Visit Hattiesburg Announces "OctoberFEAST," City's First Restaurant Week

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Visit Hattiesburg is pleased to announce the city’s first Restaurant Week, scheduled for October 7th through 14th. By partnering with local restaurants and hotels to highlight culinary offerings to visitors, Visit Hattiesburg expects this event to attract foodies from throughout the southeastern U.S. Visitors and locals will enjoy the week’s overall theme, OctoberFEAST, as well as individual focuses for each day. Starting Sunday, October 7th and continuing through Sunday, October 14th, local partners and visitors are encouraged to share their culinary delights through specific hashtags. They are: Sunday: #CulinaryCrawl Monday: #MidtownMonday Tuesday: #TacoTuesday Wednesd

Fondren Renaissance Announces Mississippi Food and Wine Festival

JACKSON, Miss. —Fondren Renaissance Foundation (FRF) recently announced the inaugural Mississippi Food and Wine Festival will be held June 14-16, 2019, with four preview events scheduled for this fall. The 2018 preview events are comprised of two private chef dinners and two large-scale culinary events centered around barbecue and a gospel brunch. “We want the public to get a taste of the type of culinary events that will be featured at the annual festival,” said Jim Wilkirson, FRF Executive Director. This fall’s large-scale events are each limited to 200 people and will be held at The Cedars. The two private chef dinners are each limited to 75 people. The September dinner features Austin Su

Get Your Tamale Fix at Tony's in Ridgeland

Tamales are the ultimate portable food. Just think about it – they come equipped with a moist, edible wrapper and are succinctly packed with ground meat and spices offering easy-eating courtesy of a built-in corn husk holder. Some are thin and fragile, breaking apart when unwrapped. Others are thick and spongy, packing a delicious punch of meat and flavor in each bite. And a few varieties are dense and chewy. Despite the differences in the spicy, rectangular treats, most are assembled with corn flour dough rolled around a spicy filling steamed in a corn husk or wrapped in parchment paper. One of my favorite places to get my tamale fix is Tony’s Tamales in Ridgeland. Since 1982, the Mosley fa

Spain's Wines Are Worth Trying

When it comes to old world countries, Spain is an easy fit. Grapes have been growing on the Iberian Peninsula since 4000 BC. However, Spain’s popularity got a late start in the wine market we know today. When Spain was building a reputation for its sherries and to some degree its riojas, France and Italy were focused on traditional grape varieties, such as caberent sauvignon, chardonnay, sangiovese, and nebbiolo. But when the root louse phylloxera devastated most of the vineyards in France, Spanish wines – spared from the disease – got a foothold in the European wine market. Eventually, phylloxera spread to Spain in the early 1900s, but by then, there were remedies to the disease. Couple dis

Food Factor: Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Summertime means eating more salads. Have you ever eaten a salad and thought about changing the dressing to fit your taste? It’s easy and fun to do. The good news is, you don’t have to make a lot to try new flavor combinations. Unlike buying an entire bottle of salad dressing only to discover you don’t like it, you can whip up a small batch of ingredients you have on hand. If you don’t like it, you can try again! Here is a personal favorite. Honey Lemon Vinaigrette 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon honey Salt and pepper, to taste Fresh minced garlic, to taste Whisk ingredients together. For more ideas, check out this basic recipe, which

Best of Jackson: Burgers

Nothing beats a juicy burger and a side of fries or onion rings to go with it. Find out where to get some of the best burgers in the Jackson area on this week's Sipp Jackson blog post!

Ely's Claims 3 Generations of Restaurant Experience and Is Still Going Strong

A popular internet site calls it, “The steakhouse everyone in your state is talking about.” Madison Magazine labeled it a “local’s delight.” Business Insider cut to the chase and said it’s quite simply, “The best steakhouse in Mississippi.” These and additional accolades and high customer rankings describe Ely’s Restaurant and Bar, a fixture in Ridgeland’s Olde Towne District for 10 years. It may seem an unlikely spot for a white-tablecloth restaurant known for its high-quality steaks and seafood to be located near tuxedo and bridal shops, among others, just a few feet from the railroad tracks. Yet, Ely’s Restaurant has been holding court on Jackson Street for a decade and appears to be doin

Rice Approaches Harvest with Increases Over 2017

This large field of rice is progressing toward maturity in Humphreys County, Mississippi. Farmers planted 150,000 acres of rice in the state this year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson) STONEVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi growers will produce about 20 percent more rice this year, mostly thanks to additional acres planted over 2017’s total. Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said early forecasts predict national yields near last year’s 7,400 pounds per acre. “National acreage is up about 20 percent. In Mississippi, the increase is slightly more at 23 percent,” Falconer said. “It helped that, at planting time, prices were sli

Chicken Salad Chick Set to Make Debut in Hattiesburg

Chicken Salad Chick, the nation's only southern inspired, fast-casual chicken salad restaurant concept, recently announced the opening of its newest franchised location in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Marking the brand's 93rd restaurant overall and second opening in 8 days, the Hattiesburg location reflects Chicken Salad Chick's explosive growth and aggressive development efforts throughout the South. Located at 3002 Hardy Street, the Hattiesburg restaurant will celebrate its grand opening on August 29th, with four days of giveaways including free chicken salad for a year to the first 100 guests. During grand opening week, guests will experience the southern hospitality that Chicken Salad Chick

Rodney Strong Wines Provide Strong Flavors

It is not uncommon to see people leaving the entertainment or sports world to pursue wine. What else are they going to do with all that money? Brad Pitt, Bon Jovi, Madonna, Zac Brown, Johnny Depp, Dave Mathews, and David Beckham are just some of the more well-known people who have put their names behind new wines. But few of these new legacy wines, as they are called, last very long, and rarely do entertainers actually get involved in wine making. One that has lasted, however, is Rodney Strong Vineyards. Did you know Rodney Strong was a professional Broadway dancer? While dancing in Paris for four years, he fell in love with wine. When he founded the winery that bears his name in 1959, he wa

Food Factor: Skillet Catfish

August is Catfish Month, and when you need a quick meal on the table in no time, catfish is your friend! With some cornmeal, spices, and some olive or vegetable oil, you can pan fry some Mississippi farm-raised catfish to have supper ready in 20 minutes or less. Skillet Catfish Spice rub: 1/8 cup cornmeal 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 4 (4-ounce) catfish filets 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 1 lemon or lime, quartered Make the spice rub. Put the cornmeal, oregano, cayenne, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper on a plate and combine. Dredge both sides of the catfish in the spice mixture. Put th

Fall and Winter Gardens Keep Produce Coming

Gardeners still have time for another harvest of summer vegetables, including peppers, before the first frost arrives. (File photo by MSU Extension Service) Your summer vegetable garden is likely winding down, but you still have time for another round of fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. Some existing plants, such as indeterminate tomatoes and okra, will keep producing if cared for properly. But you also can plant new plants. Just be sure that you give them time to mature before the first freeze arrives. This is also a good time to start seed for cool-season plants, like broccoli and cabbage. Okra that is cut back will branch out and produce again before co

Muscadine Event Will Address Fruit Production

CARRIERE, Miss. -- Producers can learn about issues related to muscadine production and other fruit-related topics at an upcoming field day in Pearl River County, south of McNeill. The Muscadine Field Day will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. on August 30th. The Mississippi State University Extension Service is organizing the field day at the McNeill Research Unit of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. Event organizer Eric Stafne said the first hour will include short educational presentations on basic concepts and challenges muscadine and fruit producers face. The second hour is set aside for muscadine tasting and vineyard exploration. There is no charge to attend. “We

Have It Your Way at Burgers and Blues

“Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us, all we ask is that you let us serve it your way. Have it YOUR way…have it your way…” If you’re old enough to remember this catchy commercial jingle, you’ve probably consumed hundreds, maybe thousands, of burgers in your lifetime. No one really knows exactly how many collective burgers have been enjoyed from one end of the state to the other, but one thing’s for sure – we like our burgers. To satisfy burger cravings, Burgers and Blues in Ridgeland offers “not just any burger,” according to owner Steven Sahler, but several unique varieties you won’t find anywhere else. And, like the old jingle, they’ll fix it “your way.” “We're

Rioja Wines Are Increasing in Popularity

Interest in Spain’s Rioja region continues to grow as we have noted in past columns. In 2017, Rioja wines enjoyed a worldwide 4 percent growth rate with almost a 6 percent increase in sales in the U.S. Reasonable prices, a tilt to less oak, and more fruit driven, clean, well-made wines are fueling this merited increase in interest. We recently met with Alejandro Lopez Winery, director for Bodegas Bilbainas, to get his overview of Rioja and to taste the wines from Vina Pomal, one of Bodegas Bilbainas brands. Alejandro was a wealth of background information about the Rioja region. The modern style of winemaking in Rioja was the result of two developments in the mid 1800s according to Alejandro

Newk's Cares Begins Fifth Year of Its Fight Against Ovarian Cancer

JACKSON, Miss. — Beginning its fifth year, Newk's Cares — the ovarian cancer awareness movement founded by fast-casual Newk's Eatery— is spearheading efforts to fight for the one in 78 women who will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime, in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September. Newk's Cares is the philanthropic arm of Newk's Eatery, established in 2014 by Newk's Eatery CEO, Chris Newcomb, and his wife Lori Newcomb. Lori, pictured right, was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer in 2013, which inspired her to establish Newk's Cares as a way of giving back to an important cause that has personally impacted the Newk's family. To date, Newk's Cares has raised ove

Food Factor: Farm Week

In this episode of Farmweek, the Farm Bill inches toward a final vote in Congress. The bone of contention? SNAP! Meanwhile, farmers everywhere are impacted by trade tariffs and even rumors of tariffs, while younger farmers are facing a different kind of pressure. In this week's Southern Gardening segment, it's called a "Hell Strip." It might feel like a demon, but there's a kinder, gentler side, too. And finally, in our feature segment, a Farm-to-Table business owner is grinding it out the "southern" way in the Mississippi Delta.

Yazoo City Chef to Compete on Food Network's "Chopped"

Chef Claire Campbell of Ubons BBQ in Yazoo City, Miss., cooks with pork tenderloin, eggplant, Tennessee whiskey, and pulled pork nachos during the appetizer round, as seen on Chopped, Grill Masters Special. On Tuesday, August 14th, Memphis-style barbecue will take over the Food Network show Chopped. This summer, Chopped brought back its popular Grill Masters tournament, but this year there's a barbecue twist. The show assembled a lineup of grill masters from four popular barbecue regions across the country: Kansas City, North Carolina, Texas and, of course, Memphis. “This season of Chopped Grill Masters is more competitive than ever before,” said Courtney White, general manager and executive

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