The Mississippi Bacon Association, a group of chefs and representatives of restaurants in Jackson and around the state, took home second place overall out of 85 teams that competed in a barbecue-themed fundraising event called "Hogs for the Cause" in New Orleans from March 22 to March 24. Photo courtesy Mississippi Bacon Association
The Mississippi Bacon Association, a group of chefs and representatives of restaurants in Jackson and around the state, took home second place overall out of 85 teams that competed in a barbecue-themed fundraising event called "Hogs for the Cause" in New Orleans from March 22 to March 24.
Grant Hutchinson and Andy Cook, co-owners of The Pig & Pint in Jackson, served as pitmasters for the Mississippi Bacon Association's team in this year's competition. Other member restaurants include The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen and Estelle Wine Bar & Bistro in Jackson, and Restaurant Tyler in Starkville. Home Place Pastures in Como, Miss., supplied the team's pork.
Mississippi Bacon Association placed in the top 10 in seven of the competition's categories, including ninth place for Best Sandwich, eighth for Whole Hog, seventh for Boston Butt/Shoulder, fifth for Pork Ribs and "Porkpourri" (anything pork), and second for Best Bacon and overall Grand Champion. That category is based on teams' overall scores, as well as how much money each team collected through fundraising events throughout the year. MBA raised more than $15,000 for the families of pediatric brain cancer patients at Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson.
"We're thrilled to have taken this spot," Hutchinson told the Jackson Free Press. "This competition is a great cause that we look forward to every year. The money we raise goes directly to family members in need, so we're able to help families who are in situations I can't imagine being in."
MBA was also named Most Improved for the second year in a row. The team previously came in third in the Whole Hog category in 2013, and won first place in Best Boston Butt/Shoulder and second in Best Barbecue Sauce in last year's competition.
For more information about Mississippi Bacon Association and the competition, visit the MBA's Facebook page.
Babalu Debuts New Lunch Specials
Last week, Babalu Tapas & Tacos (622 Duling Ave., Suite 106) debuted several new lunch specials for $7.99, $8.99 and $9.99, available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each special comes with a soup of the day or a small chopped salad, and a choice of several entrees.
The $7.99 special comes with a choice of either two tacos, a chopped salad or Congri burger sliders. The $8.99 special includes choices such as Caesar salad with salmon, chicken pinchos (kebabs) or a torta Cubana sandwich. The $9.99 special comes with a choice of grilled shrimp and strawberry salad, a tapa of the week or the Baba burger.
Babalu is also offering a new "slice and bites" menu, which features drink flights for tequila, sangria or beer, along with appetizers such as queso fries, crab bites or a dessert sampler with chocolate cayenne truffles, dulce de leche cheesecake and cinnamon bread pudding. The restaurant will have that menu on Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, call 601-366-5757, visit eatbabalu.com or find the restaurant on Facebook.
Shapley's Moving to Renaissance at Colony Park
Shapley's, a Ridgeland restaurant that has been named Best Steak in the Best of Jackson awards numerous times, will move to the Renaissance at Colony Park in July. The new Shapley's will occupy the former location of Ruth's Chris Steak House (1000 Highland Colony Pkwy., Suite 6001), which closed near the end of March.
Owner Scott Koestler told the Jackson Free Press that the new location is roughly the same size as the current Shapley's location at 868 Centre St. in Ridgeland, and that he is not planning any changes to the menu.
For more information, call 601-957-3753 or visit shapleysrestaurant.com.