BILOXI, Miss. – The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (OOMA) will add a culinary twist to its programming as the new home of Becky’s Kitchen.
The OOMA board of directors approved the 10-year agreement between the museum and the R&B Feder Foundation Monday.
Becky’s Kitchen will be located in the museum’s Mississippi Sound Welcome Center and serve as the home for expanded culinary-related activities.
Museum staff and local restaurateur Lauren Turner will design and implement the culinary initiative. Turner, who owns meal preparation and catering company Makin’ Groceries, began working with the museum in June as part of its re-opening.
During the museum's current limited operations, Becky’s Kitchen programming will include a Third Thursday with food and live music, a jazz brunch and a Member Monday Art+Food event.
Additional programming is already in the preliminary planning stages to occur after the museum is able to fully re-open to the public. Plans call for a Dinner Under the Oaks series, beverage tastings, a youth summer food camp, as well as a food club featuring lectures, tastings, and art and food excursions.
The original Becky’s Kitchen opened in 2016 in the culinary café at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs.
Rebecca “Becky” Feder, pictured below, in whose memory the kitchen is named, was born and raised on the Mississippi gulf coast. She is remembered as a loving wife, devoted mother, loyal friend, passionate citizen, talented artist and extraordinary cook. Her kitchen performed
as the gathering spot for hundreds of family, friends and guests. As Feder would share with them her latest culinary creation, it always came with a side of stories, advice and a boisterous laugh that could be heard a block away. She mastered many cuisines and integrated them into a modern expression of the Southern table.
"We are honored to rename our kitchen 'Becky's Kitchen' in recognition of the many remarkable contributions to the region by Gulf Coast native and philanthropist Becky Feder,” said OOMA’s executive director David Houston. “This ongoing partnership with the R&B Feder Foundation and Lauren Turner's Makin’ Groceries will provide an opportunity for a unique exploration of the cultural and culinary practices of the Gulf Coast and beyond."
John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, said, “Generations of women cooks have nurtured this place and its peoples. Only recently have we begun to pay homage to their role in Southern culture. With Becky’s Kitchen, Mississippi takes an important step in the right direction.”
The R&B Feder Foundation is a Mississippi non-profit that began in 2001. The foundation’s focus is growing and strengthening access to the arts. The foundation has been a long-time supporter of the OOMA. Its founder, Ron Feder said “We are delighted to bring Becky’s Kitchen to the Ohr-O’Keefe. We anticipate great things to happen at the museum with David Houston’s leadership.”
The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art is located at 386 Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, Miss. For more information, call 228-374-5547 or visit www.georgeohr.org.
The museum’s mission is to promote and preserve the unique legacy of Biloxi potter George E. Ohr and the diverse cultural heritage of the Mississippi Gulf Coast; and to exhibit works which exemplify the independent, innovative, and creative spirit of George Ohr, emancipated craftsman Pleasant Reed, and Ohr-O’Keefe Museum architect Frank Gehry. This mission is served through compelling exhibitions and educational experiences viewed from a fresh perspective relevant to our community, the region, and the nation with a strong focus on ceramic arts.