, so I jumped in for the ride.” Parmegiani came up with the concept, a casual dining restaurant in an upscale setting. He also assumed the leadership role. “It was a big construction project,” recalled Parmegiani.

“It was supposed to take eight months, but instead it took a couple of years to get a plan and design, and another three to build it. The joke was that when people asked when it would be done, I’d just tell them ‘six to eight weeks.’ Now the staff has t-shirts that have ‘6-8 weeks’ printed on the back.” Parmegiani said his family had several major life changes during the time the restaurant was being built. “We moved, and we had our fourth son, and all while I was overseeing the building of the restaurant and running ROCA!” Nicole Gilmer of Newbreak Management, was the design consultant for 10 South. Gilmer was inspired by the David eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 69


Cohn quote, ‘The Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg,’ which is reflected in the award-winning photos of the Delta by T. Lowry Wilson. “It’s just a cool space,” said Parmegiani. “It’s fun and funky and nice, all at once.” Parmegiani describes the restaurant’s menu as “Southern cuisine with a twist.” Some of the featured items by Chef Kevin Roberts include his own riffs on typical Southern cooking, like chicken and waffles served with a sweet potato cornbread waffle with a chili glaze, fried crawfish balls, maple roasted Brussels sprouts, Moon Pie bread pudding, and chocolate covered bacon. “Kevin really put together a perfect menu for the venue,” said Parmegiani. “He has worked at ROCA for three years and he began to take interest in the 10 South menu, so we let him loose with it. He cooks just like me, maybe better!” The bar is the focal point of the restaurant. The 30-foot wrap-around horseshoe bar makes a big statement. “A lot of attention was put into the bar,” said Parmegiani. “And just as much attention was put into the signature cocktails.” Crystal Spencer is the general manager and runs the front of the house. “I couldn’t have done this without the support of Crystal, Kevin, and my wife, Kara. They all had my back. And thanks to them, this business has far exceeded my expectations. The community loves it, and my dad, who is now retired from the restaurant business, is so proud. Parmegiani said the restaurant appeals to families. “No suit or tie necessary,” he stressed. edm 10 South Rooftop Bar & Grill 1301 Washington St., 10th floor, Vicksburg 601.501.4600

ABOVE: Seasoned pretzels with honey mustard ABOVE RIGHT: Maker's Mark Steak RIGHT: Barbecue Bacon Burger



LEFT: Sweet Potato Hummus BELOW: 10 South Pie

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 71


Brews & Bites 72 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


Keg and Barrel in Hattiesburg Combines Unique Pub Flair with Traditional Southern Foods


by Lindsay Mott

eg and Barrel in Hattiesburg works hard to be the brews, and Neal said that 95 percent of it is craft. The majority premier craft beer bar in the state of Mississippi. of their customers are craft beer lovers, but they work hard not Their focus on regional brews and made from scratch to be a snobby beer bar. He wants everyone to feel welcome to dishes, along with food events, and a homebrew competition, come in and try something new. With the growth of regional promotes a focus not just on beer, but on beer culture. breweries in the last 10 years, they are moving towards offering The Keg opened in 2005 as the first non-smoking bar in beers made in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and so on. Neal Mississippi and offered beer, many European crafts, and a said that’s what craft beer is about: local beers made by people small menu. Eventually, a you know and hang out full bar was added, and the with. He likened it to the kitchen was expanded in slow food movement where 2008 to turn the place into you know the people who more of a restaurant bar make your food and what rather than just a beer bar. you’re putting into your According to owner John body. Neal, adding the full menu They also follow this helped them expand their same regional mentality in audience quite a bit at that their made-from-scratch time. menu. He described it They were also helped as a funky, eclectic menu by the change of the beer that “really goes well with law in 2012, which allowed great craft beers.” They higher gravity beer into the offer a daily menu with state, and their affiliation burgers of grass-fed beef with the Raise Your Pints from Stonnington Farm in organization. At that time, Perkinston, pizza, shrimp the Keg was able to bring and grits, chicken and John Neal, owner of Keg and Barrel in more American craft waffles, and more, along beers that the new now with daily specials. For a law allowed and give people in the community a chance to macho burger, try The Man-wich – two patties, special sauce, experience more craft beer. bacon, American cheese, topped with a fried egg, and served “What we strive to is to lead craft beer in the state,” Neal on a brioche bun. For a true taste of Mississippi, try the Pansaid. “We want to be the premier craft beer bar in the state of Grilled Catfish. Mississippi farm-raised catfish is seasoned and Mississippi.” grilled, then topped with Remoulade and served with cheese Now, Keg and Barrel has 60 beers on tap and 50 bottled grits and Willie's Greens. photo opposite page by diana pennington | photo this page by Keith Kujath

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 73


They also have special food events throughout the year including shrimp and crawfish boils, barbecues, and a chili cook-off, which Neal said is their biggest day of the year. Currently, the Keg is working on a 2,000 square foot patio expansion in the backyard with a cornhole and a bocce ball pit along with doubling the size of their kitchen. The Keg and Barrel also promotes home brewing with a home brew competition that’s in its 6th year. Those with home brews can bring their creations to be judged by judges and the Keg’s customers. They use this and all their events so that more people can learn about craft beer and come to enjoy it. “We push the culture of craft beer,” Neal said. “It’s as much

beer culture as it is the beer itself.” Fun Fact: Southern Prohibition Brewery, the smallest craft brewery in the country at the time, began brewing their beer at the Keg and Barrel in 2008. When the beer laws changed in 2012, Quinby Chunn took the brewery into downtown Hattiesburg and is now becoming a regional brewery. Neal said he is “proud to have helped start that.” edm Keg and Barrel 1315 Hardy St., Hattiesburg 6013582.7148

food photos by j.j. carney | beer taps photo by diana pennington 74 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016


OPPOSITE: The Man-Wich - Two patties, special sauce, bacon and American cheese topped with a fried egg, served on a brioche bun RIGHT: Pan-Grilled Catfish - Mississippi farmed raised catfish, seasoned and grilled and topped with Remoulade served with cheese grits and Willie’s greens eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 75

{ featured event }


Time to Come A-Wassailing in Downtown Columbus by kathy k. martin


ere we come a-wassailing” as Columbus toasts the start of the Christmas season with its 12th annual Wassail Fest. While this ancient drink of mulled cider may be the namesake of the event, this downtown holiday celebration is more about blending Christmas and community in Columbus. Main Street Columbus and its merchants transform the downtown streets and storefronts into a Christmas wonderland every year. With twinkling lights and festive decorations along the historic streets of downtown, Wassail Fest sets the stage for the holiday season on the first Friday in December from 5 to 8 p.m. Partnering with local sponsors and volunteers, the event’s many activities are free to the public and geared to families. Guests can sample a variety of wassail recipes prepared by merchants, who battle to win the coveted People’s Choice Award or the title of Wassail-Meister. As visitors shop and sample varieties of wassail at eight venues or more, they cast a vote for their favorite or most flavorful wassail. Wassail, which is actually an old English word that wishes one good health much like ‘cheers,’ dates back to the Middle Ages and now is known more as the name of this wintertime holiday beverage. A hot spiced cider combined with fruit juices, mulling spices and rings of sliced fruit, the drink has remained a Christmas favorite to drink while caroling or to serve as a punch at parties. Alton Brown of the Food Network makes his version with ingredients such as Fuji apples, ale, Madeira wine and allspice berries. Nonalcoholic versions might substitute the alcohol with apple cider, cranberry juice or pineapple juice. Wassail Fest contestants concoct their own signature spin on the beverage by mixing their own unique blends of spices or topping their wassail with grated nutmeg and whipped cream. The idea for the event came during a discussion at a Main Street Columbus Merchants’ meeting in 2003, says Barbara Bigelow, executive director of Main Street. Merchants wanted to offer a holiday event to attract the community to downtown Columbus. “Wassail Fest has become an annual celebration designed to catch everyone’s holiday spirit as it draws thousands to the streets of downtown Columbus.” She says that the event has drawn 2,000 to 2,500 visitors each year for the past 11 years to a five-block area of downtown Columbus during the three-hour celebration. Doug Pellum, owner of Zachary’s Restaurant, has participated in Wassail Fest since the inaugural year. “The event has been outstanding for our community and we had

our biggest night of the year last year.” His restaurant also competes in the wassail competition and Doug encourages a new employee to develop the recipe each year. In addition to the wassail tasting, Wassail Fest also features musical entertainment, special holiday activities, in-store demonstrations and door prizes. Christmas carols are sung on the street corners and balconies as well as inside the stores, adding to the festive holiday atmosphere. This year’s new offerings include special children’s activities and photo opportunities around the theme of the popular Disney “Frozen” movie, as well as more musical entertainment, says Barbara. “Wassail Fest is one of our community’s favorite holiday events and it continues to grow in attendance each year,” says Barbara, and she enjoys seeing the delight in everyone’s faces as they enjoy beautiful downtown Columbus in its holiday splendor, but also as they feel a part in naming one of the merchants the Wassail-Meister for the year. Here we come a-wassailing to Columbus for the Wassail Fest! edm Wassail Fest December 4th 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Here is the recipe of the winning wassail for 2014. The Bride & Groom/House of Tux was the Wassail-Meister.

The Bride & Groom's Wassail Punch 1 (64 ounce) bottle of cranberry/apple juice 1 (46 ounce) can of pineapple juice 1 teaspoon whole cloves 3 cinnamon sticks, broken 1 container of pineapple sherbet Bring first four ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat, then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain through a mesh strainer. Serve wassail hot with a scoop of pineapple sherbet in each mug.

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Fill Your Plate

December/January 2016

Food Festivals & Events December 4 Columbus - Wassail Fest Sample wassail, register for door prizes, and enjoy caroling throughout the streets of Downtown Columbus. Wassail is served at many local businesses. Vote for your favorite Wassail-Meister at this Columbus tradition. For more information, visit or call 662-328-6305.

December 6 Hernando - Cookies with Santa Bring your children or grandchildren to Gale Community Center in Hernando on Sunday, December 6th from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. to have their picture made with Santa and enjoy cookies, crafts and more. Cost is $1 per child and $3 per adult. For more information, call Hernando Parks and Recreation 662-429-2688 or visit www.

To have your food festival or culinary event included in future issues, please contact us at All submissions are subject to editor's approval. 78 • DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

December 8 Jackson - Looking In: My Journey to the Kitchen with Chef Tom Ramsey

December 15 Gulfport - Cajun Christmas Cooking Class with David Daigle

Tom Ramsey will present a series of vignettes tracing how his love of food, cooking, and feeding people led him from the corporate worlds of banking and lobbying to the professional kitchens that he now calls home. Ramsey owns popular downtown restaurants, La Finestra and Bol. He has appeared on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and most recently on ABC’s “The Taste.” He and his friend, Arthur Jones, have launched a series of webisodes, “Adventures in Doing Stuff.” The program will be in the Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex Recital Hall at 7 p.m. at Millsaps College. Tickets for are $10. For more information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at 601-974-1130 or visit www.millsaps. edu/news_events/arts_lecture_series.php.

Enjoy a delightful holiday evening out with the warm laughter of family and new friends sitting down at the holiday table for a very special Cajun Christmas dinner. Dave Daigle will be the guest chef at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center on December 15th. Class time is 6:00-8:30 p.m. Daigle will demonstrate how to fry the perfect turkey and all the trimmings. The menu includes: Oysters Rockefeller Daigle Style, Cajun Fried Turkey, Sweet Potato Casserole with toasted pecans, Cornbread Dressing, and Granny’s Pecan Pie. Cost is $30 for members and $35 for non-members. For more information, call 228-897-6039 or visit adult-cooking-classes/.



January 24-30 Oxford Restaurant Week

December 12 Jackson - Cookies with Santa at the Jackson Zoo The zoo’s annual Christmas event will be held Saturday, December 12th in the Gertrude C. Ford Education Center from 1-3 p.m. Visit with Santa, decorate your own sugar cookie, leave your Christmas list for Santa, enjoy a story time with Brillo the Ferret, and craft a holiday keepsake. Members are free. General Admission is $8/Adults & $5/Kids. For more information, call 601-352-2580 or visit www.

Oxford Restaurant Week is a week-long celebration of local food and charities. Every time you dine at a participating restaurant from January 24 - January 30, 2016, you’ll have the opportunity to vote for one of Oxford Restaurant Week’s local charities. The charity with the most votes compiled by January 31 will walk away with a check for $5,000. Charities include: Good Food for Oxford Schools, Love Packs, Meals on Wheels, More Than A Meal, and Oxford Food Pantry. For more information, visit www.visitoxfordms. com/oxford-restaurant-week/. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 79

Recipe Index

Advertisers Index

Dawn's Corn Casserole, 39 Easy Cinnamon King Cake, 45 Eudora Welty's White Fruitcake, 33 Horseradish Cream, 19 Hurricane, 45 Peanut Butter Saltine Brittle, 29 Pork Loin, 25 Prime Rib, 19 Savory Mushroom, Bacon and Gruyere Bread Pudding, 15 Small Batch Pusharatas, 21 Spiced Cranberry Sangria, 13 The Bride & Groom's Wassail Punch, 77 Vegetarian Three Bean Chili, 49 White Chocolate Bread Pudding Beignets, 51

Etta B Pottery, 9 Mangia Bene, 11 Mississippi Children’s Museum, 9 Mississippi Food Network, 4 Mississippi Market, 2 Sanderson Farms, Back Cover Sante South, 83 Simmons Catfish, 11 The Beef Jerky Outlet, 11 The Kitchen Table, 6 The Manship, 6 Thurman's Landscaping, 81 Visit Hattiesburg, 3

STORE INFORMATION from page 16-17

Bed Bath and Beyond Mississippi locations - Flowood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Meridian, Southaven, Tupelo

Pier 1 Imports Mississippi locations - Flowood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Ridgeland, Southaven, Tupelo

Belk Mississippi locations - Biloxi, Columbus, Corinth, Flowood, Gautier, Greenville, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Laurel, McComb, Meridian, Natchez, Oxford, Ridgeland, Tupelo, Vicksburg

Williams-Sonoma 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy. Ridgeland, MS 39157 601.898.8882

Kirkland's Mississippi locations - Columbus, Corinth, D'Iberville, Flowood, Greenville, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Meridian, Southaven, Tupelo

Yeti Coolers For local dealer info, call 512.394.9384 or email

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coming to terms

Of THEKitchen IN



with julian brunt

Pass In a professional kitchen the “pass” is a flat, often stainless steel table, most often with a heat lamp hanging above it. This is where finished dishes are passed from the kitchen to the expeditor, who is frequently the chef. This is a task called running the pass. The expeditor also announces new orders coming in, makes final touches to plating to finished Chef Alex Perry of Vestige in Ocean Springs runs the pass. dishes or, on occasion, will announce “re-plate,” if a dish does not meet his standards. This pivotal position, literally in between the kitchen and the front of the house, also controls the servers and will announce “service” when a table’s orders are all ready. There is no more critical job in a busy restaurant. edm

Thurman’s Landscaping Landscaping • Irrigation Waterfalls • Lighting Outdoor Kitchens & Patios Iron & Brick Work

601.270.8512 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 81

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.


Loosen Your Belt, Food Holiday Is Near



f you’ve picked up this magazine and taken the time to read it all the way to the end, then I think it’s safe to assume you like food. I certainly do. (Or maybe you’re even more like me and read magazines from back to front? Welcome to my little club!) Perhaps it’s a much more serious issue than simply being a cookbook-oholic or recipe hoarder — you may also be addicted to the neoteric. Maybe you tweak all the recipes — a little Tony Chachere’s is good on everything, right? Maybe you choose rattlesnake sausage and blue potatoes on your pizza instead of that tired old pepperoni and mushroom. Whatever your poison, unique is the new black. It’s this time of year, during the holidays, when people like us get our just desserts. Only it’s not just desserts. It’s everything. And with apologies to the bard, what we knew prior to Halloween as a “rose” has been rebranded as “Limited Edition” or “Seasonal.” These special editions may come out every year at this time, but they don’t hang around long; and even though we know the red and green M&M’s taste just like the multi-colored standards, we buy them anyway. I’m going to suggest, however, that we look at this season from a different perspective. Instead of focusing solely on holiday foods, I want to go a step further and introduce you to food holidays. A food holiday is completely different from a drug holiday. (I am a pharmacist by day, so I speak with some semblance of authority here, though such authority is also limited edition.) A drug holiday is when someone takes a scheduled break from a prescription regimen for a time, to allow the body to rest from the effects. A food holiday (in my world) is just the opposite: no holds barred, Katie Lee bar the door, no limits on that limited edition stockpile. Abandon all hope of dieting, ye who enter here. Here’s how it looks. Our family does Christmas in alternating fashion. One year we have it, one year we don’t. We save tons of money that way. (Just kidding.) Actually, one year we spend Christmas Day with The Wife’s family, the next we spend it with mine. The main difference is that my folks live across town and hers live in North Carolina. So whether it’s Christmas week or New Year’s Eve, we usually have a road trip to make. To prepare for these road trips, I begin to gather snacks soon after Thanksgiving. It might be Dove Mint and Dark Chocolate Swirls, Peppermint Creme Oreos, or nostalgic mint-filled straws. In the “homemade department” I have been known to drop hints to my mother about how I love her Chex mix the most, how long it’s been since I’ve had that Cheerios toffee, and how I remember the first time she made those Town House peanut butter crackers dipped in white chocolate. If the hints don’t work, I just ask. We are also big stocking people. I discovered on my first Christmas with The Wife that her clan tended to fill them with things from the Dollar Tree: note pads, hair bands, extension cords, etc. Useful stuff. I let her know pretty quick that I expected consumables. Edibles. Candy. Nowadays there is usually a stocking and a stocking annex (a bag or gift box) for each family member because it won’t all stuff in the original sock. That’s partly because we go crazy, and partly because we don’t just get someone a Reese’s Tree, we plant a Reese’s Forest up in there. And sometimes, I confess, I have been known to buy a bag of some neverseen-before thing that catches my eye, hand it to Mrs. Santa, and politely request that she put it in my stocking. I’m Santa’s little helper. Surprises are overrated. So whether it’s going or coming, I am road ready, food holiday savvy. I’m not against sharing, either, as long as I get to try a reasonable portion of everything. In fact, I encourage it because it assuages some of the caloric guilt. It’s okay — good sense will return about the time New Year’s Resolutions are made. Oh, and I always pack my exercise clothes, too. I might need them to cushion a fragile gift on the way home. edm





eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 83

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December January 2016  

Our December/January 2016 issue features time-saving tips for holiday hosting, Cat Island Cookies, Whitney Miller’s “New Southern Table” coo...