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November 2016





Thanksgiving tips from a personal chef

33 | 39th Annual Olive Branch




36 | Blues, BBQ & Fashion Festival

The story behind Pirtle's Chicken, a Bluff City staple



Transitional treats and eye-grabbing statement pieces add a little flavor to any wardrobe



Wild, weird and delicious culinary creations

38 | Business After Hours 42 | 4th Annual Puttin’ on the Dog 44 | Annual Golf Scramble 46 | Wine & Dine for the Special


48 | International Tea & Fashion Show 50 | Wine on the River 54 | Ol’ Man River Moonshine Ball 58 | Vine to Wine at the Garden:

Siptember Sip-n-Shop

Photo by Yen Studios

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 9

CONTENTS November 2016 • Volume 10

No. 11


DEPARTMENTS 17 | INTERVIEW A Chef for All Seasons Chef Aryen Moore-Alston puts a European spin on Southern cuisine


20 | PEOPLE Mind of Miles Chef Miles McMath serves up plate lunch perfection at Junior’s in Hernando

22 | MUSIC The Power of Faith Faith Evans Ruch bares her soul in upcoming independent project

24 | BOOKS Comfort Foods Fireside Feasts and Snow Day Treats is a perfect home chef's companion for the chilly winter months.

26 | CAUSES Tchaikovsky for Tykes Ballet DeSoto’s creative approach to getting the community moving

93 | ENTERTAINING Finding Fall Dinner and décor inspired by the seasonal harvest

89 | LIVE WELL Skip the Lift A new, nonsurgical method to blast away double chins 102 | THE POUR Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Simultaneously cozy and refreshing, with a few clutch health benefits — perfect for all the holiday feasting on the horizon.

IN EVERY ISSUE 12 | Editor’s Letter 14 | Contributors 60 | Calendar 104 | See & Do

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editor’s letter

Food, Glorious Food This month’s issue of Click is all about Southern chefs, comfort foods and handmade hospitality. Our mouth-watering selection of stories this month includes a not-so-brief history of the Pirtle’s Chicken franchise from staff writer Doug Gillon. Owners Cordell and Tawanda Pirtle really opened up about what makes their little chicken shack off Lamar Avenue so special and provided lots of crispy legs, wings and thighs for this month’s cover shot. We’ve also got an expansive story from writer Russ Thompson on nine uniquely Southern dishes that might seem strange to outsiders (page 81). From Kool-Aid-soaked pickles to fried pies and muscadine concoctions, we’re sure that at least one of these culinary creations will sate even the pickiest palate. In addition, we have a super-sweet fashion collaboration on page 72 featuring the Whimsy Cookie Company. These guys were sweet enough to let us use their shop as a colorful backdrop for this month’s transitional looks and I couldn’t be happier with the results. And for those of you who are still decorating for fall, entertaining expert Michelle Hope has you covered in her “Finding Fall” door décor feature on page 93. So from all of us to all of you: stay well fed and well read.

Casey Hilder Editor

Write To Us:

Email editor@myclickmag.com or send us a letter at Click Magazine P.O. Box 100, Hernando, MS 38632. 12 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com



Co-Presidents Jonathan Pittman & Angie Pittman Publisher Dick Mathauer Editor Casey Hilder editor@myclickmag.com

COPY + FEATURES Contributing Writers Tess Catlett, Casey Hilder, Andrea LeTard, Shana Lusk, Michelle Hope, Russ Thompson, Tonya Thompson

ART & PHOTOGRAPHY Art Director Jennifer Leonard Corbin Contributing Photographers Brian Anderson, Frank Chin, Casey Hilder, Mike Lee, Lee Otts, Madison Yen

ADVERTISING Sales Director Lyla McAlexander 901.461.4861 lyla@dttclick.com Sheri Floyd 901.208.1828 sheri@dttclick.com Eric Saffold 901.337.9930 eric@myclickmag.com Diana Vaughn-Linville 901.361.7661 diana@dttclick.com

HOW TO REACH US 2445 Hwy 51 South | Hernando, MS 38632 website: myclickmag.com Customer Service/Subscriptions: P: 662.429.6397 | F: 662.429.5229


Call 662.429.6397 or subscribe online at myclickmag.com. Annual subscription rate: $32.95. Click Magazine is published 12 times a year. Postmaster: Send address changes to Click Magazine, 2445 Hwy. 51 South, Hernando, MS 38632. We make every effort to correct factual mistakes and omissions in a timely and candid manner. Information can be forwarded to Casey Hilder; Click Magazine, 2445 Hwy. 51 South, Hernando, MS 38632 or by email to editor@myclickmag.com.


Interested in having your next party featured in Click Magazine? Submit your event by going to myclickmag.com or email us at events@myclickmag.com ©2016 P.H. Publishing. Click Magazine must give permission for any material contained herein to be reproduced in any manner. Any advertisements published in Click Magazine do not con­­ stitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s services or products. Click Magazine is published monthly by P.H. Publishing, LLC.

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 13


November 2016

Tess Catlett

Mike Lee

Click’s social calendar for this month was compiled by Tess Catlett. A Southaven native and recent graduate of University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, Catlett is a former intern for Click. An avid and tenacious writer, Catlett has been featured in various publications including Vox Magazine, The Columbia Missourian and The DeSoto TimesTribune. When not writing, Catlett enjoys binge watching underrated TV dramas.

Event photos in this issue were captured by Click photographer Mike Lee. Mike started in news in 1971 as a TV writer, photographer, and art director. For 20 years, his work appeared on national and international television broadcasts, and was published in print media worldwide.

Doug Gillon A graduate of the University of Missouri and native Memphian, Doug Gillon is a freelance writer whose ten-year career includes writing on everything from sports to music to food to Internet comedy. In 2009 Gillon founded his own branding firm, GillonCreative, which specializes in branding, public relations, social media promotions, web and SEO advertising, among other things. In addition to making fantastic promotional creative work, Doug enjoys playing guitar, writing about sports, and continuing his education. Read his cover story on the Pirtles Chicken franchise on page 64 of this month’s issue.

Shana Raley Lusk

Madison Yen

A lifelong reader and writer, Shana Raley-Lusk is a freelance writer and book reviewer with a focus on Southern literature. A native of East Tennessee, Lusk holds an English degree with a concentration in literature from the UT Knoxville and her work has appeared in a number of publications including At Home Tennessee magazine, The Knoxville News Sentinel and various others. This month, Lusk reviews

This month’s cover and fashion spread were photographed by Madison Yen of Yen Studios and Maddie Moree. Madison specializes in wedding and engagement photography as well as professional headshots. In her spare time, she is a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel Jewelry and consults small businesses to ramp up their marketing and sales. Her work can be viewed at maddiemoree.com and chloeandisabel.com/boutique/madisonyen.

Tonya Thompson A Southern-born writer and editor, Thompson has spent most of her life between Nashville and the Mississippi Delta. Now, a contributing editor for Click, Thompson writes frequently on life in the South. Originally from Clarksville, Tennessee, Thompson enjoys vintage motorcycling and traveling with her husband and children. 14 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com




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Shop Local this Holiday Season

November 26th Small Business Saturday December 8th DeSoto Family Theatre Chamber Night

Senatobia Main Street December 2nd Light Up The Town & Santa

November 12th, 10:00am-3:00pm Christmas Open House & Bazaar

December 10th Christmas Parade

December 5th Senatobia Christmas Parade*

December 3rd & 4th

December 6th Coldwater Christmas Parade*

Marshall Co Historic Museum Holiday Home Tour "Thistledome"

*Theme “The Wonder of Christmas Morning”

December 1st 6:00pm Christmas Parade

November 13th, 1:00pm-5:00pm Preview Day, November 12th Christmas Open House December 5th, 6:30pm Christmas Parade Theme “There’s No Place Like Home for Christmas”

Theme “A Mississippi Christmas”

December 3rd from 9:00am - Noon Horn Lake Santa’s Breakfast December 3rd at 6:00pm

Tree Lighting Event - Horn Lake City Hall

December 1st 6:30pm Southaven Christmas Parade Theme “Parade of Lights”

December 9th 4:00-6:00pm Open House at 500 Main Street

Saturday, November 26th, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Shop Local – Holiday Merchant Open House and Holiday Market at The Cotton Gin

10:00am – Noon

Cookies with Santa at the Cotton Gin

December 3rd, 5th, 6th, & 8th 4:30pm – 8:00pm Santa in Old Towne

Merry Christmas!

16 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com



A Chef for All Seasons Chef Aryen Moore-Alston puts a European spin on Southern cuisine Interview by TONYA THOMPSON | Photos by CASEY HILDER

PEOPLE p.20 | MUSIC p.22 | BOOKS p.24 | CAUSES p.26 myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 17

up front


IF THERE’S ONE THING CHEF Aryen Moore-Alston has learned in her intercontinental culinary experience, it’s that southerners — more than most — revere their food traditions. Raised in Naples, Italy, this computer scientist turned IT consultant turned celebrity chef would later relocate to Memphis, Tennessee to find that her unique fusion of the two distinct yet familiar culinary traditions delighted local epicureans. As president of the Memphis Chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), Chef Aryen was selected by Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management at The University of Memphis as one of the region’s most distinguished chefs. She’s also executive chef and owner of Sweet Potato Baby (sweetpotatobaby.com), a Memphis-based catering business that’s made the Greater Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce’s list of ‘Top 10 Companies to Watch.’ Click Magazine: Computer scientist to IT consultant to celebrity chef — that’s an unlikely path. How did that happen? 18 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Chef Aryen: I honestly don’t know how all of this happened. I just followed my heart and my passion opened the doors to some extraordinary experiences. It’s just like fate or karma, all of these things chose me and I just listened to the universe. CM: Is there a defining moment in your childhood when you knew you wanted to be a chef? CA: I’m no stranger to the kitchen. As a child, I watched my father cook and I was always in the kitchen watching him create meals for our family…delicious meals, of course… which kept me in a constant state of awe. I believe that most of us follow in our parents’ footsteps, to a certain extent, because they are our idols as children. We look up to our parents and want to be just like them so it makes perfect sense that I am a chef just as my father was in his own right. I guess the defining moment was after I appeared on Food Network Star, Season 10. I knew after that experience that the culinary arts were what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. CM: From Naples-inspired food to Southern classics — what do you enjoy most about combining these two cooking traditions? CA: I love fusion cuisine! Taking something you’re familiar with and making it unfamiliar. I consider myself to be international and have traveled all over the world tasting foreign cuisine and experiencing different cultures. I want my food to reflect who I am as a person and that is what makes it enjoyable. I am able to create, which feeds my artistic

side. I’m able to experiment, which feeds my scientific side. I’m able to bring all these aspects of myself to the table, literally. CM: Are there any similarities between the two? CA: I grew up in Southern Italy and now live in the Southern United States and I have found the best food is made in the South! One thing I can say about both southern regions is the people love to eat and take their cooking traditions very seriously, especially if it’s a staple. People in the South don’t play about their barbeque just like Southern Italians don’t play about their pasta. CM: Do you have a favorite dish? CA: My favorite dish is Penne Arrabiata, which means Angry Pasta, and it’s my favorite because it’s the one dish that I can eat and be transported right back to Italy — no matter where I am. CM: What’s the best compliment someone can give you after tasting your food? CA: The best compliment I can receive after someone tastes my food is simply “Everything was delicious!” I want people to love my food and know that I take pride in my art. I strive for perfection and work very hard to create meals that are flavorful, beautiful, fantastic, and unexplored. CM: What is the story of the inception/ beginning of Sweet Potato Baby? CA: Growing up in Naples, Italy, my sister and I spent a lot of time on the beach and were never short of a tan. One summer, while visiting our Grandmother “G-mama” in

Little Rock, Arkansas, she asked our mother, “Where did you get those Sweet Potato Babies?” So when the time came to name the business, it was out of pure love and nostalgia that I named the company Sweet Potato Baby. That, and the fact that I had tons of frozen pureed sweet potatoes in the freezer from making my daughter’s baby food and baked them into our now Signature Sweet Potato Baby cupcake. CM: When searching for the best locally grown/produced ingredients, do you have any favorites? CA: Going local has always been the best way to go. I love supporting local businesses and farmers, and can’t think of a better way to do so than to incorporate local produce into our offerings here at Sweet Potato Baby. The Green Leaf Learning Farm at Knowledge Quest, in the heart of South Memphis, is one of my favorite farms. If you ever get a chance to stop by, tell Theo that Aryen sent you! Currently, we are in talks with the Rossie Etta Hills Field University about planting a section of the urban farm exclusively for SPB, and working on a seedto-plate concept.

Happy Thanksgiving! At Hernando Animal Clinic, we are thankful for the opportunity to serve the pets of DeSoto County. Because of you, we get to do what we love, one wet nose at a time. On behalf of Dr. Fleming and staff, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

CM: Sweet Potato Baby caters for various events of all sizes, any that stand out as being particularly fun or challenging for you? CA: Each event has a uniqueness to it and stands out in its own way. An event that stands out particularly in my mind is when we catered inside of an old bank vault and we made crepes and beignets for over 800 people. On top of that, we cooked to order every single crepe and beignet, and although the line seemed never ending, we had an absolute blast. CM: Will you be hosting any upcoming events our readers should know about? CA: We just had the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Sweet Potato Baby Cafe’ on October 24, 2016 and we are so excited that you can now come and dine with us Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Sweet Potato Baby Cafe’ is on the 1st floor of the United Way Plaza located at 1005 Tillman Street in Memphis. Follow Jackson to Tillman, and come out and experience lunch in a brand new way!

Dr. Tim Fleming & Associates 2445 Mt. Pleasant Rd. Hernando, MS 38632

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myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 19

up front


Mind of Miles Chef Miles McMath serves up plate lunch perfection at Junior’s in Hernando Story and photos by CASEY HILDER

COOKING IN LARGE QUANTITIES IS NOTHING NEW for Hernando native Miles McMath. As the former head chef at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, McMath cooked for thousands of patients and staff daily. His latest endeavor, Junior’s, a revival of his 2006 restaurant named after his grandfather, offers a more familiar fare for those raised on grits and collard greens. “It really came from a lot of taste memories that I had as a kid,” he says. “There’s a lot of memories there, even though my grandfather died when I was 8 years old: peas, beans, poke salad.” The restaurant, which opened its doors in February of this year just off the Square in Hernando, is both a labor of love and a family affair for Miles, who runs Junior’s alongside his wife, Julie, and their three kids. “We bring the kids in during the summer,” he says. “They were a big help getting the doors open. That was really the whole reason behind this: to be with them and to spend more time with my family.” As the winner of five gold medals across several National American Culinary Federation competitions, McMath’s training as a chef shines 20 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

through in masterfully crafted renditions of greasy-spoon favorites like meatloaf, catfish and barbecued ribs (a midweek favorite). A lifetime in DeSoto County has brought dozens of local contributors into the Junior’s fold — some of which can’t be found at the local farmers market. “I use Earl Lake’s catfish,” he says. “If I can’t get that, it’s not worth putting fish on the menu. One of the big reasons I use him is because his fish aren’t bottom feeders and they aren’t pumped with saline preservatives. Normally, when you cook fish you get a lot of popping and spitting. That’s a result of all that water some of the farms pump into them.” Though the pork served at Junior’s comes from Como, Mississippi, and the beef is ground in-house, McMath is hesitant to jump on the “local” bandwagon. “It’s an overused and misleading term these days,” McMath says. “I mean, the bad people are local to somebody, right? It goes deeper than that. I’ve always said — and I’m probably stealing from Joel Salatin here — you want to shake the hand that feeds you.”

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 21

up front


The Power of Faith Faith Evans Ruch bares her soul in upcoming independent project Review by MARY ECKERSLEY

IT’S BEEN SAID THAT THE BEST SONGS COME FROM a broken heart. For Faith Evans Ruch, a broken heart was the push she needed to find her voice as an artist. After a break-up in 2011 and some encouragement from friends, she decided to pick up a guitar and let her words do the talking with the help of a little music. “The guy who broke my heart was a musician, so I wanted to write a song right back at him. It was so cathartic and satisfying — this is how I release all my feelings now,” says Ruch. In 2013, two years after she began playing, Ruch released her debut album, “1835 Madison.” The album pulls a strong Folk, Country vibe with a touch of the Blues only true heartbreak can bring. Her followup EP, “After It’s Said & Done,” offers a stripped-down look into the artist’s heart, raw in a beautiful way. Despite the Country influence to her music, do not call her Country. “People will say well this one is kind of Country and this one is kind of Bluesy and this one has Soul. I 22 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

just wanted to take all those genres off the page and call it Americana because that is what I write,” says Ruch, who credits inspiration all over from Nina Simone to Ryan Adams. Her upcoming album set to release sometime in 2017, takes a turn away from the Country side, in favor of a more soulful sound. “Album to album my goal has been different. On the EP, I wanted it to be stark because the songs are so emotional. I felt the best delivery was to be in a way for people to really hear my feelings, to feel alone,” says Ruch. “With this [next] one, I’m trying to write some upbeat and funky stuff.” The first singles off the album, “Sugar” and “Thank You” were released as A and B sides back in February, and her remake of the song “Bang Bang” was released in July. Having quit smoking a couple years ago, Ruch has been able to grow vocally and explore her range more in these recent recordings, showcasing her velvety smooth crooning that lends perfectly to a soulful

style. Unlike her past albums, this one is being recorded live with a full band rather than dubbed to track as each piece is recorded separately. Not only is the method more authentic to that soul feel, but also it allows for greater focus on Ruch’s voice, as she is not playing the guitar on these recordings. For Ruch, guitar has been the support instrument that allowed her to better utilize her primary instrument: voice. Once the album is wrapped, Ruch will hit the road again and with luck, bring a full band with her to stay true to that soul feel. “Something gets lost in translation when you strip everything down, so I hope to bring the full band out. I get so much love on the road, and definitely want to get back to UK with this album in 2017 – they made me feel like a damn queen!” says Ruch. Besides a stylistic change to the music, the tone of the subject is new on this album too. Being in love for the first time in a longtime has influenced Ruch’s change of tune. “One day I just woke up and realized I was over [my last relationship] and I was pissed. I was like, ‘what the hell am I gonna write about?’” says Ruch with a chuckle. Being a sucker for love songs, she says she lusts for nothing more than a tragic, heart-wrenching song, and writing happy love songs is a new adventure. “This album is about coming to peace in past relationships and starting to grow in a healthy direction — closure and new beginnings,” says Ruch. This is the first album she has written towards as an album rather than going into the process pulling together material already completed. It is a process that has been a labor of love through and through. Besides putting her heart and soul into the art, Ruch has also funded the album herself, picking up extra shifts at her nursing job. In addition, fans can help fund and pre-order the album by contributing to Ruch’s Indiegogo campaign through November 15th. While she was raised to work for her own money and feels awkward asking, Ruch dotes on the the support of her fans to get where she is today. At time of print, four songs are ready to hit production at Royal Studios with the promise to get them done the right way by her fans. “In the shower, I’m scrubbing my head for ideas, literally. I always want my music to be relatable and I hope that I make people laugh and make them cry, and with this album I really hope I make them dance,” says Ruch. 

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up front


Comfort Foods Fireside Feasts and Snow Day Treats is a perfect home chef 's companion for the chilly winter months. Review by SHANA RALEY-LUSK

THERE'S NOTHING QUITE LIKE HOME-COOKED comfort food alongside a crackling fire to warm up even the most frigid snow day. From comforting classics like baked goods and casseroles to rich desserts, Fireside Feasts and Snow Day Treats has something to answer any cool-weather craving. This recently released cookbook compilation even includes an array of tempting drink recipes, perfect for sharing holiday cheer with family and friends this season. “While the cold wind blows and the snow piles up outside, make the most of being stuck indoors and prepare some warming snow day snacks,” the book begins. Warm Spice-Rubbed Potatoes with Rosemary Mayonnaise and Leek and Cheddar Mini Quiches are two of the book’s tasty snack options. Cheddar and Cracked Pepper Straws and Spiced Fried Chicken are ideal choices for entertaining, as well. Dips and other tempting appetizers are included in the “Snow Day Snacks” chapter, too. Beautiful photographs accompany the recipes and tidbits of cooking and preparation advice sprinkled throughout add to the book's appeal. No winter menu would be complete without hearty soup or chowder offerings, and the “Cold Day Comforts” section has plenty to choose from. From Minestrone with Parmesan Rind to Corn and Pancetta Chowder, there's is something perfect for every taste. The instructions included with each recipe are easy to read and to the point, making this book an excellent choice for cooks of any skill and experience level. Classics such as French Onion Soup are included while other unique options can be found throughout the book as well. Vietnamese Beef Pho and Spiced Pumpkin and Coconut Soup are great warming choices for an autumn meal or casual get-together with friends. A couple of pages are devoted specifically to relishes and butters, all perfect for pairing alongside these dishes. 24 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

A slew of soul-warming casserole recipes don’t disappoint, either. “Home-cooked comforts such as casseroles, bakes, pies, roasts, and stews are ideal for winter entertaining. With something delicious bubbling on the stove, your guests will be delighted as they come in from the cold.” So begins the section of the book entitled “Fireside Feasts,” and it is quite aptly named. Hearty comfort foods like Extra-Crispy Macaroni Cheese and Tuna Noodle Casserole are new takes on old favorites, while there are many other delightfully interesting choices, as well, including Artichoke, Mushroom and Olive Pasta Bake with Provolone. The cool — weather classic, chicken pot pie, makes an appearance here as well, along with a mouth-watering iteration of chicken curry. A variety of winter salads have a section dedicated to them, while the book shares a host of indulgent dessert recipes like Hazelnut Cheesecake Bars, White Chocolate and Coffee Truffle Brownies, and Cherry Marzipan Streusel Squares. The lovely photos of all these decadent options are sure to have readers in the kitchen in no time. “Baking is such a satisfying and comforting pastime,” the chapter begins. “Make a batch of brownies or bars so that the family can help themselves during the week, or keep a jar of delicious home-baked cookies hidden away to offer to visitors who come in from the cold.” The beverage section, titled “A Cup of Cheer,” is just as impressive, with beautiful wintertime images and a host of soothing cold-weather drink recipes. Bloody Mary with Celery Salt, and the ever popular Hot Toddy grace the pages of this chapter, along with plenty of other great choices like Harvest Punch and Mulled Wine. Whether readers choose a sweet treat, a warm drink, or a rich casserole to whip up, this book has so many perfect options to inspire that next snow day meal or beautiful holiday table. It is the perfect book for relaxing at home, as well as planning your next gathering, and is sure to make this winter that much cozier.

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up front


Tchaikovsky for Tykes Ballet DeSoto’s creative approach to getting the community moving Story by TONYA THOMPSON | Photos by CASEY HILDER

TCHAIKOVSKY’S NUTCRACKER-MEETS-SUPERHEROES might seem to be an odd approach for some, but for the 125 young performers in Ballet DeSoto’s 2015 run of The Nutcracker Goes to ComicCon, it was a fun, unique spin on a celebrated classic. Staged at Hernando Performing Arts Center (HPAC), the nonprofit’s annual Nutcracker performance has been a holiday tradition since December of 2003, taking on multiple themes over the years. A Very Brady Nutcracker, The Nutcracker’s Vegas Wedding, The Wild West Nutcracker, and A Fairy Tale Nutcracker are some examples. This year’s The Nutcracker Hears a Who is sure to be a hit with Dr. Seuss fans of all ages. “Starting with variety-style shows and collaborations with other companies as early as 1999, we produced our first full-scale ballet — The Nutcracker — in December 2003,” says Jill Morris, Ballet DeSoto’s founder and artistic director. That inaugural performance would quickly become a beloved local tradition. Fast forward to 2007, when Morris’s dance troupe found itself with limited venue availability and an October Nutcracker performance 26 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

date. “We knew it would be odd to do a Christmas show so early in the season,” she says, “so we decided to explore creative ideas.” Engaging, witty variations of the Nutcracker theme were the result, with a revolving group of young dancers in the community invited to attend open auditions held every August. Morris notes that they would love to hold a spring production each year, as well, but performance space continues to be incredibly limited. “For now we will focus on bringing in more people to audition for Nutcracker,” she says. “We gained our nonprofit status several years ago and hope to apply for a grant that would help us offer greater opportunities to our community.” In addition to building the arts scene in North Mississippi, Ballet DeSoto has spent almost a decade providing outreach to specific populations within the community to get the region moving. Mission2Move a Ballet DeSoto initiative dedicated to encouraging DeSoto County to find ways they enjoy moving to increase fitness and overall wellness is one such initiative. “We organize free events throughout the community, like Fit & Fresh at the Hernando farmers

“WE GAINED OUR NONPROFIT STATUS SEVERAL YEARS AGO AND HOPE TO APPLY FOR A GRANT THAT WOULD HELP US OFFER GREATER OPPORTUNITIES TO OUR COMMUNITY.” market,” says Morris. “We also go to local festivals, health fairs and senior events, and promote other fitness events going on throughout the community.” While Mississippi has retained top ranking as the state with the highest prevalence of childhood obesity — in addition to the resulting health issues among children and young adults — programs like Mission2Move are part of a statewide effort to help children in Mississippi get (and stay) active. According to data collected by the Robert Wood Jones Foundation, the state has seen a nearly 12% decline in its childhood obesity rates between 2005 and 2013, much to the credit of local initiatives like Mission2Move. For Morris, the power of dance to bring health to the community is personal. “I love the artistry, camaraderie, and creative expression,” she says. “I have been a DeSoto County resident all my life and am I proud Mississippian. I’ve also been involved in studio dance from age 3 and began to study

classical ballet around age 11 when I was diagnosed with scoliosis. Ballet training and Pilates were recommendations from my orthopedic physician as therapy.” As Ballet DeSoto continues to work toward a healthier, more artistic community, the organization uses its Nutcracker holiday performances as its primary fundraising tool. “Having people in our audience not only contributes to the financial needs

of an organization such as this, but also creates an environment of excitement and confidence,” says Morris. “Every performer loves a full house!” The Nutcracker Hears A Who will be held at HPAC Nov 19-20. Tickets are $12 and available at balletdesoto@yahoo.com. For businesses or individuals looking to contribute more to Ballet DeSoto’s efforts, there is advertising space available in the performance program. myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 27



Thanksgiving tips from a personal chef Story and photos by ANDREA LETARD


You have nearly a month to plan the perfect dinner, but the next thing you know, the big day is just right around the corner. It all sounds so stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. It only takes a few days to plan a lovely, enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration. These tips and easy recipes will put you right on track to being the host with the most this Thanksgiving Day.


• Grocery shop over several days. Three to four days before, buy all items that store easily over time. One to two days before, buy items you want to serve at their freshest. • Clean your refrigerator out before you go grocery shopping. It’s great to start the holidays with a clean, organized fridge, plus you’ll need plenty of room for all the ingredients you bring home. • Make ahead as much as possible. It may surprise you what all can be made and stored in plastic containers days before — dressings, sauces, even some veggies can be chopped a day or two before. When storing, label containers by using tape and a marker. Reheat or finish the day of. 28 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

• Make dishes with few ingredients. This will help your grocery trips flow and your days in the kitchen quick and easy.


• Don’t just have a dinner party. Have a party! Be prepped for guests to come early and spread each course out. It’s also fun to pair wine or cocktails with each course then have coffee, espresso, or cappuccinos with dessert. • Scatter appetizers on different tables and in different rooms. This gets guests mingling and keeps them out of the kitchen while you work. • Set up a drink station away from the kitchen. Consider having one simple signature cocktail, wine, beer, water, and various nonalcoholic beverages. Everyone can serve themselves — it keeps them occupied and you don’t have to worry with asking what every guest wants to drink when they arrive. • Have plenty of entertainment: football on in one room, music playing at dinner, and maybe a holiday movie to end the night. There should be something for everyone.

Pumpkin Beer Soup with Bacon and Dates GROCERY LIST · 4 to 5 lbs pie pumpkins - seeded and quartered · Olive oil   · Kosher salt   · Pepper   · 7 slices bacon - sliced into thin strips   · 15 dates - seeded and chopped · 3 tbsp butter   · 3 large shallots  - chopped · 2 garlic cloves - minced   · 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon   · 1/4 tsp allspice   · 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes   · 1/8 tsp ground ginger   · 3 tbsp maple syrup   · 1 bottle pumpkin beer   · 3 cups chicken broth   · 1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for drizzling   DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place the pumpkin quarters on a baking sheet, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the bacon pieces on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put both the pumpkin and bacon in the oven. Take bacon out after about 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy — be careful not to burn. Bake the pumpkin for about 25 to 30 minutes or until soft. Let both cool. When bacon is cool, mix together in a medium bowl with the dates and set aside.  2. While pumpkins are roasting, heat butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium low heat. Saute the shallots and garlic for about a minute or until shallots are soft. Add the cinnamon, allspices, red pepper flakes, and ground ginger and saute for another minute. Add the maple syrup and beer, and let beer reduce by half.  3. Peel the skin off the pumpkin then add to the pot, breaking the pumpkin into pieces. Add the chicken stock and heavy cream, stir together, then ladle soup into a blender - you may have to do this in batches. Blend at high speed until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot over medium heat. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock. Let soup heat up then ladle into bowls and top with the bacon-date mixture. 

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 29

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Squash GROCERY LIST · 1 large butternut squash · 2 medium acorn squash   · Olive oil · Kosher salt   · Pepper   · 3 tbsp maple syrup · 1 tsp cinnamon   · Pinch red pepper flakes, to taste   DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Peel the butternut squash. Cut off the rough ends then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into two shorter halves then cut into 1 inch sticks and moons. Cut the ends off the acorn squash then cut in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Slice into 1 inch moons.  2. Place all the squash on a large sheet pan lined with foil. Drizzle olive oil evenly over the squash then sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Drizzle the maple syrup, and sprinkle the cinnamon and red pepper flake. Toss together with your hands until all squash is covered in the oil and spices.  3. Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the squash is soft and caramelized.  

30 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com



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myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 31

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32 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com


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39th Annual Olive Branch Octoberfest

kmag.c om

With arts and crafts, games, and food vendors galore, this daylong celebration was fun for all ages. The Olive Branch Arts Council also presented the winning photographs from its annual photography contest. Photos by MIKE LEE myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 33

out & about

Nancy Hixson & Amanda Holloway

Amanda Arrington & Martha Icenberger

Michael, Cristy, Ethan & Easton Bailey

Dot, Zack & Bob Moore

34 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Nick & Meaghan Willis

Chelsee & Bruce Eddy

Betty Farmer & Peggy Henderson

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myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 35

out & about

Blues, BBQ & Fashion Festival The arts collided at Tanger Outlets’ free family day on September 10. In addition to shopping the sales, guests could take a stroll along the area’s section of the Mississippi Blues Trail. A number of local blues artists also performed, including Delta Cats, Terry “Big T” Williams, and Side Street Steppers. Photos by MIKE LEE

Jan & Kayla Lucius

Ingrid & Danny Levy

Drew & Ashley Joslin

John & Fiona Brown

36 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Ayonis Wise & Shelby Pruitt

Binesha Ray & Terrace Washington

Slidin' Clyde Roulette & Blind Mississippi Morris

Keith Sanders

Oleatha & Luther Waites

Stanley & Lisa Sanders

Xavier Maxwell & Gretchen James

Andy & Charlene Lino

Gail Mosley & Vera Lewis

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 37

out & about

Business After Hours On August 11, the Southaven Chamber of Commerce formally unveiled its new location. Now in the original business district of Southaven, the Chamber celebrated with door prizes, a raffle, and more. Photos by MIKE LEE Bob Thompson & Debbie Perkins

Savannah Oglesby, Leeannah Millwood & Lori Woodruff

Eddie & Debby Hadskley, Lonnie Treadaway & Anita Walls

Jean Bennett, Jean Nunnally & Anita Walls

Jamie Sowell & Liz Callicott

Alan Callicott & George Cossar

38 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Amanda Lehman, Laura Meredith & Kendal Atkinson

Frank Beck & Natalie Troutt

Karen Brown & Sharon Williams

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out & about

David & Leigh Dygert

Sue Binnie & Nick Blancett

Tim & Jill Hellen

4th Annual

Puttin’ on the Dog Formed in 2008, the Tunica Humane Society is a “no kill” animal shelter located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. The shelter cares for more than 200 dogs and cats at any given time, relying on its volunteers to help provide food and medical care for these animals. Proceeds from this 70sthemed fundraising event will benefit the shelter and ensure the success of its mission. Photos by MIKE LEE

Brandon Smith & Taylor Patton

Missy & Grant Laurenzi, Adam Moore

Claire Hunt & Bonnie Thompson

42 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Carol Ann Magoto & Scott Frazier

Kaky Walton & Chris Frazier

Kathleen Henderson, Don May & Linda Hennesy

Heather Crain, Shelby Hartman & Sandy Ward

Billy Thompson & Liz Simer

Anna Lewis & Mike Miller

Anna & Jay Drake

Laura Carter & Lisa Giardino

Lisa Hayes & Debbie Cochran

Lisa West & Sandy Dollard

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 43

out & about

John Jones & Brad Woods

James Enis

Annual Golf Scramble On September 15, Horn Lake Chamber of Commerce presented its annual Golf Scramble at North Creek Golf Club in Southaven. ABRA Auto Body and Glass provided lunch for participants in the daylong scramble, and the Chamber took care of dinner. Photos by MIKE LEE

Brandon Jefferies & Steve White

Greg Presley & Cliff Flynn

44 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Varina Hopper & Barbara Phillips

Clay Willingham & Billy White

Hunter Hollingsworth & Justin Bobo

Rick Carden & Russell Lee


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myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 45

out & about

Lisa Taylor, Andy & Amy Schaefer

Alan Moltz & Holly Thomas

Wine & Dine for the Special Olympics In partnership with Kirby Wines and Liquors, Chef Chair Ryan Trimm of Sweet Glass presented a special Wine & Dine event benefitting Special Olympics of Greater Memphis. Tasting tables were prepared by some of Memphis’ top chefs, including Felicia Willett of Felicia Suzanne’s, Jeremy Martin of Tuscany Italian Eatery, and Keith Bambrick of McEwen’s. Photos by MIKE LEE

Al & Keiya Garrett

Bob Buckley & Ed Finney

Brandon & Demetria Gaddy

Hanin Vanemburg & Sheetal Patel

Linda Kennard & Joel Johnson

Alex Scott, Misty Bellew & Hannah Mastrianni

46 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Kate & Britton DeWeese

Claire Sweeney & Matthew Sheppard

Taylor Neal & Bryson Lochemes

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myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 47

out & about

Carlene Leapen & Kathy Brooks

Clara Terry & Sharon Webb

Tavaria Campbell & Princess Garrett

International Tea & Fashion Show The Arc Mid-South put sights and sounds from across the globe on display at its second annual International Tea and Fashion Show. Attendees sampled dishes and delighted in performances by global dancers and musicians. Photos by MIKE LEE Emily Denson & Marilee Schmidt

Doloris Gross & Modine Trent

Kenisha Becton & Karen McQueen

48 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Brittney Reed & Jonita Patrick

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 49

out & about

Tucker & Alyce Marshburn, Christopher & Haven Stevens, Seth & Alli Mcbrayer & Jena Dimberg

Pat Cook, Tangela Henderson & Gwyn Cloyd

Wine on the River Hosted at Mud Island River Park in downtown Memphis, this tasting event featured wines from around the globe. Bites accompanied each wine, including fare from Runway Grille, Central BBQ, and Cafe Society. Young Petty Thieves, Chinese Connection Dub Embassy, and J. R. Moore provided live entertainment across three stages. Proceeds from the event benefited Youth Villages, a nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk youth succeed at home and in their communities. Photos by SAM PRAGER

Monica Patrick & Sean Bloemer

Mia McIvor & Rachel Thompson

Brad & Dianne West, Gary & Sandy Hudson Jordan Hockaday, Katherine Pugh, Anna Fields & Audrey Parker

Mitchell & Rebekah Templeton, Adam Weaver, Elise Mallette, Janice & Daryl Weaver

50 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Kelly McGuage, Meagan Rouse & Shareese Golightly

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Megan Flick & Austin Watkins

Katie Murrah, Anya Mazor & Haley Mattice

Christa Totty, Grace Norcross & Laura Freeman

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 51

THE WESTIN MEMPHIS BEALE STREET & BLEU have some exciting holiday news! We are celebrating the season with a sleigh full of incentives for holiday party planners. Book by November 30th and receive additional incentives. Holiday revelers are encouraged to book now to secure desired dates.

52 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

For more information please call Lorraine Chatman at 901-334-5924 or email Lorraine.chatman@westinmemphis.com

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 53

out & about

Rose & Jesse Ford

Steve & Emily Hutton

Ol’ Man River Moonshine Ball Led by local humanitarian Pat Kerr Tigrett, Memphis Charitable Foundation hosted its inaugural Moonshine Ball on September 16. Held at Gibson Guitar Factory, the ball celebrated the city’s musical past, present, and future. Photos by FRANK CHIN

Mike & Jennifer Scola

Beverly Walker, Ruby Jackson & Betty Jones

Ed & Maryann Kuespert

Nan Buck, Lupe Matthews & Sara Frazier

54 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Tony Glenn & Joni Reagan

Joy Robertson & Jasmine Hewlett









David & Theresa Cook

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Connor Howard & Becca Rinehart


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myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 55


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www.floorstoredesoto.com myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 57

out & about

Amanda & Jason Sesti

Dexter Banks & Kimary Lee-Banks

Stephen & Karen Canseco

Vine to Wine at the Garden:

Siptember Sip-n-Shop With fall wines and hors d’oeuvres at the ready, shoppers perused goods from a number of local vendors at Memphis Botanic Garden’s annual Sip-n-Shop. Everything from handmade jewelry to one-of-a-kind artwork was on display and up for grabs. Photos by FRANK CHIN Mary Bublitz & Patrick Greene

Kelly & Shone Bynum

Josie Butler & Matthew Jung

58 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Allen & Emily Underwood & Grayson Smith

Linda Kennard, Anna Grehan & Lynda Kettinger

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myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 59


November 2016



November 1 6th Annual All Souls Day Lamplight Tour Springhill Cemetery, Hernando 5 p.m., Admission by donation springhillfriends.com

November 11 Wine Down: Wines to Be Thankful For Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis 6–8 p.m., Admission $25–$35 dixon.org

November 17 Art After Dark: Meet the Artist: Wayne Edge Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis 6–8 p.m., Admission free dixon.org

November 4–13 Annie Jr. Presented by Kudzu Playhouse Hernando Performing Arts Center, Hernando 7 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m., 7 p.m. Sat., Admission $12–$17 kudzuplayers.com

November 11 through December 31 Peter Pan Playhouse on the Square, Memphis 7 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. Sat.–Sun., Admission $15–$45 playhouseonthesquare.org

November 19 through April 2 Rotunda Projects: Nnenna Okore 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Weds., 10 a.m-8 p.m. Thurs., 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Admission $3–$7 brooksmuseum.org

November 5 38th Annual Auction Orpheum Theatre, Memphis 6:30 p.m., Admission $125 ticketmaster.com

November 12 39th annual Christmas Open House Hernando Courthouse Square, Hernando 1–5 p.m., Admission free hernandoms.org

November 19 Merry Christmas Tree Farm 1890 Getwell Road, Southaven 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sat.–Sun., Admission free merrychristmastreefarm.com

November 8 Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets FedExForum, Memphis 7 p.m., Admission $10–$140 ticketmaster.com

Greenway Soiree Opera Memphis, Memphis 6–10 p.m., Admission $100 wolfriver.org

November 10 4th annual Veteran’s Day Salute First Choice Catering, Hernando 9 a.m., Admission free hornlake.org Phoebe Cook Lecture: Thomas Woltz, Garden, Park, Community, Farm Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tues.–Sat., 1–5 p.m. Sun., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. third Thurs., Admission $3–$7 dixon.org November 11 16th annual Veteran’s Appreciation Luncheon Southaven Multi-Purpose Arena, Southaven 11:30 a.m., Admission free for veterans, $10 for general public southaven.org

60 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

Howl at the Moon The Warehouse, Memphis 6 p.m., Admission $50 streetdogfoundation.com November 13 through January 22 Tributaries: Cozette Phillips National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tues.–Sat., Noon–5 p.m. Sun., Admission $4–$6 metalmuseum.org November 13 Carrie Underwood FedExForum, Memphis 7 p.m., Admission $44–$74 ticketmaster.com The Red Door Market 1 Memphis Street, Hernando 11 a.m., Admission $10 desotoarts.com

November 20 Maxwell and Mary J. Blige FedExForum, Memphis 7 p.m., Admission $23–$97.50 ticketmaster.com November 27 Festival of Praise 2016 Landers Center, Southaven 7 p.m., Admission $35–$75 ticketmaster.com November 30 Cocktails with the Curator: Red Grooms Traveling Correspondent Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis 5:30–8 p.m., Admission $300 brooksmuseum.org

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myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 61

Shop Holly Springs

Christmas Open House November 15th from 5-8 p.m.

All shops & Courthouse will be open & decorated to kick off the Holiday Shopping Season

Annual Holly Springs Christmas Parade, Saturday, December 3rd 6 p.m.

T U E S DAY N OV E M B E R 1 5 T H ,

Tracks of Generals Saturday, December 3rd from 10-5


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The General Cup Saturday, December 3rd 5-6 p.m. The 27th Christmas in Holly Springs Home Tour: Saturday & Sunday December 3rd 9-5 & 4th from 1-5 Belles & Books Brunch: Saturday, December 3rd, 2 seating’s 11:00 & 1:00 The 79th Annual Holly Springs Pilgrimage-Tour of Historic Homes, Churches & Hillcrest Cemetery: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, April 21-23rd

for more information call 662.252.2943 www.hollyspringsms.org

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62 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

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myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 63



e k i L C h s i e c t

Stamped on the top every box of Jack Pirtle’s chicken are four words with an exclamation mark. “It’s a Memphis Thing!” shouts from every lid that Jack Pirtle’s Chicken, its food, its history and service are as Bluff City as it gets Story by Doug Gillon | Photos by Madison Yen and Lee Otts 64 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com


he Pirtle's Chicken dynasty began when founder Jack Pirtle had a son at 43 and began a brand new career so he could raise his family in one city. He used what little money he had from decades of factory work and bought a restaurant outside the Memphis Firestone plant that stayed open 24-hours a day to serve chicken to local factory workers. That was 1945. Over the next decade, Jack enjoyed some moderate success in the restaurant business, opening five other restaurants in Memphis, but things really changed when he met Harland David Sanders. That’s right: the black bowtie, white suit, portrayed by at least three different comedians recently, finger lickin’, goatee havin’, Colonel Sanders. Jack had a “bread man” who was a close relation of the Colonel, and arranged a meeting. The Colonel showed Jack his signature chicken frying process and the super-secret spices necessary for the KFC taste. Then something weird happened. Colonel Sanders took Jack Pirtle to Bismarck, North Dakota, to eat at a drive-thru before drive-thrus were a thing. Jack was sold on the idea and, in 1957, opened the first Jack Pirtle’s on Bellevue: one of the first franchises of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and known as Jack Pirtle’s featuring Kentucky Fried Chicken for a decade. That Bellevue store, which still sells chicken today, has been managed by the same woman, Miss Shirley, for more than four decades and looks like it was built by someone’s grandpa because it was. Jack put the thing up himself like a poultry-slinging Paul Bunyan. Then he built three more stores and made his son Cordell, at the tender age of 13, the manager of one of them. Jack Pirtle relied on himself, but wanted to serve workers and be a part of his community. These themes are obvious in the modern Jack Pirtle’s run by Cordell and his wife, Tawanda.

Cordell is a well-groomed man with a white, camera-ready beard, who is often mistaken as his father, Jack. “I’ve been called worse,” he says. Co-owner Tawanda, Cordell’s wife and a former newspaper publisher, has brought a renewed focus on marketing since around 2000, and came up with the “It’s a Memphis Thing!” phrase. “We wanted to have something unique, I mean Gus’ already had ‘World famous,’” Cordell says, “This one felt the most right.” Probably because Pirtle’s has been a culinary experience of the town for almost six decades, with many of its defining traits mirroring the city that birthed it. It’s a chain, but a small one; so it’s major, but still cozy. It’s not particularly healthy, but it’s really just too good to spend any time worrying about that. It doesn’t hide its age or imperfections, and embraces its rich history. It’s not necessarily the first place mentioned by visiting elite, but it’s sought out by those who know. President Bush may have gone for the barbecue, but Drake came for Pirtle’s. And that’s because of the food – starting with the Chicken. Pirtle’s unique recipe isn’t extra crispy or extra spicy. The flavor is hearty and full, with enough flavors dripping from the meat that plenty of extra napkins are usually required.

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Each piece of Pirtle’s chicken goes through the same process. It’s lathered in a seasoned milk dip and then goes into a special seasoning flour. Everything is then cooked in pressure cookers. “The nice thing about pressure cookers is you get nothing but tasty product coming out,” Cordell said. The Pirtle’s taste came from necessity. In 1965, Jack Pirtle’s first franchise with Kentucky Fried Chicken expired, and the new corporate ownership demanded a full KFC branding come along with any renewal. Jack decided to pass on the offer, and in 30 day, with the help of his wife, Orva, and her Home Economics degree from the University of Tennessee — came up with a brand new recipe and cooking process for his own fried chicken. “It wasn’t immediate,” Cordell says. “We rely a lot on our employees and our customers for feedback. So they took a lot of feedback for almost a year and made adjustments before they got to what they sell today.” The fried chicken wasn’t the only thing to evolve. Cordell refers to Pirtle’s signature fried livers and gizzards as a “strangely evolved product.” Cordell explained that livers first appeared on Pirtle’s menus because they were available. In the 50s and 60s, chickens were sold whole, with the gizzard and liver and neck stuffed inside in wax paper. Jack figured, hey, if this food is here, better to try and sell it. Jack experimented with frying the livers and the gizzards using his steak seasoning instead of the chicken seasoning, and they have since become one of the most popular menu items. Pirtle’s has a massive menu for a fastfood restaurant, featuring steak sandwiches, sausages, burgers and foot-long hot dogs accompanying the chicken and the livers. Yet the menu evolved again in recent years with dishes like hot and honey wings (a necessity of the hotwing fest, according to Tawanda) and Chicken and Rice (an employee creation) have been added and managed to stay thanks to high popularity. Other things that “evolved” on the Pirtle’s menu are french fries (have to be thick enough to hold gravy for dipping, but no too thick as to fall apart); gravy (over time cooked on a lower BTU burner to prevent burning, and moved away from a milk base to ensure consistency); and, yeah, even the chicken. myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 67

Out of all of that, only the steak sandwich has remained mostly unchanged. An early Jack and Orva creation, the sandwich apparently impressed Colonel Sanders enough that he had conversations about creating a chain of restaurants featuring just that menu item. Most of these adjustment and creation periods were done while Jack was still alive. Crodell and Tawanda have had some creations, they specifically chose their wing sauce to be a perfect complement to the Pirtle’s flavor; but the major focus now is making sure the quality of the created recipes stays consistent every day at every location. Flavor from the 50s and 60s that still resonates with people today? Sounds a bit like aspects of Memphis music. The eight locations of on-demand Southern eating that are at once strongly nostalgic and at the same time completely representative of the city’s present — Southern values entrenched in American flavor. There’s a family-focused attitude emanating from Cordell and Tawanda when they talk about their employees, and also when they talk about the city of Memphis and their community involvement. The restaurant retains mostly full-time employees, and pays health insurance costs for managers. “We’re not a business that tries to keep gobs of part-time employees so we can bypass all the new rules and regulations that are out there,” Tawanda says. “We offer insurance to our employees and we’ve done that for years — it’s not something new to us.” The past few years, the chain’s community involvement has grown considerably - most notably in their flagship sponsorships of the Memphis Hot Wing Festival, the Memphis Comedy Festival, and the Memphis Burger Festival. “We’ve always been involved, but lately we’ve just been more actively involved,” Tawanda says.

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When they joined the hot wing festival, Jack Pirtle’s stores did not have hot wings on the menu. They are primarily a chicken restaurant, but they chose to sponsor the Burger Festival. They have sponsored the Memphis Comedy Festival since its inception, despite that fact that Cordell, by his own admission, cannot hear well enough to understand most of the acts. So why these events? Usually the answer to that is simple ­— they asked. The hot wing festival sounded like fun, the burger festival was a good food thing to be in on the ground floor of, and the comedy festival, well… “We just believe in those kids,” Tawanda says. “How can you say no when they aren’t really even asking for money, just — can you feed these kids coming into town?” For her, there was never any question. “Sometimes people are always concerned about how to make money. I’m more interested in bringing people together. If you bring people together, and people are happy, then everyone will make money.” The Pirtles must be onto something with that. Pirtle’s brings 3,000 to 4,000 Memphians together in or around their stores every day. “Our big goal is really just to keep everything fresh,” Tawanda said. “Everything that Pirtle’s has, its fresh food,” Tawanda said. “Everything we have we’re bringing in these doors, fresh, three times a week. And if we can sell all that before the next group comes in, then we’re happy.”

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Shirt $18.99, Shoes $169, Sugar Plum Consignments; Pants $64, Earrings $7, Mozelle Boutique; Necklace $48, So Co Apparel 72 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

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Dress $80, Janie Rose; Shoes $36, Pink Coconut; Hat $20, Earrings $7, Mozelle Boutique; Necklace $42, The Attic; Bracelet $31, Frank

76 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

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80 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com


THE SOUTH Wild, weird and delicious culinary creations

Story by Russ Thompson | Illustrations by Jordan Nikki Watson

Here in the Mid-South, we have our share of interesting and unusual food concoctions that are distinctly Southern. Where else would you combine ham and coffee to make gravy or even use chocolate? Who else would think of marinating pickles in Kool-Aid or mixing spaghetti with barbecue? Although many of these combinations may seem odd to people from other parts of the country, most would agree that they are quite delicious. There’s also a story behind many of these weird and wonderful recipes. Join us for a nine-course inspection of these idiosyncratic eats and the histories behind them. myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 81

FRIED PIES Fried pies were once known as “crab lanterns” and have been around since as far back as 1770. They were made with crab apples and had slits on the side, making them look like lanterns. A variation was made popular the world over by franchises such as McDonald’s, but there’s no doubt that there is no substitute for homemade fried pies the way grandma used to make them. The most popular filling is apple, but it’s also common to find peach, blueberry, and lemon. It’s best to melt the sugar and butter together, combine the mix with chopped apples and then sprinkle on some cinnamon and nutmeg. The dough is best if it’s homemade and usually consists of a combination of flour, shortening, egg yolk, ice water and vegetable oil. Combine these ingredients until the dough is sticky, adding more flour to smooth it out. Cut the dough into 4 to 6 inch circles and pour on the fruit once it’s cooled. Now it’s time to seal up the edges of the pies with the end of a fork and fry them in oil. Make sure to add plenty of granulated or powdered sugar after you drain them on paper towels while they are still warm.

Available at Bluff City Coffee in Memphis, Annie’s Restaurant in Holly Springs 82 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

KOOLICKLES Though the sweet-and-sour “Koolickle” sensation has spread as far as Dallas, it began as a popular staple in rural black communities in the Mississippi Delta. All it takes to make this simple snack en masse is a blend of readily available Kool-Aid mix and a supply of dill pickles – perfect for stocking the corner store counter or the local candy lady's stash.

Making a batch of Koolickles is fairly easy. Take a gallon of water, remove the pickles out of the jar, cut the pickles in halves, add a double-strength batch of Kool-Aid and a pound of sugar. Give your pickles a good shake and let the jar sit in the refrigerator for about a week. The once green pickles will now take on a reddish (or blue, or purple) hue. myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 83

PEANUT BUTTER & MAYONNAISE SANDWICH This seemingly unusual combination was born out of necessity due to the food shortages brought on by the Great Depression. The peanut butter and mayo sandwich had its heyday in the ’30s and became quite popular in the South. Mayonnaise was originally added to the classic pantry staple to give it a more spreadable consistency. 84 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

To make your own, simply spread the mayonnaise and peanut butter onto your favorite bread and experience a tart take on the peanut butter sandwich that, for a time, was almost as popular a pairing as peanut butter and jelly. Popular additions to the sandwich include deviled ham, bananas and pickles. Try it for yourself and experience a taste of depression-era history.

DEVIL CRABS Devil crabs have been called Spanish and Cuban, but this recipe traces its roots to an Italian chef during the early 1900s in Tampa, Florida. There, the crabs were served to newly arrived Cuban, Spanish and Italian immigrants that worked in cigar factories. Devil crabs were first created using stale Italian bread that was combined with the heavily seasoned crab and molded into a patty. This staple helped families get through a 10-month strike at the cigar factories in the 1920s.

The original recipe calls for combining the crab meat with a blend of Worcestershire sauce and marinara, peppers and onions. This crab hash is then rolled into white bread, combined with breadcrumbs with egg wash and fried. Sweet Grass owner and chef Ryan Trimm shared popular Memphis restaurant’s take on this coastal concoction. “We combine the crab with red onions, Tabasco sauce, bell pepper, yellow mustard, bread crumbs, and egg. It is rolled up with flounder to make a roulade, run through cracker meal and then pan-fried. Then, we finish it up in the oven and serve in on top of sweet potatoes.”

Available at Sweet Grass Memphis, The River Inn (a la carte), The Red Square Fish & Meat Market (frozen) myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 85

RED-EYE GRAVY There are many stories about how this one-of-a-kind gravy made with country ham and black coffee got its name. One account says the dish originated from Andrew Jackson when he observed the red eyes of his hungover cook making breakfast one morning. Some think red-eye gravy was created by a resourceful cook who did not want to waste leftover ham and coffee. To make red-eye gravy, render the trimmed fat from fresh ham and combine it with the ham. Once this is heated for about ten minutes, remove the ham and

rendered fat pieces. Next, it’s time to add in coffee or expresso. Once the fat sizzles, and bring the mixture to a boil. This is when you get to scrape up the leftover bits from the skillet and combine them with brown sugar. You stir and allow it to melt until it reduces. Be sure to add some cayenne pepper and eat it while it’s hot. Probably the most popular way to eat red eye gravy is poured over biscuits alongside Granny Smith apples, Danish blue cheese, hash browns and eggs during Sunday Brunch. Available at Beauty Shop in Midtown Memphis

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MUSCADINE CONCOCTIONS Muscadines are a seasonal treat used for a wide variety of recipes in the South, from juices, jellies and wine, or right off the vine. This grape is common in the Southeast and fruits in late summer and fall. Cultivation is said to date back to the 1600s. Their colors range from green to dark purple. The fruit produces an intense sweet flavor. At Sweet Grass restaurant in Memphis, they are used for cocktails and “It’s a seasonal treat that we get from local farms,” says bar manager, Andrea Graves.”

“We make a cocktail out of them called the MuscadineRosemary Smash.” We take a combination of sugar and muscadines and then reduce it down to a syrup. Then, we combine it with rosemary, lemon, and leatherbee gin. That gives it a good sweet and sour combination,” Sweet Grass also offers a mocktail called the Muscadine Cooler with lemon, sugar and water.

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CHOCOLATE GRAVY According to The Oxford Encyclopedia of food and drink in America , this recipe could have originated from an exchange between the Tennessee valley and Spanish Louisiana. This same source also suggests that it may have come from a mixed ethnic group called the Melungeons, who lived in Spanish colonies on the east coast during the 16th and 17th centuries. There is probably nothing more Southern than chocolate gravy. Just ask Tina Wilburn, president of Cowgirl Gourmet, a Desoto County — based company. Wilburn sells her own boxes of the stuff. “When I was a child, 88 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

I knew some older ladies that would make chocolate gravy, and I began to experiment with it,” she says. “I raised my children on it and loved the smiles it brought to my family on special days.” To make chocolate gravy, simply mix sugar, cocoa, and flour together until all of the lumps are gone. Then, cook the mixture until it has the consistency of gravy. Add butter and vanilla afterwards for a special treat. The best way to enjoy your chocolate gravy is the same way that you would enjoy any other kind of gravy-poured over biscuits.

COUSH COUSH This Cajun concoction comes out of the bayou country. The dish gets its name from the African dish called ‘couscous’, a recipe consisting of steamed semolina. Most of the time Cajun families would cook up the ingredients in a cast iron pot that was placed in a fireplace. There are several traditional Cajun preparations as well as serving traditions. The recipe is simple. The ingredients include two cups of yellow corn meal, ½ cup of vegetable oil, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of baking powder

and 1 ½ cups of milk. Begin by heating the oil in a cast iron skillet. Mix together corn meal salt, milk, and baking powder. When the oil is nice and hot, mix in the cornmeal mixture without stirring. Heat the mixture until you see a crust start to form. After the crust forms, stir and reduce the heat. Finally, cover it and cook for about fifteen minutes, making sure that is stirred from time to time. It’s best served with hot milk as a cereal or with added sugar and milk.

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BARBECUE SPAGHETTI & NACHOS Barbecue pork has a tendency to creep into other dishes in the Mid-South, and nachos and spaghetti are no exception. Barbecue Nachos are a Memphis original, created by Ernie Mellor of the company Hog Wild, who began selling them at the concessions at Memphis Chicks games. According to Craig Blondis of Central BBQ, “the difference in good nachos and run-of-the-mill nachos is fresh ingredients.” Barbecue spaghetti also has its origins in the MidSouth. This original Memphis recipe was created by Brady Vincent, the owner of a barbecue restaurant called Brady and Lil’s. When Vincent retired, the business was sold to Frank and Hazel Vernon who changed its location to Madison Ave. and name to the Bar-B-Q Shop. They still use Brady’s recipe for their spaghetti today.

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For their Barbecue Nachos, Central uses fresh chips cooked every day, two kinds of cheese (cheddar and pepper jack), along with quality sauce, jalepenos and sprinkled dry rub. It is by far one of the most popular barbecue combinations in the area and can be found now at almost any local festival or event. The Neely family recipe for barbecue spaghetti calls for bell pepper, onion, olive oil, and of course, pork combined with the delicious and unique Neely sauce and seasoning. First, you heat up the oil and sauté the pepper and onion until they are soft. Next, add the BBQ sauce and boil the mixture. Add the chopped meat and reduce the heat. At the same time, boil a pot of water, season with salt and add spaghetti. Heat the spaghetti until it is cooked al dente and mix in the sauce. Finally, combine everything and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and cook (uncovered) for a little over an hour.


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Finding Fall Dinner and décor inspired by the seasonal harvest Story by MICHELLE HOPE | Photos by CASEY HILDER Floral design and home décor by JOHN MARK ENTERPRISES

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 93

entertaining HOSTING FAMILY AND friends in your home is truly an act of service and one of the most generous gifts you can give this season. Why not embrace the holidays by welcoming guests to share in your blessings? Here are some tips, ideas and recipes to help you personalize your space and entertain with style. A GRAND ENTRANCE

The front entrance is more than just space for a welcome mat. Decorate the face of your home to the nines with garland, pumpkins, gourds and bales of hay or stalks of corn husks. Match your mailbox with the decor of your front door to give your curb some appeal. Surprisingly, you can do so much with food besides cooking it to enjoy. Most of the fall decorations we used are food or harvest related. Hay, wheat, barley, dried beans, dried peas, corn, pumpkins, squash, gourds, nuts, fruit and the list goes on, can serve as both dinner and dĂŠcor.

TIP To keep your pumpkins and gourds lasting all season, soak them (stem side down) in one part bleach and 10 parts water for 10 minutes. Dry completely and then buff them with Vaseline after to shine them up!

94 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com


Using bales of hay can help create seating or height depending on what you need. If you are hosting a party, hay bales are perfect for a photo booth backdrop or seating area. You can also use them to add some height for your decorations by stacking mums and pumpkins on them.

TIP Hay can be purchased fresh at many local hardware stores each season or preserved from craft stores. We love to buy it fresh and early for a Halloween hay ride and then reuse it for our porch harvest decorations. Just make sure to keep it dry to avoid mold.


Everyone loves a signature drink, and it's the best way to incorporate a memorable detail and keep the bar budget under control.

Apple Cider Moscow Mule Recipe by Becky Hardin, The Cookie Rookie

4 oz apple pie vodka 4 oz apple cider 1 bottle of ginger beer Shake mix together over ice and strain into copper mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.

myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 95



These cute waffle cones work double duty as a treat and a container for our fall Chex Mix. You could use this versatile recipe to create many other varieties to fill your cones, or simply buy a ready-made package of trail mix or candy as your filler.

TIP We used warm colors for wire ribbon and twine to decorate our cones. The wire ribbon holds its shape nicely and clings to the rough cones. The twine helps keep it all tight without glue and hold it into place until it's ready to eat.

Fall Chex Mix (Makes 10 cups)

6 cups Chex Mix or your favorite brand 1 cup Pretzels or Goldfish 6 tbsp melted butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1 cup Reeses Pieces or M&Ms 1 cup yogurt covered raisin's  1 box of waffle cones Decorative ribbon/twine


Pumpkin Pie is a holiday staple when it comes to desserts. It's so easy to make your own or buy a ready-made pie just about anywhere you buy groceries. Here is a quick semi-homemade recipe for you to whip out in a flash for bite-size desserts when you find yourself running out of time or steam.

Pumpkin Pie Bites Yields 1 dozen 1 small store bought pumpkin pie (not frozen)  1 can of whipped cream (I use Ready Whip) 2" round cookie cutter  Directions: Simply stick your pie in the freezer for about 15 minutes to get it really firm for cutting. Take the cookie cutter and work from the edge of the pie all the way around, cutting out circles of pie. Place them on a platter and keep in them in the fridge until right before serving. Add a dollop of whipped cream to the top of each mini pie bite and serve. It's that simple and the presentation is on point!

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Directions: Preheat oven to 275º. Mix pretzels and Chex mix together in a large bowl and pour melted butter over them, making sure everything is evenly coated. In a small bowl mix together sugar and cinnamon and then toss evenly over the buttered mixture. Spread the mix onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and then add in the candy and raisins. Mix all together and serve in fun waffle cones or a big bowl. 

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Hernando Christmas Parade December 5


98 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

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Skip the Lift New nonsurgical injection blasts away double chins


huge concern for people with all body types. Many people, as they age, experience excess fat and loose skin along the jawline, even those who are thin. It’s frustrating to look in the mirror and see a double chin, especially if you’ve put in the work to stay fit and trim though diet and exercise. Fortunately, there is a new treatment available that blasts away at double chins, without surgery.    What is it?  KYBELLA®  is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for reducing moderate to severe fat on the upper neck, otherwise known as a double chin. The non-surgical injectable treatment is made with deoxycholic acid, a molecule that breaks down fat in the body. KYBELLA® is much less invasive than liposuction and other surgical procedures.    How does it work? KYBELLA® targets the fat cells located underneath the chin, in what is called the submental area. After KYBELLA® is injected into the area, it destroys the fat cells for good. Since the cells are gone, there is no place to 100 NOVEMBER 2016 | myclickmag.com

store or accumulate fat. Further treatment will most likely not be needed once you get complete results.   Who is it for? KYBELLA® is for both men and women who have moderate to severe fullness under the chin. This can be caused by aging, weight gain or genetics. It is approved for people over the age of 18. It has not been tested on people under 18 or any other areas of the body.  What are the risks? Swelling, bruising, pain, numbness, redness, and/or hardness in the treatment area could happen after undergoing the KYBELLA® treatment. It could also cause nerve injury in your jaw, an uneven smile, facial muscle weakness, and trouble swallowing. Please talk to your doctor about the potential risks of KYBELLA®

PURVISHA PATEL MD, FAAD, FASDS, FACMS Board Certified Dermatologist, Mohs and Cosmetic Surgeon Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Tennessee Owner of Advanced Dermatology and Skin Cancer Associates CEO and Creator of Visha Skin Care advanceddermatologymemphis.com vishaskincare.com



BEST 2016


Presenting Sponsor:


Silver Sponsors:




Recipe and Photo courtesy of SERENA WOLF

Simultaneously cozy and refreshing, with a few clutch health benefits — perfect for all the holiday feasting on the horizon.

Yield: 1 smoothie

INGREDIENTS: ½ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree 1/3 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt ½ large frozen banana ½ cup unsweetened almond milk 2 tablespoons raw pecans 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon sea salt 1 tiny pinch nutmeg

DIRECTIONS: Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Notes: I recommend adding 2-3 ice cubes for a more chilled smoothie.

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Caring for the Children of DeSoto County Thank You to our sponsors for your support at this year’s Junior Auxiliary of DeSoto County’s Crown Benefit! Because of you, we are able to assist more Desoto County children in need and provide countless service hours!


BankPlus Cork& Barrel Grapevine Liquor & Wine Jackson Family Dental Maria’s Cantina Sun Blast Tanning Crown

Bayer Crop Science Community Mortgage Farm Bureau Insurance First Security Bank Renasant Bank ServPro Benefactor

Bright Construction Co., Inc. Burch Realty-Terry Thomas Chase Fair Realty Country Ford Dream Maker Realty– Michelle Johnson Stephen & Jamie Fulton Helena Chemical Co. Herrington Oil Co. Lost Pizza Company Nationwide Insurance– Jody Woody Southern Shopper The Frock Treadway HVAC, Inc. Friend of JA

Wayne Bartley Bully Barkline Classic Homes, LLC of DeSoto Sheila Hill Impressions Aesthetics Ethal McCoy Pamela Moore Mary Kathryn Nichols Northpoint Christian School Oliver Drug Store Jennie Ramage Pam Stinson War Logistics & Staffing WM Brooks & Associates

www.jadesoto.gives myclickmag.com | NOVEMBER 2016 103



Olive Branch Arts Council’s

ARTS Palette and Pizzazz Thursday, November 3, 6–8 p.m.

Hosted at The Painted Pigeon Gallery & Gifts, ARTS Palette and Pizzazz highlighted a range of artwork produced by local creators. A silent auction also offered a wide array of items donated by area vendors. Proceeds from the exhibition and auction will benefit the Olive Branch Arts Council.

World-class cancer treatment, right here in the Mid-South.

At West Cancer Center, we’ve been advancing cancer care and research for more than three decades. Our collaborative, multidisciplinary approach with our partners at Methodist Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center has been instrumental in developing, testing and delivering innovative and personalized treatments that strengthen hope and support our patients as they ďŹ ght on against cancer


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