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April 11 - 17, 2012
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April 11-17, 2012
1 0 N O . 31
contents JACOB FULLER
6 Force of More The Jackson Police Department adds new recruits. How does our force compare with others? AMILE WILSON
Cover photograph by Virginia Schreiber
Mississippi lawmakers pass a bill making it more difficult than ever to get disability benefits. COURTESY ARDENLAND
rochelle culp “I wanted to make a difference and work directly with the community. A lot of people didn’t think it was a smart move,” Culp says. “Wellness is my passion and my ministry. I am very fortunate to have a job I love so much.” Today, Culp works for The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi and is the project director of the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition. She has worked with the coalition for 12 years. On the job, she manages a variety of grants to help people stop smoking and works with children and communities to prevent their using tobacco. With projects aimed at students, such as R.A.T (Reject All Tobacco) and Generation Free, Culp hopes to keep others from facing the same fate as her father, a smoker, who died at a young age due to smoking- and obesityrelated health problems. Culp is also a fitness and personal trainer and wellness coach at Fitness Lady Health Clubs. She has been an instructor for 19 years and is certified to teach classes such as spin, kickboxing and “boot camp” workouts that combine cardio, strength training and calisthenics. She is also a motivational speaker and workshop facilitator who travels and speaks on obesity prevention and wellness. Culp teaches her students that consistency is the key. “Society tends to start and stop. Each time you stop, it’s harder to start.” LaShanda Phillips
37 Old Made New The Hackensaw Boys take traditional blue-grass music and adds new-age energy and instruments.
45 Healthy Eats Portable and healthy lunches; just say “no” to “pink slime”; salad days are here again.
When Rochelle Culp couldn’t walk a few miles in a walk for charity in her 20s, she felt it was time for a change. “I struggled to do the walk, but it should have been easy,” she says. “I wanted to live a life of joy and be active. I knew if I didn’t make a change, my health may affect that.” Initially, Culp decided to change her life through portion control and by walking, her favorite exercise. Eventually, she incorporated healthy, fresh foods into her diet. The Durant native is now celebrating her 20th year since losing 100-plus pounds. Culp says losing weight and becoming healthy is a bit easier now. “All the low-fat options weren’t available at that time,” she says. “Most restaurants didn’t have calorie guides.” She suggests cooking at home, a hobby of hers, as a great way to eat healthy as well as build relationships within the family. “So many meals you can prepare in a few minutes,” Culp says. “Having family night once a week … keeps families together.” Not only does she strive to have a healthy lifestyle, Culp encourages people to become healthy in other ways. After 18 successful years at Allstate Insurance Company, Culp decided to change careers from doing something she liked to something that fulfilled her. She began managing grants for nonprofit organizations, especially those that contributed to keeping people healthy.
4 ..............Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 ............................ Talk 10 .................. Business 12 ................... Editorial 12 .... Editorial Cartoon 12 .................. Kamikaze 13 ................. Opinion 14 ....................... Food 26 ..... Crossroads Film 32 .................... 8 Days 33 ................... Theater 33 ............. JFP Events 35 ... Girl About Town 37 ...................... Music 40 ..................... Sports 42 ................ Astrology 45 .............. Body/Soul 46 ................ Prom Fly
Tom Ramsey Tom Ramsey is a former investment banker, lobbyist, and tobacco executive who currently works as a chef at Underground 119. He writes poetry, runs with the bulls and produced an album or two. He interviewed Andrew Zimmern for this issue.
Virginia Schreiber Staff photographer Virginia Schreiber is a recent graduate of Millsaps College. When she’s not working, she spends her time watching films of the Peter Pan genre. She took the cover photo and many others in this issue.
Adriane Louie Adriane Louie is a Jackson native who graduated from Millsaps College. She loves watching the Food Network and learning about food. Her favorite times of the year are Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She wrote a food piece.
Whitney Menogan Editorial intern Whitney Menogan is from Madison and holds bachelor’s degree in English from Tougaloo College. She enjoys reading and writing. She hopes to be able to travel around the world one country at a time. She wrote film reviews.
Richard Coupe Freelance writer Richard Coupe, an avid fan of the beautiful game, is a husband, brother, father of four and still wondering what he wants to be when he grows up. He wrote film reviews.
Nicole Sheriff Nicole Sheriff is from Madison but has lived everywhere from Colorado to Michigan since she graduated from college. Her life experiences have inspired most of her writing, and she shows no signs of slowing down. She wrote a music feature.
Mike Day At the “Hindsonian” at Hinds Community College, Mike Day won top cartoonist awards from the Mississippi Press Association and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in New York. He was also a cartoonist for the Hattiesburg American.
April 11 - 17, 2012
Advertising Director Kimberly Griffin is a Jackson native who likes yoga, supporting locally owned businesses and traveling. In her spare time, she plots how she can become Michelle Obama’s water holder.
by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief
Dinner and a Movie
ast Saturday night, Todd and I sat at a small table next to the open kitchen at Parlor Market and were dazzled by the chefs’ performance. Our newest food columnist, Jesse Houston, happens to be the chef de cuisine at PM, a position he took over after the tragic death of his friend and the founding chef, Craig Noone. Craig brought Jesse back from Texas to a state he knew little about; now Jesse is leading the creative team at one of the hottest businesses to come along in Jackson in a long time. Jesse invited us to the restaurant Saturday night, wanting to show off some vegetarian delicacies he’s worked up recently, including a dish of charred brussel sprouts with sous vide baby carrots and sauerkraut with a pastrami spiced crème fraiche that’s now on the menu. What’s delightful to us vegetarians is that there is no actual meat, or pastrami, in this dish. He somehow figured out how to make it taste a bit like pastrami. And the hint of kraut pleased the German in Mr. Stauffer no end. As I sipped my Satan’s Whiskers (a Prohibition-era cocktail with Beefeater gin, dry and sweet vermouth, orange curacao, orange and orange bitters), I was struck by the creative intensity in which not only Jesse worked on his creations, but which his assistants reflected. When they’re weren’t doing anything, they stood and watched. He was creating art, and they seemed to be studying his technique. This was serious creativity at work. And as Jesse writes in his “secrets” piece on pages 16-17, creative magic happens in other kitchens around the city as well. If you haven’t noticed, we’re in the middle of a serious foodies movement in Jackson, and it’s led by the rockin’ crop of chefs, long-time and new, at locally owned restaurants in the Jackson metro. Make no mistake: These guys (and gals) have the ability to change our city and state— and to help bring the renaissance that a wide coalition of folks (including the dynamic Hal and Malcolm White duo) have worked to bring to fruition for many years. Great restaurants with food-loving groupies help separate cities people love to flock to from those we could not care less about. Strong local restaurants are the bedrock of a city’s local economy. They not only keep their revenues locally—especially now during the local-food movement Jesse and others believe so strongly in—but they hire and train locally as often as possible, often bringing the culinary arts to young people working in the kitchen who might not have had the chance otherwise. And they provide the kinds of culinary experiences that make smart, engaged people want to move and stay here. This matters, folks. As we explained last week in our local-business issue, locally owned companies can help us stop the brain drain of our best and brightest and our tax base. But it won’t work if we don’t support them and, in this case, eat locally every chance we get. If we want to live in a world-class city, we must support our world-class restaurants. Consider
it an investment in our city’s economy. The same goes for cultural events. Even as Craig and now Jesse are young urban warriors on behalf of our city, so are many others who could live, work and create anywhere they want, but choose to do it right here in Jackson. This weekend, the Crossroads Film Society brings its annual festival to the Jackson area again. This year, you can enjoy a record number of Mississippi-made and/or Mississippi-focused films, a good number of them set right here in Jackson. Because we’re lucky enough to get a lot of the films to review in advance, I took the chance to watch a number of them over the last week. Some weren’t completely finished, yet, causing me to smile at the thought of these filmmakers scrambling to get their projects done in time for Crossroads. I understand how deadline pressure feels. Watching the films, it almost seems like Jackson’s recent historical arc is wound up in the types of movies and documentaries the festival features and their content, which is often edgy and not what people expect from Mississippi (where we’re stereotyped about as often as the worst of our citizenry stereotypes “the other.”) One of my favorites this year is the “Mississippi I Am” documentary, which looks at the challenge and at least marginal progress of being GLBT in Mississippi. I recognized several of the faces in it (and not just Lance Bass): good people who are working to make our state a more loving place for all of our people, including a former sales rep here who helped start a group to help gay youth. I loved that it featured the Safe Harbor Family Church, a place of worship where GLBTs can feel safe and accepted. I also appreciate that local filmmaker
(and Crossroads celeb) Philip Scarborough and Tom Beck are making a film, “Growing Our Own,” about the youth institute that the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation facilitates. (Disclosure: I work with the institute’s youth projects, although not directly with this one). I met Philip and Tom years back, and I remember great conversations at Hal and Mal’s with them about the challenges of race in our state and that our youth face. I just love that these guys are helping us tell Mississippi’s own story now. They care. That’s really what it comes down to: having the gumption and the energy to do it for ourselves. I’ve watched so many documentary makers come to Mississippi from other places to document our tough journey (making me wonder about the journeys in their own states and countries they leave undocumented). I crave seeing us tell these stories ourselves in whatever way we can: in print, online, in films or even in the catfish cracklins that Jesse Houston impressed Andrew Zimmern with. I’ve also been thinking about that urban warrior Herman Snell, our previous music editor whom we all lost way too soon to a sudden death. Herman was a long-time player in the Crossroads scene and, when I met him back in 2001, was doing online music listings just because someone needed to. This is the kind of spirit that makes me believe in our city, our state and our future. It is in the hands of our young creatives, our local businesses, and those who bother to show up and tell our stories. Please support them every way you can. This issue is dedicated to the memory of Craig Noone and Herman Snell, both of whom gave new meaning to the words “dinner and a movie.” We will put your memory to good use. Watch for my Crossroads picks at www.jfp.ms.
Kale and collards have been around at least 2,000 years. The Greeks grew both of the greens, as did the Romans. European writers described both as â€œcolesâ€? in the first, third, fourth and 13th centuries.
Sorry, Reesy. Espy apologizes. p. 8
Food historians guess they ended up in France and Britain thanks to
news, culture & irreverence
Thursday, April 5 Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, kills his own House amendment that could have revived the push against undocumented immigrant workers in the state. â€Ś The Coast Guard sinks an abandoned ship in the Gulf of Alaska. The ship had been drifting in the Pacific Ocean since a tsunami dislodged it in Japan more than a year ago. Friday, April 6 The Jackson Police Department graduates 24 new officers from its police academy, moving the department closer to its goal of a force of 500. â€Ś A U.S. Navy F-18 jet crashes into an apartment complex in Virginia. Saturday, April 7 The Walk Against Fear from Memphis to Jackson, to protest social injustice in Mississippi and across the South, concludes with a rally at the Capitol. â€Ś Veteran â€œ60 Minutesâ€? journalist Mike Wallace dies at age 93. Sunday, April 8 A walker finds the body of a man near Butts Park in Jackson. â€Ś Tulsa police arrest Jake England and Alvin Watts, both white, for shooting five people and killing three of them. Officials are investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
April 11 - 17, 2012
Monday, April 9 Gov. Bryant signs a craft beer bill that will allow retailers to sell higher gravity beers, up to 8 percent alcohol by weight, in Mississippi. â€Ś AOL sells more than 800 patents to Microsoft for $1 billion.
Tuesday, April 10 The Mississippi Senate passes a bill to implement the controversial voter ID law that voters approved last fall. â€Ś The Donald Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant announces it will allow transgendered participants to compete. Get breaking news at jfpdaily.com.
in America was in 1669.
JPD Adds 24 New Officers
by Jacob Fuller
he 49th basic recruit class of the Jackson Police Department graduated Friday from the Jackson Police Training Academy. The class of 24 recruits moves the department closer to Chief Rebecca Colemanâ€™s goals for patrol size and overtime reduction. JPDâ€™s current goal is to reach 500 active officers, although the city has the budget for 525, Coleman said. With many officers who can retire at any time and others who will leave for other law enforcement jobs, Coleman said JPD will not stop hiring new recruits if they reach 500. With Fridayâ€™s graduation, the force has 483 officers. â€œThatâ€™s a goal that we would like to achieve, but at the same time, I still stress to those individuals who are doing our recruiting that we want good, qualified officers,â€? Coleman said. â€œWe want to make sure that (those) 500 officers are officers that are deserving of being in a Jackson Police Department uniform.â€? The 2010 census showed that Jackson has a population of 173,514. That means there is one Jackson police officer for every 359 residents of the city. If the department reaches its goal of 500 officers, it will mean one for every 347 residents. Coleman said more officers means more visibility of law enforcement in the community, which deters criminals and ultimately means less crime.
Wednesday, April 4 The Mississippi Senate votes to send a bill that could shutter Mississippiâ€™s only abortion clinic to Gov. Phil Bryantâ€™s desk to become law. â€Ś Five ex-New Orleans police officers receive sentences for their parts in shootings of unarmed citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
the Romans or Celts. The first known mention of kale (called coleworts)
A class of 24 recruits of the Jackson Police Department marches from their seats after taking the oath of office at their graduation on Friday.
â€œThese 24 additional officers will be assigned to the precincts, but they will be in two-man cars, because they have to go through the training process,â€? Coleman said. â€œThis past week, we had 33 officers from the last class who were cut loose from training. They were initially in two-man cars. Those officers now are riding solo in the precincts. That means you have more beat cars in the precincts. And itâ€™s been proven, anytime you have more visibility of
officers, the less likely crime is to occur.â€? At 483 officers, the size of JPD sits about in the middle of similar-sized state capitals. The Little Rock Police Department in Arkansas, which services a city population of 193,524, has a force of 550 officers, or one officer for every 351 residents. The department will add another 15 officers with their upcoming graduating class. On the other side, Tallahassee, Fla., JPD, see page 7
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We asked staffers at the Jackson Free Press to tell us about their first cooking experience. Hereâ€™s what they said: â€˘ Jacob Fuller: Scrambled eggs. You beat eggs with a fork, then put them over heat. Add salt and pepper. Yet, people still manage to screw it up. Amazing. I learned later in life to add a little milk and get more loft in the fork while beating to allow air into the mixâ€”and to turn the heat down. â€˘ Andrea Thomas: Fried chicken. It was all pretty golden on the outside, but when I cut into it, it was super bloody. But Iâ€™m a beast at breakfast. â€˘ Donna Ladd: Tiny little biscuits and brownies in my Easy Bake oven. â€˘ Kimberly Griffin: Bacon. I would have crispy bacon and mayo sandwiches almost every day. I donâ€™t eat like that anymore, and I miss it. â€˘ Latasha Willis: Fried bologna sandwiches. I thought it was weird to see the bologna puff up in the middle as it cooked, and I did burn it on purpose for extra flavor.
news, culture & irreverence
JPD, from page 6
population 181,376, has a police force of only 355 officers, or one for every 511 residents, and currently has a recruiting class of six scheduled to graduate in early June. Coleman said JPD leaders attend national and international police conventions and keep in touch with other, similarly sized cities throughout the year. â€œWeâ€™re not operating in a vacuum,â€? Coleman said. â€œWe have a network with other law enforcement agencies. When things come up that are affecting the city of Jackson, we contact them to see if they have similar problems, and we draw on that.â€? Crime has gone down in most of Jackson since this time last year, despite little to no increase in the number of officers. JPD officers expect the increase in patrols to further reduce crime in the city. At this time last year, JPD had a force between 455 and 460 officers, according to Assistant Chief Lee Vance. With 459 officers on duty last week, reported crimes were down from this time last year in all precincts except Precinct 1, which covers most of south Jackson. â€œWeâ€™re putting some strategies in to attack that,â€? Vance said. â€œThe commander has assured me that in the second quarter of this year, weâ€™re going to be in the negative as far as crime production in (Precinct 1). â€œOne of the things weâ€™ve found effective as a crime-fighting tactic is high visibility. Thatâ€™s why you hear us talking so much about numbers. â€œThe more officers you have on the street, the more visible force you can put out there. And thatâ€™s an automatic deter-
rent to crime. While you do have some bold criminals in society, very few of them are going to commit crime in the presence of a police officer.â€? Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. gave an introduction speech at the graduation ceremony. He pointed out that there is more to police duty that preventing crime. â€œPolice officers do much more than catching criminals,â€? Johnson said. â€œThey teach people how to prevent crimes. They help people who are in difficult or dangerous situations. They offer understanding and empathy in times of tragedy and need. â€œThey are often in perilous situations caused by agents other than crimeâ€”working accident scenes, or when they are called on to help in rescue situations.â€? The city of Jackson has recently had problems with JPD, as well as the fire and public works departments, logging too many overtime hours. In February, when the numbers from the first quarter of the fiscal year were announced, the city had used 38 percent of the yearâ€™s budget for overtime hours. While most of JPDâ€™s overtime hours have come from officersâ€™ time in court and working at special events, much of the overtime logging has come from having too few officers to cover patrol beats. â€œThis will make a tremendous dent in the issue of overtime, simply because these officers will be assigned to two-man cars and we just finished putting the additional officers on the street,â€? Coleman said. The next JPD training class, made up of 23 officers, will start April 15, and another will start in October. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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by R.L. Nave
The Surprising Politics of Education Reform dation,â€? she said. Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones, interim chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, also put out a statement in which he called for an investigation â€œinto this hateful act.â€? BRIAN JOHNSON
Rep. Chuck Espy, D-Clarksdale, a charterschools supporter, apologized to a fellow lawmaker who was allegedly attacked after a committee hearing last week.
â€œNot only are acts of hostility and intimidation toward public officials illegal, they are detrimental to the very function of a democratic society,â€? the Canton Democrat wrote. House Education Committee Chairman Rep. John Moore, R-Brandon, said the incident was the result of both sides being fired
up over the debate. â€œItâ€™s sad it happened, but I understand the passion on both sides of the issue,â€? Moore told the Jackson Free Press Friday. â€œAs many (charter-schools opponents) as there were, if that bill had passed, you would have seen some aggression the other way.â€? As for the apparent momentary defeat of the bill, Moore describes it as a mere hiccup. â€œWe will have a good charter-school law eventually,â€? he said. Gov. Phil Bryant has threatened to extend the legislative calendar and call a special session to force lawmakers to give him what he wants on the issue. In the meantime, everyone awaits attempts to insert the failed measureâ€™s language into an existing education bill to keep it alive. That the Legislature would pass a charter-schools bill this session seemed like a slam dunk when each of the stateâ€™s top Republican leaders expressed a desire to see it passed. When the bill that flew through the Senate met a roadblock, surprisingly, of Republicans, most observers assumed the holdouts would fall into place and tow the party line. So what went wrong? The conventional thinking was that a lot of it had to do with Milton Kuykendall, the Republican elected superintendent of the DeSoto County School District, who made no secret of his hostility to the charter schools bill. The DeSoto school district is the largest in the state and the countyâ€™s largest employer. In a phone interview, Kuykendall said he would support a charter schools bill that prohibited for-profit companies and virtual
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schools from entering the state, sets up pilot programs in poorly performing areas, and establishes the Mississippi State Board of Education as sole authorizing body new charters. He also wants entities setting up the new charter schools to have an established track record of success. â€œFor something thatâ€™s so unproven, baby steps should be taken,â€? Kuykendall said. Rankin Countyâ€™s Dr. Lynn Weathersby, who was unavailable to comment as of press time on Tuesday, is also rumored to have wanted to see the charter-schools bill fail. Weathersbyâ€™s brother, Tom, sits on the House Education Committee and voted no on charter schools. Moore believes many superintendents donâ€™t want the competition. â€œIt does them no good at all to help the low-performing districts to move up,â€? Moore said. Moore said lawmakers who voted against the bill, which exempts high academic-achieving schools, represent areas that would have been off-limits to charter schools anyway. â€œI canâ€™t find an argument that sounds logical to me. Theyâ€™re not motivated to help those at the bottom,â€? Moore said. Rachel Canter, executive director of procharter schools nonprofit Mississippi First, said the debate just goes to show that there is no political ideology of education reform. â€œThe letter behind your name isnâ€™t as important as who has power and sway in your own community,â€? she said. â€œEd reform makes very strange bedfellows sometimes.â€?
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ep. Chuck Espyâ€™s voice cracked as he jabbed his left index finger into the podium so forcefully that itâ€™s a miracle he didnâ€™t break the appendage. â€œI have watched this great body rise to some of its greatest points, and Iâ€™ve seen tensions flare and rise to levels Iâ€™ve never seen. But when a member is touched in any way, it is unacceptable,â€? railed Espy, a Democrat from Clarksdale. Espy took the point of personal privilege after the House Education Committee refused to pass along the charter-schools bill, which the Republican leadershipâ€”and Espyâ€”wanted to be the hallmark achievement of the legislative session, to the full House. After the 15-16 vote against the charterschools bill, SB 2401, members emerged from the second-floor committee room to charter-school opponentsâ€™ cheers. Amidst the applause, a female Central Mississippi Tea Party supporter of the bill shoved Rep. Reecy Dickson, D-Macon, who voted against the bill, according to The Clarion-Ledger, which did not name the woman. â€œI cannot sit here and watch a womanâ€” especially a black femaleâ€”be disrespected in this body,â€? Espy said powerfully to an uncomfortably and uncharacteristically hushed House chamber. Dickson declined to press charges with the Capitol police or talk publicly about the incident, but did release a statement through a spokesperson. â€œWe can have disagreements without being disagreeable; but, we should never let our disagreements turn into intimi-
by Elizabeth Waibel
in the past, local hospitals would not give the clinicâ€™s doctors admitting privileges. â€œI personally feel like itâ€™s just because we do abortions,â€? she told the Jackson Free Press in March. State law requires physicians to file a written report with the Mississippi Department of Health each time a patient receives treatment or dies due to complications from an abortion.
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A task force recently approved Reducing the Risk for abstinence-plus sexeducation classes in Mississippi schools.
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â€?It Is Writtenâ€? presents exciting and instructional plays and skits, as well as a very helpful vacation Bible school guide. The lessons included in this volume teach Scriptures to both young children and adults, as they portray the biblical characters in skits and plays. Performing popular Bible stories can bring the true meaning of the words to life and provides the performers with a unique learning experience.
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OPENING IN MAY Green Oak Florist OUR SECOND LOCATION AT THE TOWNSHIP
The vacation Bible school activities included in this volume will teach students how to understand Godâ€™s Word so that they can discover His truths for themselves. The excitement, history, adventure, and spiritual truths of the Bible are presented in an easy-to-follow format.
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he stateâ€™s only abortion clinic may close soon under a bill poised to become law after both houses of the Legislature approved it last week. Last week, the Senate passed HB 1390 to put more restrictions on doctors who perform abortions in abortion clinics. Supporters of the bill, including Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, have said it will effectively close the clinic and end abortion in the state. â€œWe are very close to ending abortion in the state of Mississippi,â€? Reeves said in an email to supporters last week. â€œI am 100 percent pro-life, and I am focused on passing House Bill 1390 that would effectively end abortion in our state.â€? The bill now goes to Gov. Phil Bryant, who was co-chairman of the state effort to pass the Personhood Initiative while he was running for governor last fall. Bryant has said he wants Mississippi to be abortion free. HB 1390 would require all physicians associated with abortion facilities to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The bill would also require those physicians to be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, and a staff member trained in CPR would have to be at the facility at all times. Shannon Brewer is the director of the Jackson Womenâ€™s Health Organization, the beleaguered clinic in Fondren. She said that
From 2006 to 2010, physicians treated 11 patients for conditions resulting from abortions. No deaths were reported. During that same five-year period, 13,388 abortions were performed in Mississippi. The reports do not differentiate between abortions done to protect the womanâ€™s health and elective abortions. Diane Derzis owns the Jackson Womenâ€™s Health Organization, Mississippiâ€™s only remaining abortion clinic. She told Mississippi Public Broadcasting last week that she plans to challenge the bill if it becomes law, but she could not be reached for comment for this article. She also owns clinics in Birmingham and elsewhere in the southeast. Another bill designed to end abortion, HB 1196 or the â€œheartbeat bill,â€? died in committee, but Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, successfully added similar language onto a bill to revise jail terms for child homicide. That bill, SB 2771, would allow people to be sent to prison for up to 30 years if convicted of intentional manslaughter of a child under 18 years old. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
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State May Shutter Abortion Clinic
The stateâ€™s only abortion clinic could close soon, thanks to the Legislature.
'UV 3IGNS "EER "ILL
by R.L. Nave
Workers’ Rights Under Fire
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Biggest Vote Since Tort Reform Efforts currently underway in the Legislature seek to give companies even more power over their work forces. SB 2576, which recently skated through the House by a scant one vote, makes injured workers prove they were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they were hurt and would let employers consider pre-existing conditions when
April 11 - 17, 2012
ft h he tt Solution, No
making hiring decisions. Speaking in support for SB 2576, Rep. Gary Chism, R-Columbus, suggested the system is out of whack, unfairly tipped in favor of workers. “This is the biggest vote for business since tort reform,” Chism said in urging his colleagues to support the bill. National and state data seem to refute arguments that out-of-control costs for emAMILE WILSON
magine you’re a Sumerian servant in 2050 B.C., carving tiny jewels for King UrNammu’s scepter and—oops—you accidentally slice off your finger. Under the king’s law, written on stone tablets, you would receive a monetary award depending on which body part you hurt. Ur’s payment schedule for worker injuries is the earliest known workers’ compensation system, which pays employees who get hurt while doing their jobs. Other ancient civilizations, such as China, Greece and Rome, also had systems in place. Orthopedic surgeon Gregory P. Guyton’s “A Brief History of Workers’ Compensation,” published in a 1999 University of Iowa medical journal, shows that ancient Arab law, for example, dictated that a the loss of a penis was compensated according to the length lost, while an ear’s value depended on the appendage’s surface area. Sometime between ancient Sumeria and the early 20th century, the system was turned on its ear, making it nearly impossible for workers to be made whole after getting hurt on the job. In modern times, Wisconsin became the first state to establish a state workers’ compensation commission in 1911. Mississippi was the last state to enact workers’ comp, in 1948. Here, as in other states, worker’s comp, which has remained largely unchanged in the past 60 years, is the exclusive remedy when construction workers injure themselves. Taking into account our state’s legacy of hostility to labor unions and the tort-reform movement of recent years, many people believe that Mississippi’s labor laws make it among the least worker-friendly states in the union.
that they weren’t drunk, on drugs or suffering from a pre-existing condition, characterizing it as a dismantling of worker protections. Rep. Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia, said the “bad” in the legislation outweighed its good provisions, and he urged his colleagues to vote the measure down and craft a better bill at a later time. During the floor debate, Rep. Willie Bailey, D-Greenville, described our workers’ comp laws as the worst in the nation and characterized the bill as an attempt to “punish poor people because they can’t do any better.” “What they’re asking you to do is take the little rights the workers have away from them,” Bailey said.
Workers Relieved Public employees, threatened with losing their due-proHouse Appropriations Committee Chairman Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, amended a bill to restore state cess rights under a legislative workers’ due-process rights. initiative the Senate passed, might be able to breathe a temporary sigh of relief thanks to a ployers necessitate an overhaul of the system. House amendment. Nationwide, information from the National Under SB 2380, which the Senate passed Academy of Social Insurance show that costs in mid-March, state agencies would have been to employers fell by 7.6 percent in 2009 to exempt from complying with state Personnel $73.9 billion, the largest decline in employer Board rules for two years. The bill’s backers, costs since 1987. including Gov. Phil Bryant, argued that the “Measured as a percentage of the wages change was necessary to streamline state govof covered workers, benefits paid to workers ernment. increased whereas employer costs fell in 2009. Worker advocates and lawmakers who As a share of covered wages, employers’ costs in opposed the Senate version maintained that 2009 were lower than in any year since 1980,” removing the protections of the Personnel NASI’s 2009 annual report states. Board would open the door to politically moThe downward trend is mirrored in the tivated firings and intimidation. Magnolia State, where workers’ compensation When the bill arrived in the House Apcovered 1 million workers in 2009, a decrease propriations Committee, Chairman Herb of 4.7 percent from 2008. The wages of Mis- Frierson, R-Poplarville, amended it to restore sissippi workers covered by workers’ comp due-process rights and direct the Personnel totaled 33.3 million, a 3.9-percent drop from Board to give job performance ratings more the year before. weight than tenure in reviewing its work-force Detractors say the bill will burden em- reduction policy. ployees who are injured on the job to prove Brenda Scott, president of the Mississippi
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Alliance of State Employees/Communications Workers of America, called Frierson’s version of the bill a “heck of an improvement” over what the Senate passed—even though she would like to see the entire measure defeated. “If workers have been on the job for some amount of time, I would assume that their job performance would be up to par. Otherwise, they would have been dismissed some while ago,” Scott said in a phone interview. Floyd Doolittle, a Jackson attorney, believes the workers’ comp proposal penalizes higher-wage workers. As of January 2012, an injured worker would receive two-thirds of the state’s average weekly wage or the statutory maximum benefit for disability or death of $435.68 per week, or $196,506 for a lifetime. “If you’re working for minimum wage and you get injured, you’re in pretty good shape. But if you’re making a good wage, not so much,” Doolittle said. If Gov. Bryant signs the workers’ comp bill, Doolittle believes that could open employers up to lawsuits that may be more costly than what would have been paid out in workers’ compensation. SB 2576 says “no compensation shall be payable if the use of drugs illegally, the use of prescription drugs improperly or intoxication due to the use of alcohol of the employee was the proximate cause of the injury.” Doolittle paints a scenario under which an employee smokes a small marijuana joint over the weekend, comes in to work on Monday and is mowed down by a negligent forklift operator. The Workers’ Compensation Commission could determine the drugs slowed the worker’s reaction time causing his failure to avoid the accident. If workers’ compensation does not pay the worker, Doolittle believes they could sue in court under the principle of general torts, or civil wrongs. If that happens, a jury award could be significantly higher than what would have been paid under the state’s workers’ comp code. “I might be wrong, but it’s going to take some lawsuits to find out,” he said.
11 JCV7221-2 Tourism in JAX JFPress 9.5x6.167.indd 1
4/9/12 11:14 AM
opining, grousing & pontificating
Save ‘Violence Against Women Act’
ext on conservatives’ list of things to drown in the bathtub of “big government extravagance” is the Violence Against Women Act. Bill Clinton signed VAWA into law in 1994, providing just over $1.5 billion to help investigate and prosecute perpetrators of violence against women, to provide grants for education about domestic violence and to help shelter women from abusers. Congress reauthorized the act in 2000 and 2005. In 2005, the ACLU characterized VAWA as “one of the most effective pieces of legislation enacted to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. It has dramatically improved the law enforcement response to violence against women and has provided critical services necessary to support women in their struggle to overcome abusive situations.” In 2012, conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers are actively seeking to dismantle the act in the name of “fiscal responsibility.” From where we sit, it’s just more of the same hyperbolic right-wing nuttiness that heaps favors on those with quite a lot while those who struggle get the raggedy end of the big green congressional stick. Add to that an ever-more-apparent animosity against anything having to do with gender issues, and VAWA is squarely in conservative gun sights. Never mind that domestic violence is a crime that crosses all economic lines. Let’s not mention that violence against women knows no skin color, no age and no religious affiliation. And for heaven’s sake, let’s not talk about the children who exhibit post-traumatic stress disorders after watching daddy play whoop-ass on mommy’s face for a few years. No. Let’s not talk about any of that. Apparently, if you’re a conservative, what’s more important is that government shrink and private businesses funded by taxpayer dollars grow in direct proportion. If a few million women get caught in the middle, well, too bad—nothing we can do about it. VAWA saves lives. Laws have put teeth into assault legislation, meaning more violent abusers are getting harsher punishments. Outreach programs are educating women on their rights and resources. Other programs train police and judges to better deal with abusive situations. Batterer-intervention programs are changing entrenched mindsets to break the cycle of violence in families. Even the corporate world now provides employee programs targeting domestic violence. The world understands that domestic violence is a serious threat to any person in an intimate relationship with someone who wants to control and dominate them. Everyone, it seems, but conservative Republicans. If you love a woman or have a woman in your life, contact your U.S. senator and congressman and make your voice heard for women’s safety.
Love and Joblessness
April 11 - 17, 2012
o’tel Williams: “This is your super producer, announcement, entrepreneur and part-time Herbal Viagra salesperson here to promote my new dating service for the jobless called ‘Unemployed Singles.’ It’s an opportunity for that special unemployed male to connect and look for a job with that special unemployed female. It’s a great time to have someone to help you practice your job interview skills and critique your resume and cover letter. It’s a chance to find a job and fall in love or vice versa. Just don’t end up like my client, the unemployed emcee.” Unemployed Emcee: “Man, I thought my silky smooth rap would convince this beautiful woman, who works at a thriving marketing firm, to go out on a date with me. She answered my request by singing lyrics by Gwen Guthrie: ‘Bill collectors at my door; what can you do for me? You got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me. Ain’t nothin’ goin’ on but the rent.’ “Thanks to Mo’tel Williams’ ‘Unemployed Singles’ dating service, I made a rebound after a working woman turned me down. Tomorrow, I have a date with Claire, an unemployed single woman, at Brother Hustle’s Mobile Wi-Fi and Juicy Juice on Ice Café.” Mo’tel Williams: “Although men make up 70 percent of those who have lost their jobs since the recession began, it is ‘Unemployed Singles’ duty to help the unemployed get a job and make a love connection during this dreaded recession at loveandjoblessness.org or 1-800-Job-Date.”
o, you’re tired of hearing folks talk about race, right? Tired of reading about it? Sick of seeing all the articles and all the pieces on CNN? You could do without another rally, without another Facebook or Twitter campaign, correct? Tough. As much as I’d like to believe in this “postracial” America that folks thought President Obama would usher in, we’re constantly reminded that not everyone is prepared to join the rest of us in this century. Ironically, through some sheer force of ignorance, some pundits believe that if we only would stop talking about race so much, the issue would just disappear. You know, it’s just those “race baiters” like the Jackson Free Press and Jerry Mitchell who keep bringing up those atrocities. There’s no more racism in America, let alone Mississippi, and those darn agitators are just distracting us from the real issues (sarcasm off). Funniest thing, though: Those who say we should stop pointing out injustice are usually the ones who still vicariously benefit from the vestiges of said racism. How dare we make you uncomfortable by pointing out how society devalues black life (sarcasm off). Fact is, remaining silent on race matters would not have prevented Trayvon Martin from being shot. It would not have stopped Deryl Dedmon and his accomplices from killing
James Craig Anderson. Remaining silent won’t prevent the next hate crime, either. It won’t stop police such as Oscar Grant from harassing or gunning down the next young black male. Silence won’t stop the next retail clerk from following around the next black person in a store. All silence accomplishes is to make some white folks comfortable because they don’t have to face reality. It allows those same folks an opportunity to abandon political correctness and say things like, “You plant corn, you get corn,” as Frank Taaffe told Soledad O’Brien on CNN. Yes, we are just as angry about black-onblack crime. And yes, hundreds of groups and organizations are already dedicated to stomping out violence in black communities. Try another excuse. When blacks kill blacks, it isn’t because of the color of their skin, making those crimes decidedly different from hate crimes. You post statistics and numbers on blogs trying to “prove” to everyone that “black people really are bad,” and that we somehow “deserve” the treatment that we get. Nope—no numbers you can roll out justify George Zimmerman’s actions, or Dedmon’s, or the cops who killed Sean Bell. I could go on. In actuality, the excuses I’ve heard for each of the aforementioned cases only proves that we aren’t past racism and that we won’t ever be—unless we keep talking about it. And if it makes you uncomfortable, so what? And that’s the truth ... shonuff.
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ately, and not without a good measure of whining, I’ve been keeping an eye on my diet. My “Fitness Jesus,” Terry Sullivan of liveRIGHTnow, has me on the high-protein, low-carb side of the menu these days. I get to enjoy lots of wholesome chicken and fish, while avoiding processed foods and refined sugars. Now that the days have gotten longer, and I’ve acquired a fancy new grill, the monotony of baked chicken has been kicked up a notch. Evenings spent tossing together a fresh salad and searing tuna on the grill validate the necessity for such an enormous deck. Now, I don’t mind telling you that I’ve had more than my share of fast food, and I have a love for chili cheese Coney dogs that borders on obsession, but what I crave right now might surprise you. The other day, I was pushing my steamed chicken and vegetables around my Tupperware when I was blindsided by memories of mother’s summer garden and the bounty of nearly meatless meals we’d enjoy. These days, “farm to table” is all the rage. We dine in fancy restaurants and marvel at the freshness of the zipper peas or Ripley tomatoes, seemingly willing to forget that this is how we used to do things. In cinema, it’s called willing suspension of disbelief. “... and, as a side, we have fresh squash, tomato and Vidalia onion succotash,” the server tells us, and we all swoon as if we thought veggies came from the freezer section at the supermarket. Ole Frank, my grandmother’s gardener had a rule: “Plant butter beans on Good Friday,” he’d say, so we always did. The week before Easter, I’d step off the bus to discover my father had plowed up two acres in the cotton field next to the big house. There, all summer long, I’d help tend to mother’s beans, squash, tomatoes and peas. I also ran across more snakes than I care to remember. You’ve not seen a barefoot Delta boy run down a gravel road like I could. As I recall, we didn’t eat out much during the summer months. A typical weeknight would include big pots of butter beans, snap peas and okra, boiled potatoes, and fresh sliced tomatoes and yellow onions. Of course, the old cast-iron skillet would render mother’s cornbread—moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside and never made with sugar. I recently was successful at seasoning a “pre-seasoned” skillet, and I make my cornbread mother’s way. On the weekend, we might enjoy barbecued chicken from the grill with our vegetables, and on Sunday, we had the usual roast. Of course, we ate catfish—lots of catfish—but the produce from our garden always held more importance. I suppose it
was the hours I spent weeding or tilling the soil. I put in even more time dedicated to the harvest, and that was all before the tedious job of hulling beans and peas. I can recall, on several occasions, my father sliding our big square coffee table to the corner of the den, rolling up the hunter-green area rug, then hauling in bushels of purple hull peas and butter beans with a wheel barrow. We’d all work until our thumbs were sore, while watching the big television set. Many a Saturday evening was spent watching “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat” while we slowly worked our way through the mounds of peas or butter beans. The next morning, all lined up on a church pew, we’d fumble through the hymnals, our thumbs purple from hulling. I think it gave us all a greater appreciation for the dinners we ate at Greenville’s How Joy Restaurant or Lusco’s in Greenwood. Mother would beam as Mr. Wong, owner of that long-closed Chinese restaurant, would dote on us kids, telling her that he’d never seen such well-behaved children. On the subject of our manners, Mother would say, “Honey, I could take you to the White House to eat—all of you, at one time, all by myself.” I admit that it gave me great pleasure to make my parents proud by “sitting up straight” and quietly stirring the lemon into my sweet tea. I fell asleep in the back of our Thunderbird more times than I can recall on the drive back from Greenville, my belly full of shrimp curry and fried wontons. These memories, as precious as they are to me, don’t inspire a garden of my own, though. Sure, I could carve out a small garden in the back yard. I could also wear a wide brimmed straw hat while tying butter bean vines to the trailing wire, but one bad tomato or puny squash would ruin it all for me, and let’s be honest, I’m really not the gardening type. My time is better spent at the cutting board or in front of the stove, not out back with my hands in the dirt. These days, a trip to a farmers market makes it easy to cook like Mother, while avoiding any snakes that might wander up from Eubanks Creek. You see, if I happened upon a snake in my garden, let alone my backyard, I’d never step foot in it again. For the rest of my life there would be no end to the re-telling of how I managed to survive an anaconda attack while attempting to harvest my heirloom tomatoes. Eddie Outlaw is co-owner of the William Wallace Salon in Fondren and spends most of his time trying not to embarrass his sweet Delta mother on eddieoutlaw.com.
I’d help tend to mother’s beans, squash, tomatoes, peas.
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COURTESY JACKSON CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
Optimist Foodie: Andrew Zimmern’s Culinary Take on Jackson by Tom Ramsey
April 11 - 17, 2012
he Friday before PM Soul, a popup food event last fall at Peaches Café on Farish Street, I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. I was in the middle of dinner service at Underground 119 and didn’t have the time for a chat, so I ignored the call and kept at it on the hot line. When the same number called a second time in 10 minutes, I figured I should answer and stepped out to a quiet spot behind the restaurant. The caller identified himself as Dean Carpentier, a producer with Andrew Zimmern’s “Appetite for Life,” the James Beard Foundation award-winning food writer’s online food-travel series. I was glad I took the call. Dean said he had read an article that I wrote for the Jackson Free Press about Craig Noone and PM Soul and asked if we would allow them to come to Jackson and shoot an episode of Zimmern’s show at the event. My response was, “Sure, but you do know that it’s on Monday, right?” Indeed, they didn’t know when it was, and Monday was way too soon for them to prepare. Not wanting to let this opportunity slip away, I volunteered: “We can always do another event for you. Just tell me when you want to come to Jackson.” Six weeks after that conversation, the Appetite for Jackson event took shape, and with the help of a great team (lead by Dominic DeLeo and Marika Cackett) we welcomed Zimmern and his crew to a great downtown event with 4,500 people listening to local bands while eating local food and drinking craft beer on a perfect Saturday in January. Over the course of the shooting and the weeks following (including a return visit to Jackson for yet another shooting), I got to know Zimmern a little better and convinced him to do a short interview about his experiences in Jackson. First of all, thank you for all you’ve done for Jackson here in the past few months. Your presence has energized our food community knowing that the No. 1 fan of durian (fruit) made it to Jackson, Mississippi.
Ahh, durian. Seriously, it’s going to be good for the city when the show airs. I’ve seen it with communities all over the world with our show, and it’s just a wonderful thing for 14 people who live around the area to say, “Oh
my gosh look what’s going on; look how cool our own hometown is.” It’s nice. Did you have any preconceived notions about Mississippi?
Well, I’ve been before, but I will say we talk about the preconceived notions all the time … from a shooting standpoint. You know: people with no shirts in overalls standing around on the side of the road with big straw hats on and pieces of straw coming out of their mouth is something that a lot of people think of when they think of the South in general. Yeah, and they’re clearly thinking of Arkansas.
Clearly. When we were looking at census data—you know, the sort of mundane numbers crunching when we’re looking at researching a show—we found some interesting facts. Mississippi is one of the states in the union with the highest number of people born there who still live there. And someone at one of our meetings said, “Well, that’s because not a lot of people are moving there.” And I said, “Well, maybe the way to think about it is that there’s so much great stuff there people don’t want to leave.” I’ve not been to Mississippi in August, so I just need to be honest, you know? But Minnesota (where Zimmern now lives) in January is no walk in the park. All that I saw when I was down there (in Mississippi) was fantastic people, great communities, great food, good times. It was wonderful to see. It was also wonderful to see neighborhoods in transition. When we go into a neighborhood like where the Big Apple Inn is (on Farish Street), and where some people see what is not so pretty and anything that looks a little down on its luck, I see opportunity. I was sitting outside with the security guys and just watching the neighborhood kind of go by. I was probably only standing outside for 15, 20 minutes, but all you see on the people walking around are smiles. All you get from everyone is a happy “hello,” and they look you in the eye. I’m sort of an eternal optimist. I just see Mississippi as a really wonderful place to visit. You know? I can’t wait to go back. Speaking of which, are you going to come back for the next Appetite for Jackson?
We sure are. As a matter of fact, as soon
Culinary personality Andrew Zimmern says he is determined to spread the gospel about what’s going on in Mississippi’s exciting foodies movement. And he really, really digs our long growing season.
as you know a date for anything, we want to know and stick it on our calendar and make that something we can follow through on. What did you think when you stepped out of the car and saw the size of Appetite for Jackson?
Oh my gosh, it was fantastic! I loved, loved the energy there. And I also like something about cities your size where an entire community really can gather in one place. I mean, you don’t have that in a city like New York. It’s impossible. It’s a different mechanism. But to see so many people so revved up all in one spot, I think that says a lot about community. And it was wonderful to have the shoot for “Bizarre Foods,” hot on the heels of Appetite for Jackson. … We bumped into a couple of people who weren’t at the one we were at last January, and every single one of them was like, “Yeah, we can’t wait to be there for the next one.” I thought to myself, “That’s really, really cool,” because it shows that whatever it is that was going on when I was down there the first time, it worked, and they want more of that. And it had very little to do with me; it was more about the energy of the community to
see all of their other friends represented there. It was really slick. We were really proud of the turnout.
And the food was really good. That was my next question. Mississippi food: Everybody thinks of it as soul food smothered in gravy and fried.
Yep. What was your biggest surprise eating in Mississippi?
The biggest surprise eating in Mississippi was how wholesome the food was everywhere. Second biggest surprise was growing seasons. Anytime that I’ve been there, we’ve had local produce, even if it’s from all the way down in the southern part of the state. (I also liked) the fun regional influences. I mean, the whole tamale trail is just deliciously hysterical. Interestingly, I always draw parallels here to Minnesota. Everyone always thinks of Minnesota as fly-over country until all of a sudden things like home preserving and pie making and kitchen arts became just as highly regarded as fancy, multi-star, molecular gastronomy was. I think it’s the same thing with Mississippi. … I just love it. And clearly,
COURTESY JACKSON CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU
clearly thereâ€™s a market for all kinds of foods there. What we saw in Oxford, what we saw in Jackson, what Iâ€™ve seen in Biloxi, what Iâ€™ve seen all over the state has just been fantastic. Did you feel that sense of family with all of the different chefs when you were here?
Now, speaking of fun, you were livetweeting like crazy during the dinner that Jesse Houston (Parlor Market chef) did for youâ€”both times. Was that something else that surprised you coming out of Jackson?
The first time, yes. When we went to Parlor Market, and I had my birthday dinner there, you kept telling me about this food and this guy doing some great stuff, so my radar was up. I was very, very impressed. And I was very impressed the second time around
At last fallâ€™s Appetite Jackson, the excitement over Andrew Zimmernâ€™s visit to Jackson brought out crowds to hear local musical performances and to, well, eat. Zimmern was impressed by the turnout.
as well. I was even impressed the third time when I showed up the next morning, and he did a couple of dishes with me on the showâ€” some catfish dishesâ€”and he debuted his catfish cracklinâ€™ concept. I donâ€™t know if youâ€™ve had a chance to taste it, but itâ€™s genius. I said to myself, â€œYou know, this is a very, very interesting young man,â€? because when youâ€™re 30 years old, and youâ€™ve got that kind of talent, itâ€™s really easy to want to do everything yourself, but the new generation of chefs, theyâ€™re so collaborative, and everything he was doing involved his whole team. We stuck around for lunch afterwards; he had his in-laws, did a crawfish boil, and he had his whole crew there. It was a great example to me of how inclusive this generation of chefs are. Thirty years ago, when I was cooking in New York City as a young line cook, you never would have had thatâ€”never. Never would have happened. It was not a team concept. It was just the chef and sous chef as the developmental team. Everyone else just executed,
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Thank you for your time. We really look forward to seeing you again soon in Jackson.
And I look forward to coming back. Underground 119 chef and food writer Tom Ramsey is a lobbyist, former investment banker and tobacco executive who teaches private cooking lessons, writes poetry, runs with the bulls and produced an album or two.
SPICY HAWAIIAN SLIDERS AND HOMEMADE GUACAMOLE Guacamole: 3 medium jalapeno peppers 1 small yellow onion 1 tomato 1 bundle of cilantro 8 avocados 1 lime salt and pepper Sliders: 1 pack of bacon (cooked crispy) 2 pounds ground chuck 1/2 pound ground pork 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 1 cup barbecue sauce Ground cayenne pepper 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce 1 egg 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs Fresh pineapple (sliced) Buns Tortilla chips, to serve
COURTESY LANCE LOMAX
! #LASSY "ARBECUE &ARE 3URE TO 0LEASE
which was fine for me. Personally, I didnâ€™t have a lot to contribute back then. I was learning. It was a different environment, and you certainly wouldnâ€™t have had the type of camaraderie that you see both in the individual restaurant and outside of it in the community, in the restaurant community at large. I will say, thereâ€™s a lot of really great food thatâ€™s going on down in Mississippi, and I think guys like you and Jesse are just great examples. We see the exact same thing happening here in Minnesotaâ€”chefs who see an opportunity to have a life, build a restaurant and establish something. You donâ€™t have to be in Chicago, L.A., San Francisco, New York or Boston; you can do it anywhere that you want to raise a family. I just think itâ€™s a beautiful, beautiful story. Iâ€™m excited about the food, and Iâ€™m talking about the food scene in Mississippi in general that way. Itâ€™s something thatâ€™s developing; (it) reminds me of what was going on here in Minnesota seven, eight, 10 years ago.
I sure have. â€Ś Nobody ever plans a menu and says, â€œLetâ€™s remind people that our fish is fresh, not frozen.â€? I think these days itâ€™s almost expected that youâ€™re sourcing locally, and youâ€™re using the best ingredients you can. Customers are starting to expect, and even demand, that what you serve is fresh, local and sustainable. To me, thatâ€™s what the hospitality industry has become. If you want to rise above the corporate-chain world, you have to demonstrate your sense of place and exploit what grows around you. That being said, whatâ€™s great about Mississippi is youâ€™re in a part of the world where your growing seasons are extended, and what you can produce throughout the fall is just insane. All over the South, Iâ€™ve discovered treats and tidbits and vegetables and fruits that Iâ€™ve never seen before or experienced. And youâ€™re not going to find a hustling, young, ambitious chef making, you know, cracklins out of catfish skin in South Dakota. Itâ€™s just not going to happen. You have to be somewhere where the DNA of the catfish is in everybodyâ€™s lifeblood. I canâ€™t wait to see what comes next out of the South and Jackson in particular. Youâ€™re on a great path.
Lance Lomax and friend Jason Butler placed third in the Beer and Bones Barbecue Competition last summer with this recipe.
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Oh, gosh, yes. It has everything to do with the food world at large. Mississippi is just reflecting whatâ€™s going on everywhere else, which is that the food community has realized that competition is the best possible thing that could happen, and itâ€™s going to happen no matter what, so you might as well accept the fact that youâ€™re competing for dollars with the guy down the street. However, itâ€™s in everybodyâ€™s best interest to promote the hospitality business in your own community because you donâ€™t want people who are just going out for Motherâ€™s Day, Valentineâ€™s Day and birthday. You want people to embrace the concept of dining out as a lifestyle issue, and if theyâ€™re not regular restaurant goers, you want them to be regular restaurant goers. That means you want them to have fun at your friendâ€™s place because theyâ€™re going to come to you three nights later. The rising tide floats all boats, and I think itâ€™s extremely evident in the restaurant community. Guests having fun makes that tide rise.
You touched on local produce earlier. Have you been down here when tomatoes are at their peak in the summertime?
My Secret Weapons Parlor Marketâ€™s Star Chef Tells All
lor Market spin on it? Sometimes the dish will materialize in front of me with little influence. Other times I draw a blank, so I consult my vast array of cookbooks. Cookbooks are extremely important to me. I own well over a hundred in my personal library, and since I havenâ€™t had the opportunity to travel and eat at as many restaurants as I would like, I often bury my nose in them looking for COURTESY JESSE HOUSTON
â€™m a foodie through and through. I eat, breath and sleep food. When Iâ€™m not cooking at Parlor Market, Iâ€™m usually cooking with friends or for friends; working in the garden; watching my favorite shows, â€œIron Chef Americaâ€? and â€œTop Chef;â€? or collecting and reading cookbooks. All these things fuel my passion for food. A question Iâ€™m typically asked is â€œhow do you come up with this stuff?â€? Well, here is where I find inspiration, my â€œsecret weapons,â€? if you will. Any one of these tips will help you to become a bigger food nerd, too. First and foremost, I draw my inspiration for creative specials and menu items from the farmers market. Just about every Saturday, you can find me at the Mississippi Farmers Market on High Street around 9 a.m. where I seek out locally grown and seasonal produce to serve at Parlor Market. You never know exactly what is going to be there, and thatâ€™s half the fun of it. I may show up expecting to purchase beets for a dish I have in mind, and instead I find salsify. Never used salsify? Even heard of it? Itâ€™s an interesting ingredient that Iâ€™ve only used a few times and never expected to find at the Jackson farmers market, but there it was! Some say it has an oyster flavor; in fact, another name for it is oyster root. Of course, you can find more typical ingredients like green tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, onions and sweet potatoes on a usual basis from great farmers like Tim Cooper of Cooper Farms and Vineyards. But there are a few people like Jonathan Picarsic of Amorphous Gardens who are trying to bring something new to Jackson. Heâ€™s the guy who had the salsify, and he always has beautiful heirloom carrots. Heâ€™s planted lemongrass, bitter melon, kiwano melon, interesting varieties of cucumber, and lots of different types of organic greens, flowers and herbs. He definitely keeps me on my toes and welcomes my suggestions of new seeds for vegetables Iâ€™d like to serve at the restaurant. Iâ€™ve started keeping a digital journal of what I find in season at the farmers market so I can plan ahead for the next year. When I get back to the restaurant with boxes full of fresh vegetables, farm eggs, local milk from Progress Milk Barn and honey from Mississippi Bees, I have to figure out what to do with it all. Sometimes I have an idea in mind, but mostly, I have to come up with a dish to feature the ingredients after itâ€™s all back at Parlor Market. First, I draw on southern tradition. How are these ingredients typically used in the South? What dishes do they star in? How can I make that dish my own and put a Par-
Parlor Market Chef de Cuisine (and new JFP cooking columnist) Jesse Houston (left) dazzled food writer Andrew Zimmern (right) recently in Jackson. Zimmern tweeted Houstonâ€™s praise throughout the meal.
new recipes and techniques Iâ€™ve never tried before. One of the most important cookbooks I own is the â€œThe Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of Americaâ€™s Most Imaginative Chefsâ€? (Little Brown & Co., 2008, $35). I really think that every chef and foodie in the country should own one of these. It has won a James Beard Foundation award, with good reason. Essentially, the authors list almost every ingredient you can imagine, include other ingredients that pair well, and give you examples of where these ingredients have shown
April 11 - 17, 2012
by Jesse Houston
up on famous chefsâ€™ menus, tips on how to cook them and methods to use to best highlight the flavors of the ingredient. I consult this book religiously when coming up with dishes that will have a place on the regular menu. One of my favorite new cookbooks is â€œEleven Madison Park: The Cookbook (Little Brown & Co., 2011, $50). The food, techniques, recipes and pictures are absolutely stunning. This book is food porn at its highest. I simply feel insignificant as a chef when browsing the pages of this incredible tome. I would also highly recommend â€œMomofukuâ€? (Clarkson Potter, 2009, $40). I have cooked more recipes and used more techniques from this cookbook than all my other cookbooks combined. Another huge source of inspiration for me is the Internet. Where were we before blogs and Google? I usually find that if I have an idea for something new, someone has beaten me to it. A quick Internet search will yield results and recipes in a flash. My favorite blog to check out is blog. ideasinfood.com. The husband and wife team at â€œIdeas In Foodâ€? are always asking questions about what food can be, how it can be prepared, what happens if we do this, or burn that, or manipulate an ingredient a certain way? Then they blog about it, take photos of just about every step of the way, and share both their successes and failures. They use their work to inspire others, to push boundaries and as a learning tool for everyone, including themselves. I visit this site just about every day. Recently I discovered Twitter. Iâ€™ve always ignored it because I didnâ€™t feel the need to be part of more than one social-media site until Andrew Zimmern came to town (see page 14). I got the incredible chance to cook for him and his crew, and he tweeted about the meal at Parlor Market the entire time. So I thought, â€œOK, Iâ€™ll look into it.â€? Iâ€™ve started following about 75 different chefs, restaurants and food personalities. It makes me feel included in a world of truly talented and experienced chefs, and I get to see the ingredients they work with, the dishes they create, the road trips they go on and the food they eat along the way. All these things inspire me to work even harder on ,OCAL CHEFS JESSEHOUSTONPM FOLLOWS 7RP5DPVH\ #HEF4OM2AMSEY 'DQ%OXPHQWKDO "RAVO"UZZ 1LFN:DOODFH REÂžECTIONCHEF 5H\QROGV%R\NLQ -EAT-AN?0- 'HUHN(PHUVRQ DEREKYEMERSON
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Come Try the Best Bar-B-Que In Madison 856 Main Street â€˘ Madison, MS â€˘ 601.853.8538
CWTBd\\Ta5^^S8bbdT COURTESY JESSE HOUSTON
SOFT SHELL CRAB â€˜TOM KHAâ€™WITH RAMPS For the Coconut Lemongrass Broth:
14-ounce can coconut milk 2 cups chicken or seafood stock 6 quarter-size slices fresh ginger 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in 1-inch pieces 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon Thai chili paste Salt to taste
In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lemongrass and bring to boil over high heat. Add lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chili paste. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and season with salt to taste.
You can enjoy Jesse Houstonâ€™s Soft Shell Crab â€œTom Khaâ€? With Ramps at home. Just do what Jesse does. If you dare.
For the Soft Shell Crabs:
Dust the cleaned soft shell crabs with cornstarch, cov-
For the Ramps:
1/4 pound of fresh ramps, washed thoroughly Oil Salt and pepper
Lightly coat your ramps with oil, and then season with salt and pepper. Place over a hot grill and char slightly, making sure the whites of the ramps become soft and tender. If you do not have ramps, you can substitute green onions. To assemble: On the bottom of a serving bowl, place the charred and wilted ramps. Gently pour enough coconut lemongrass broth to cover the bottom of the bowl. Place the crispy soft shell crabs on top of the wilted ramps and garnish with cilantro, basil, grilled limes, chopped peanuts, pickled mushrooms or any combination of these traditional garnishes.
by Lynette Hanson
still remember the January day more than a year ago when I walked out of the Goodwill store carrying a medium-sized stainless-steel pot. My mama waited in the car and gave me the look. You know the one. â€œWhat are you doinâ€™ with another pot? Where are we going to keep it? I knew Iâ€™d get the look, so I was ready for her. Opening the door and getting into the car, handing her the pot, I grinned and said: â€œHey, Mama. Look what I got! I can make us some fresh vegetable soup in this pot. Itâ€™s not too big, so we wonâ€™t have to eat leftovers for days and days!â€? She grinned then, satisfied with my purchase. I figured weâ€™d enjoy meals cooked in that pot for years to come. Turns out that we didnâ€™t get to share any meals cooked in that pot because Mama got her long-held wish the next afternoon when she lay
down for a nap and went on home. Sheâ€™d lived a good life and was ready. It wasnâ€™t until March and the opening of the farmers market that I was able to LYNETTE HANSON
my own food. The chefs also seem to have this strong connection to one another, whether they are from the South, New York City, San Francisco or Chicago. It suddenly makes a big world seem a lot smaller and more accessible. You can follow me @jessehoustonPM or @parlormarket to see what we are up to. But letâ€™s not forget our roots! Inspiration is all around us in local restaurants. We are fortunate in Jackson to have many talented chefs like Derek Emerson (Walkerâ€™s Drive In, Local 463), Dan Blumenthal (BRAVO!, Sal & Mookies, Broad Street Bakery), Nick Wallace (King Edward Hotel), Tom Ramsey (Underground 119), Steven Dâ€™Angelo (Nickâ€™s), David Ferris (Babalu), Mike Roemhild (Table 100) and Andy Cook (Parker House). Iâ€™m very fortunate: All of these incredible chefs have fed me, keep me on my toes and inspire me to work hard. The best thing about this group of talent is that these chefs work well together as a team and treat one another like family. You can follow most of these guys on Twitter or Facebook, too, to find out what they are up to, what their daily specials are and more. Visit and support their restaurants often! Letâ€™s face it, there has never been a better time to be a foodie in Jackson. There is always so much going on from pop-up restaurants (PM Tiki is April 23 at my restaurant: shameless plug) to crawfish boils, backyard barbecues, pint nights, dinner parties and supper clubs. There is always something new to discover, and Jackson features plenty of great ethnic cuisine as well if youâ€™re up to trying new things. But then again, thatâ€™s what being a foodie is all about.
4 cleaned soft shell crabs (faces, gills and tails removed) Cornstarch Vegetable oil for frying Salt
ering completely. Shake any excess cornstarch off. Place the crabs gently into 375-degree oil and fry until completely crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove from oil and season generously with salt.
get that pot out and cook in it. That glorious early Saturday morning, as I walked from booth to booth at the market, I couldnâ€™t resist the chard, spinach, onions, carrots and turnips. On my way home, I stopped by the meat department at a nearby grocery store and bought two boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I planned to bake the chicken
breasts, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and cook everything else in the pot along with some Swansonâ€™s chicken stock. Before long, the chicken was done and sitting on the stove in a covered glass baking dish. As I stirred the rough chopped chard and spinach into the nearly done mixture of onion, carrot and turnip, I had an epiphany. Why not cube or shred the chicken into the pot, too? Why wouldnâ€™t that work? So, I did just that. My son, Lamont, a former sous chef, said the idea sounded French. Huh? Me cooking French style? I put down the phone and savored another bite of my vegetable chicken soup and smiled. Mama would have loved it. Lamont came over the next day and ate leftovers with me. He agreedâ€”his Gâ€™ma wouldâ€™ve loved what I had concocted in that pot.
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Favorite Meals by ShaWanda Jacome
My Little Green Friend
$)$ 9/5 +./7
by ShaWanda Jacome ackson has a diverse selection of restaurants to choose from. Try some of these meals at my favorite places.
Lobster Crab Bisque at Newkâ€™s Express CafĂŠ (Township, 1065 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite A, Ridgeland, 601-7072863, newkscafe.com) Soy Chai Tea Latte at Fusion Coffeehouse (1111 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite A, Ridgeland, 601-856-6001, fusioncoffeehouse.com) and Seattle Drip Coffee Company (377 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-898-9647, seattledrip.com) General Tsoâ€™s Chicken at Mr. Chenâ€™s Authentic Chinese Cooking (5465 Interstate 55 N., 601-978-1865)
â€˘ Persians or Tahitians are the limes you are most likely to find in the produce section of your local grocery store. â€˘ Mexican or Key limes are smaller with a pale, yellowish-green skin and are more acidic. â€˘ Kaffirs produce very little juice and have a pebbly texture. The leaves and zest are often used in Thai cuisine. â€˘ Kalamansi or Calamondin limes, used in Philippine cuisine, are small and orange in color. â€˘ Rangpurs, a hybrid of a lemon and mandarin orange, are used in pickling, candying and for marmalades. P.GINET-DRIN
Tilapia plate with a side of sautĂŠed vegetables and baklava fingers for dessert at Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive, 601-366-6033, aladdininjackson.com)
imes may be small, but they pack a large, flavorful punch. Both tart and sweet, limes complement an assortment of dishes and beverages. Limes are in the citrus family (related to lemons, oranges and grapefruits) and a good source of vitamin C. There several different varieties of limes:
Chicken salad on a toasted Asiago cheese bagel with a slice of caramel cake for dessert at Beagle Bagel (Highland Village, 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 145, 769-251-1892, beaglebagelcafe.net)
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BASMATI RICE WITH CILANTRO PESTO 3 to 4 cups of basmati rice, cooked (is it 3-4 cups before you cook it or after itâ€™s cooked?) 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro leaves, stems removed 1 garlic clove 2 tablespoons of fresh limejuice 2 tablespoons of olive oil 1 tablespoon of butter Salt and ground pepper, to taste
Prepare rice according to the package directions. While the rice is cooking, combine the cilantro, garlic and lime juice in a food processor. Pulse on and off until mixture has a consistent, but still chunky, texture. Add salt and pepper to taste; pulse once or twice more time to combine. Spoon mixture into a small bowl and whisk in olive oil. Set the pesto aside. When the rice is done, drain and rinse with hot water. Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. While the rice is still hot, add the butter and the cilantro pesto. Stir gently to combine. For more flavorful rice, boil the rice in chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. (serves how many?)
GREEN SUN TEA WITH LIME 1 gallon of water 16 green tea bags 1/2 to 3/4 cup of honey 4 limes, juiced or sliced
Wash a 1-gallon sized jar and add the tea bags. Fill with water and screw on the lid securely. Place the glass jar outside in a sunny area where it will receive direct sunlight. Allow the jar to steep in the sun for three hours. After bringing the jar inside, fish out the tea bags with a slotted spoon. Add the limejuice, or lime slices, and honey; stir to combine. Chill tea in the refrigerator. (serves how many?)
April 11 - 17, 2012
Crab cakes at Crabâ€™s Seafood Shack (6954 Old Canton Road, Suite A, Ridgeland, 601956-5040, www.crabsseafoodshack.com)
Shrimp and grits and Jennâ€™s Fried green tomatoes with crawfish sauce at Georgia Blue (111 Colony Crossing, Madison, 601898-3330, georgiablue.net)
7HAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DISH AT A *ACKSON AREA RESTAURANT
Barbacoa tacos on flour tortillas at Taqueria La Guadalupe (6537 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 601-206-7776)
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Steak fajitas at Sombra Mexican Kitchen (140 Township Ave., Suite 100, Ridgeland, 601-707-7950, sombramexicankitchen. com)
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Unfurling Kale COURTESY KRISTEL HAYES
by Valerie Wells
super food packed with antioxidants and vitamins thatâ€™s low in calories can sound boring and pious. Kale, much like many super foods, is not so arrogant, though. Its deep green leaves just need washing before chopping up into a salad or a wrap. Some people find the strong flavor too much and prefer to juice it with lemons and drink it as a daily tonic. Others cook kale in soups or casseroles. Recently, I became alarmed at news that some folks were baking kale chips. At first, I suspected this was chopped kale mixed into a dough of some kind. I lost interest. Then I came across a recipe that
sounded too simple: It was just kale, a little olive oil and a little salt. Since I had a bunch of kale in the fridge that I needed to use soon, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, spread clean kale leaves on some foil, sprayed some olive oil on and placed the experiment in the oven. It failed miserably. I had a mess of wilted, sad greens. To get rid of the evidence, I cut the droopy, sad greens into tiny bits and added them to a summer squash casserole evolving in the slow cooker. I figured out immediately what I did wrong with the kale chips. The oven should have been at a lower temperature. I needed to dry the kale and spread much smaller pieces so they didnâ€™t overlap. I wasnâ€™t sure I wanted to risk kale chips again. There are only so many ways to hide wilted greens. A couple of days later, though, I tried again. Like stiff lace on a ruffled Elizabethan collar, the curvy edges of kale covered a lot of space when smoothed out. After drying the rinsed leaves, I tore them into 2-inch strips. A little olive oil, a little salt
KALE CHIPS 1 bunch of kale 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt or other seasoning to taste Babalu guacamole is prepared tableside.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Rinse and dry the kale leaves. Tear the kale into bite-size pieces. Do not use the stalks. (Save these for a soup or take them to the compost heap.) Sprinkle oil on the pieces and put them on a cookie sheet. Season to taste. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes six standard servings, or a huge, guilt-free snack for one. and a little patience paid off. This time, the chips were crispy. The tissue sensation reminded me of super thin potato chips. The kale flavor is there, reminiscent of broccoli or cabbage, but I didnâ€™t mind. I got my snack fix. Comment at jfp.ms.
Hold the Meat by Kelly Bryan Smith
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Must-Try Jackson Dishes by Kelly Bryan Smith Red Lentil Soup at Aladdin Mediterranean Grill 730 Lakeland Drive, 601-366-6033 Soup is one of my favorite comfort foods. In my humble opinion, the best soup in town is the red lentil soup at Aladdin. It tastes completely different from any homemade lentil soup in my kitchen or any canned lentil soup I have ever found. It is tangy, filling and all too easy to inhale a bowl even in the midst of great dinnertime conversations. Field Greens Salad at Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244601-982-8111 As a vegetarian in Mississippi, I have grown accustomed to restaurants where my only options are French fries, a salad and the entire dessert menu. As a result, I really appreciate a good salad. Bravo has several delicious vegetarian meal options, but whatever I pick, I always choose to start with the field greens salad topped with the citrus vinaigrette. Hits the spot every time. Pitatilla at Keiferâ€™s 705 Poplar Blvd., 601-355-6825; 120 N. Congress St., 601353-4976 Donâ€™t tell my doctor, who cautioned me against eating feta cheese when I was pregnant, but even when I was carrying my son, I could not resist the spicy feta goodness of the pitatilla, some hummus or cottage fries, and a glass of water on the porch at Keiferâ€™s. Guacamole Made Tableside at Babalu Tacos & Tapas 622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757 There is something especially decadent about eating out when the food is prepared right in front of me, perhaps because I so often find myself on my feet and waiting on others in my daily life. The server mixes fresh ingredients right at the table and even personalizes the ratio of cilantro, lime juice and red onions to fit your individual taste. Heavenly.
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