I’ve been prowling the back roads of Mississippi for ten years, writing about and photographing the amazing food finds that seem to spring up in almost every town. I am a life-long home cook, not a chef, no, not by any means, but I do come from a long line of pretty accomplished cooks, in fact, I am the eleventh generation of my family to hale from the South.
My life centers around my kitchen, and the restaurants I visit when on assignment. Food is my passion, and let me be up front in telling you that I think the act of sitting around a table and sharing food is one of the most profoundly human acts that can be engaged in. It is sustenance, and to share it is to share love and life. The food culture of south Mississippi is as rich and vibrant as anywhere in the South, and I am delighted to have this format to share with you who’s kitchen I think is hot, which chef in Jackson County people are talking about, and to throw in a few recipes as well.
So where do you want to start? I start most days at the Greenhouse on Porter, in Ocean Springs, my favorite coffee and biscuit shop. Here you will find not only amazing coffee, biscuits, beer and friends, as owner’s Kait and Jessie are fond of saying, but a laissez faire atmosphere, a mix of creative people from around the world, poets, scientist, a few good retired military men, and ex-sea captain who was once the captive of pirates. People from all walks of life and as fine a cat as I have ever encountered. All are welcomed here.
I would be remiss in my opening column if I did not mention Vestige, also of Ocean Springs. I think of it as one of the finest restaurants in the South: farm to table, menu changing daily, everything made from scratch, and Chef Alex Perry one of the most talented young chefs I know. But don’t get the idea that I am all about fine dining, I am a huge fan of Po-boy Express, BB’s, Nana J’s, Bozo, Jacks by the Tracks, and countless other great dining adventures in Jackson County.
Please feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think, give me your suggestions, or to ask a question or two. Having trouble with that roux? Want to know where bologna came from or want to explore sous vide cooking and those amazing immersion circulators everyone is talking about?
I may not have the answer, but I sure know someone who does.