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What Makes the Food Scene so Exciting in South Mississippi? Julian Brunt Tells Us Why

I’ve had a lot of good things to say about the food scene in Jackson County Home over the last few months, but the new Our Mississippi Home now celebrates the three lower counties, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, and pays a little attention to George County and Hattiesburg as well. That’s a wide net, my friend, but I have been traveling the back roads of Mississippi as a food and travel writer for 10 years and nothing excites me more than more interesting places to visit.

So, what could be so exciting about the food scene in south Mississippi? Man, that’s a long list indeed! Hundreds of restaurants, certified farmers markets, three great Rouses markets to shop in, three great kitchens that offer cooking classes, and a growing food truck scene. How’s that for starters?

Let’s start with what the casinos have to offer. Yea, I know, lots of folks don’t like that vibe, but if the noise the slots make or the cig smoke bothers you, I’ve just got to say, you don’t know what you are missing. And I am not talking about the buffets! Fine dining, great wine lists, seafood overnighted from around the world, amazing chefs, Asian food like you may have never seen, Italian food, prime beef, Japanese wagyu beef, killer good service … the list goes on and on.

So, what’s the big deal about certified farmers markets? A certified market is certified by the state that everything sold there is made or grown by the seller. Other markets allow sellers to buy produce at the produce house, load it on the back of their pickup trucks and sell it as if they grew it. I hate that. It Is simply dishonest. Check out the fresh markets in Ocean Springs, Gulfport, and Long Beach. There is also a web site that can help you find others.

What about a few of my favorite restaurants? You already know that Vestige is my all-time favorite. Well, add to that list White Pillars, La Nortena, Henry’s Café and Bakery, CB’s Jamaican Jerk, Stalla, Long Beach Deli, Thirty-Two, the Greenhouse on Porter, Minon’s, BR Prime, Carter Green, Cazadores, Quave Brothers, BB’s Po-boys, Po-Boy Express, Jia, Kim Long, Orchid, and the Grocery. How’s that for starters?

White Pillars
White Pillars

If you are interested in attending a cooking class, check out the web pages for the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, and the Mary C O’Keefe Cultural Center. I have taught at all three of them, and I assure you it can be a blast.

You might have noticed I talk about Rouses quite a bit, right? Yes, I just love that grocery store. They make a serious effort to buy local, and the new store in Gulfport is nothing short of amazing. The prepared food section is the best, with a ton of delicious food ready to take home and heat up for the family. You will also find Mississippi-grown rice there, Delta Blues Rice.

I am really excited about Our Mississippi Home and can’t wait to start showing you around. Next week, I am going to take you someplace I bet you have never been. See you then!


Written by Julian Brunt

Julian Brunt is a food and travel writer that has been writing about the food culture of the Deep South for over a decade. He is the eleventh generation of his family to live in the South, grew up in Europe, traveled extensively for the first fifteen years after graduating from the University of Maryland, University College, Heidelberg, Germany. Today, he's a contributor for multiple publications, including Our Mississippi Home. He's also appeared on Gordon Ramsay's television show, "To Hell and Back in 24 Hours."


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