Fine and Dandy: Defining Jackson’s Food Identity | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Fine and Dandy: Defining Jackson’s Food Identity

Catering Director Cody Walker credits Fine and Dandy’s customer base for helping the business push through the last year amid the pandemic. Photo courtesy Cody Walker and Lexie Maier

Catering Director Cody Walker credits Fine and Dandy’s customer base for helping the business push through the last year amid the pandemic. Photo courtesy Cody Walker and Lexie Maier

Much like Memphis' barbecue, New Orleans' creole dishes, Philidelphia's cheesesteaks and New York City's pizza-by-the-slice, MH Ventures hopes to help the Jackson area similarly define its food identity.

"Our long-term goal was to give a voice, a face and a talent to (the question), 'What is Jackson cuisine?'" Catering Director Cody Walker says. "We have some of the best restaurants in the South, so what defines that cuisine? When you think 'Jackson,' what do you think of? That is what we are trying to do with the Fine and Dandy."

Fine and Dandy opened in December 2017 in the District at Eastover and quickly became a local hit. Wallpapered pictures of iconic Jackson eateries welcome customers, whose dishes rest on vintage china, while classic tunes fill the air.

The restaurant offers twists on modern American fare. The popular "Da Bod Tots" menu item features tater tots topped with pimento cheese, "Betty White" barbecue sauce, bacon and green onions. Another favorite dish is the "Baked Cheese Dip," a mix of pepper jelly, bacon, cream cheese blend, green onions and almonds served with crackers.

In November 2019, Fine and Dandy launched It's Happening Jackson as its official catering brand. The company services both small intimate groups and large festive ones. The catering group can accommodate buffet, cocktail, individually packaged, and seated dinner setups and is equipped to provide a full bar and staff, florals and linen. The menu sports many of Fine and Dandy's signature dishes such as the 
pan-seared redfish as well as other favorite items like gumbo and jambalaya.

"We offer all types of flavors (including) southern, Cajun, barbecue," Walker says. "We love to take someone's vision and run with it and not make it ours but rather execute on yours."

Walker, who accepted his current 
position two months before the pandemic hit, says that COVID-19 has presented its own set of challenges, as with other restaurants. However, Walker credits the support of Jackson residents for helping keep the company afloat, adding that he hopes to continue to meet the needs of the community by offering quality service and memorable experiences.

It's Happening Jackson will soon unveil a new marketing campaign that highlights its commitment to catering to everyone in the metro area. "We've been able to build sales because the community has been so awesome to us," Walker says. "We are always pushing ourselves to try to meet what the community and area want and to do our best at it."

To learn more, visit eatdandy.com.

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