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April 20, 2017

Art and Tacos

By amber_helsel

Story by Alex Thiel

During the festivities of Museum After Hours each month at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Executive Chef and Culinary Curator Nick Wallace gets in on the action with his monthly ‘sipp Sourced pop-up menu.

As the name implies, the pop-ups are based around the idea of finding the best and freshest locally sourced ingredients and crafting a menu in the same creative spirit that the museum embodies.

“(Nick) has southern roots, French technique and an insatiable curiosity,” the museum’s director of marketing, Julian Rankin, told the Jackson Free Press. “That’s why he feels so at home at the museum—because he’s inspired by the bold, creative energy of the artists on the walls.”

April’s pop-up menu, which begins tonight, April 20, at 5:30 p.m., is called “Art of the Taco.” The menu includes dishes such as the El Camino, which is a taco and sandwich hybrid that has Gulf shrimp, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, spinach, cilantro, a citrus aioli, a crust made of cheese and flatbread crunch. Other dishes on the menu include all-American cheeseburger tacos with Swiss chard, spring onions, beef, mustard aioli, tomatoes and cheddar cheese in flour tortillas; and art tacos, which is a taco trio that has one with Brussels sprouts, almonds, queso, salsa and cilantro; one with thick-cut bacon, lettuce, green tomatoes and green salsa; and one with brisket, pickled cabbage and mustard-seed salsa.

‘sipp Sourced is just one aspect of Museum After Hours. As the main exhibit this month, the museum will have a collaborative body-painting and photography exhibit from artist Eli Childers and photographer Imani Khayyam, who is the staff photographer at the Jackson Free Press. For the exhibit, which is called “Myth Made Real,” Childers transformed models into mythical creatures using body paint, and Khayyam photographed them.

The High Note Jam concert series is outside from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and features local band Empty Atlas. Starting at 6:30 p.m., the Mississippi Improv Alliance will perform in the Trustmark Grand Hall at the museum. Finally, at dusk, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” will screen in the museum’s Art Garden for Screen on the Green. “Myth Made Real” will also have a cash bar.

Museum After Hours is tonight at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515) from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The pop-up menu will also be available on April 21 and 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, find the Museum After Hours event on Facebook.

April 5, 2017

A Light in April

By amber_helsel

Chef John Currence is hosting an event in Jackson, the "Light in April" fundraiser for his organization, Move on Up, Mississippi. Here is information about the event from a press release, verbatim.*

Chef John Currence is proud to announce the incredible all-star lineup for the second annual “Light In April” fundraiser for his foundation, Move on Up, Mississippi. Founded in 2015, Move on Up inspires and funds educational youth initiatives focused on heath, well-being, and physical activity in Mississippi. “It’s time to take the fact that Mississippi shows up at the bottom of every annual list published and do something about it,” says Currence. “It is no laughing matter we continue to bring up the rear. We can make change, if we put our minds to it.”

For its second year, Light In April is thrilled to open its doors wider to the public. Taking place over two days (April 7-8, 2017),Light in April will consist of three events, including the “Mexissippi Supper” a ticketed event on Friday evening featuring top chefs from across Mississippi. Each chef will prepare a tasting portion of a Latin-inspired dish for the event, celebrating the Mexican-American men and women without whom we could not operate. The fundraiser will continue Saturday morning with a 5K race open to the public by registration, and the opportunity to enjoy a private dinner party courtesy of the visiting chefs from the Mexissippi Supper. Proceeds from each event will benefit Move on Up Mississippi, driving a healthier future for the children of Mississippi.

Mexissippi Supper:

DATE: Friday April 7, 2017

TIME: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM (Doors Open at 7:00PM)

WHERE: The Pavilion, Corner of University Avenue and Bramlett Blvd., Oxford, MS 38655

ABOUT: The roster of Mississippi chefs participating in this event include Josh Belenchia of Buon Cibo in Hernando, David Crews of Delta Supper Club in Cleveland, Marco D’Emidio of Saint Leo in Oxford, Cole Ellis of Delta Meat Market in Cleveland, Corbin Evans of Canoodle by Oxford Canteen in Oxford, Michael Greenhill of Walker's Drive In of Jackson, Joel Miller of The Ravine in Oxford, Alex Perry of Vestige in Ocean Springs, Meredith Pittman of CAET in Jackson, Nick Reppond of GRIT in Taylor, Robert Rushton of Local 463 Urban Kitchen in Madison, Ty Thames of Restaurant Tyler in Starkville, and Payton Warren of Seafood Revolution in Ridgeland. Each will prepare a tasting portion of a Latin-inspired dish for the event.


TICKET PRICE: $55 For General Public

Breakfast of Champions 5K & Kids Superhero Fun Run

DATE: Saturday April 8, 2017

TIME: 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM

WHERE: Big Bad Breakfast Parking Lot, 719 N. Lamar Blvd, Oxford, MS 38655

ABOUT: Saturday morning, the public is invited to put on their running shoes and compete for the title of “Big Cheese” and “Big Cheesette” in the Breakfast of Champions 5K Race. A Superhero Fun Run will take place for kids 12 and under. Immediately following the race, …

March 7, 2017

Water Outage: Opened/Closed

By amber_helsel

As many Jacksonians have heard by now, the City of Jackson has scheduled a water outage beginning Friday, March 10, at 3 p.m. until Sunday, March 12, around the same time. Much of the city will have either no water or low water pressure. In preparation for the outage, restaurants have taken to social media to announce whether or not they'll be open this weekend. We will keep updating this list as we get more information.


Campbell's Bakery (3013 N. State St., 601-362-4628, regular hours

BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244, 601-982-8111, regular hours

The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen (1200 N. State St., Suite 100, 601-398-4562,

Parlor Market (115 W. Capitol St., 601-360-0090, regular hours

The Iron Horse Grill (320 W. Pearl St., 601-398-0151, regular hours

Griffin's Fishhouse (3224 Capitol St., 601-968-5171): regular hours

Jaco’s Tacos (318 S. State St., 601-961-7001, regular hours

Surin of Thailand (3000 Old Canton Road, Suite 105, 601-981-3205): regular hours

Hops & Habanas (2771 Old Canton Road, 769-572-4631, regular hours

The Country Fisherman (3110 Highway 80 W., 601-944-9933): regular hours

Saltine Oyster Bar (622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899, regular hours with a limited menu

The Pig & Pint (3139 N. State St., 601-326-6070, regular hours

Eddie & Ruby's Snack Bar (1268 Valley St., 601-969-2723): regular hours

Cups Espresso Cafe Fondren (2757 Old Canton Road, 601-362-7422, regular hours

Deep South Pops (1800 N. State St., 601-398-2174; 4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 173, 601-398-0623; Belhaven location will close on Saturday, Highland Village location will remain open

Barrelhouse (3009 N. State St., 769-216-3167, regular hours

Fitzgerald's at the Hilton Jackson (1001 E. County Line Road, 601-957-2800): regular hours

Drago's Jackson (1005 E. County Line Road, 601-957-1515, regular hours

Brent's Drugs (655 Duling Ave., 601-366-3427): regular hours (also a possibility of abbreviated hours) with a limited menu

Char Restaurant (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 142, 601-956-9562, regular hours

Two Sister's Kitchen (707 N. Congress St., 601-353-1180): regular hours

Beatty Street Grocery (101 Beatty St., 601-355-0514): regular hours

Fondren Public (2765 Old Canton Road, 769-216-2589, regular hours, though the bar will close if it has no water pressure


Broad Street Baking Company (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 101, 601-362-2900, will close after lunch on Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday

Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint (565 Taylor St., 601-368-1919, will close Friday at 3 p.m. and reopen Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Green Ghost Tacos (2801 N. State St., 601-203-2144; will close Friday at 2 p.m. and reopen Monday for regular hours

La Brioche Patisserie (2906 N. State St., 601-988-2299, closed on Saturday

E&L Barbeque (1111 Bailey Ave., 601-355-5035): will close at 3 p.m. on Friday, will reopen for normal hours on Tuesday

Sneaky Beans (2914 N. State St., 601-487-6349): closed on Saturday, will possibly reopen on Monday

The Palette Cafe at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. …

September 30, 2016

Deep South Pops=Luke's Diner

By amber_helsel

Calling all "Gilmore Girls" fans! In honor of the original air date of the show's first episode, Deep South Pops is one of 200 businesses around the country that will be named as a mini Luke's Diner on Wednesday, Oct. 5. The business will give away 250 cups of coffee from 7 a.m. to noon that day. Get your Luke's fix before "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" airs on Netflix on Nov. 25.

September 22, 2016

'Chopped' Looking for JXN Chefs

By amber_helsel

Food Network's "Chopped" TV show is looking for chefs from Jackson to try out for the show.

In "Chopped," four chefs compete in three rounds with a basket full of mystery ingredients in each one. The winning chef receives $10,000.

For more information or to apply, visit

August 25, 2016

The Palette Café Unveils New Menu

By amber_helsel

On Aug. 2, The Palette Cafe at the Mississippi Museum of Art closed for a revamping of sorts. But it wasn't the decor.

For the last couple of weeks, the museum's culinary curator and executive chef, Nick Wallace, has been working with restaurant staff members to create a menu "inspired by Mississippi foodways traditions, local ingredients, and the art on the Museum walls," a blog post on the website says. "His artistic appreciation and culinary prowess will now be fused in forthcoming menus that draw explicit connections between the narratives depicted by Mississippi visual artists and the storytelling that informs his own culinary creations."

Today, Aug. 25, the museum has announced the unveiling of the new menu. Here are some highlights:

Tomato pie: It's a classic Southern dish, but Wallace and his culinary team have added their own elements to it. The Palette Cafe's has baby sage, kale, sage, basil-whipped cheese and peppery olive oil.

Juke joint burger: For many people, nothing is better than a really good burger. Like the blues, this burger has soul. It's got Swiss cheese, a Hereford beef patty, lettuce, tomato, pickled onions and a homemade steak sauce, and it's all piled on an egg bun. And like any good burger, fries come on the side.

Vegan skillet: Vegans need love, too, right? Wallace had that in mind when he created the vegan skillet. It has caviar couscous, baby kale, confit tomatoes, pickled onions, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, wheat germ, oats, cauliflower, red quinoa, flaxseeds and tomatoes.

See more here.

August 4, 2016

Sombra Comes to Flowood

By amber_helsel

Sombra Mexican Kitchen is following in the footsteps of Amerigo Italian Restaurant. In November, a new location of the restaurant will open in Flowood in the former space of Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen.

The new space is 8,400 square feet and will be able to seat 225 guests. It will also have an outdoor patio.

“With the overwhelming embrace of Amerigo opening in Flowood earlier this year, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to open Sombra next door,” David Conn, who is a co-owner in 4-Tops Hospitality, the company that owns and operates Amerigo, Char Restaurant and Anjou, said in a press release. “The people of Flowood and Rankin county have been great to us, and we look forward to bringing our unique take on Mexican cuisine and house-made specialties to the neighborhood.”

Look out for our business round-up next Tuesday for more information.

May 28, 2016

LurnyD's Grille Named Best Food Truck in Mississippi

By amber_helsel

We may not have as many food trucks as states such as New York or Pennsylvania, but our food truck culture is growing.

The Daily Meal recently compiled a list of the best food truck in each state, and LurnyD's Grille in Jackson has taken the title for Mississippi.

The truck has been serving hungry Jacksonians since 2013 with burgers such as the sunrise burger, which has bacon, cheese and a fried egg, and the goober burger, which has peanut butter and bacon.

To see the complete list, visit

April 12, 2016

bōl Opens in Downtown Jackson

By amber_helsel

Downtown Jackson now has a new lunch spot.

bōl is located in the Walter Sillers State Office building (550 High St.). At the restaurant, patrons can build their own dish. They choose a base such as pasta, brown or white rice, tortilla strips or mixed greens, then a protein such as roast beef, bacon-ranch chicken salad and steamed shrimp; a sauce such as comeback dressing, barbecue, garlic ranch and vegetable broth; and toppings such as seasonal fresh and pickle vegetables or Parmesan cheese. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Stay tuned for more information.

February 25, 2016

Chef Lineup for NMHS' Filmmaker's 'Black Tie & Blues' Bash

By amber_helsel

The Filmmaker's 'Black Tie & Blues' Bash event, which is Feb. 27, marks the end of the annual "It's About You" Film Festival. NMHS recently announced its lineup for the bash. Here is a press release from the organization, verbatim.

NMHS Announces Chef Line-Up for the Filmmaker’s Bash

(Jackson, MS) – NMHS Unlimited Film Productions recently announced the chef line-up for the “Filmmaker’s ‘Black Tie & Blues’ Bash” event. The Filmmaker’s Bash wraps-up the annual “It’s About You” Film Festival and is scheduled for Saturday, February 27 at the Mississippi Museum of Art. The Bash will feature a “Farm to Table” competition by several area chefs. Guests will be able to vote for their favorite chef in the “People’s Choice” competition. One chef will also be awarded the “Top Bash Chef” by a panel of judges. The 2016 event also includes the new “Top Chef Challenge” in which Nick Wallace of the Mississippi Museum of Art and Jesse Houston of Saltine cook-off using a secret ingredient. The evening will include entertainment by international touring blues artist Dexter Allen and the melodic melodies of Melvin “House Cat” Hendrex, a new silent auction and an awards presentation.

Featured chefs of the Filmmaker’s Bash include the 2016 Coordinating Chef, Nick Wallace with the Mississippi Museum of Art; Alex Eaton with The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen; Kendrick Gordon with One Guy Steak and Chicken; Jesse Houston with Saltine; Grant Nooe with Grant’s Kitchen; Damian Shelby with the Mississippi Museum of Art; and Mike Roemhild with Table 100.

“I am very excited to have such talented people participate in our fourth annual event,” said Wilma E. Mosley Clopton, Ph.D. of NMHS Unlimited Film Productions. “Several of our chefs are returning from the previous year and we are also welcoming new chefs. We already have three designated “Top Chefs” in this group and I cannot wait to see who will become the fourth addition. In this competition, each chef’s dish must include local ingredients, -more-

which focuses on our “Farm to Table” competition. I am thrilled to showcase our local talents utilizing our local ingredients.”

The black tie event begins with a VIP Reception from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. VIP Reception tickets are $100 per person. The Bash and “Farm to Table” Competition will take place from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $50 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at

The purpose of the film festival is to showcase films that highlight the rich contributions of Mississippi African Americans. To view a complete film festival line-up and event details, visit

Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support: Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, ChefWorks, the Mississippi Film Office, The W.E.B. Du Bois Honors College, The Lanier Historical Museum and Arts Guild, Inc., The Lanier High School National Alumni Association, Women for Progress of Mississippi, The Jackson Advocate and Dependable Source Corp. This project is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, …

February 24, 2016

James Beard Foundation Recognizes Jackson Restaurant and Jackson Chef

By amber_helsel

On Feb. 23, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2016 America's Classics awards. Among the five restaurants that will receive this award, Bully’s Restaurant (3118 Livingston Road, 601-362-0484) is one. The JBF gives the award to restaurants that have "timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community," the foundation said in a press release.

Tyrone Bully and his father, who are both trained masons, built the restaurant from the ground up. It serves dishes such as oxtail, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potatoes, and Bully's serves regulars that include police officers, city council members and state legislators.

Also on a James Beard Foundation note, chef Jesse Houston, who owns Saltine Oyster Bar, has been nominated for Best Chef: South, which is one of the highest awards in the American food world. The foundation will announce the finalists on March 15.

Congratulations go to Jesse for his nomination and Bully's for its award.

October 15, 2015

Scary, Good and Creepy

By amber_helsel

Mississippi Museum of Art Executive Chef and Culinary Curator Nick Wallace is in the kitchen behind The Palette Café at the museum, talking to his staff members as they pass through. In a small pot behind him, pig ears boil in a combination of vinegars, spices and sriracha. Eventually, they'll transform into a fried-green-tomato and pig-ear Panini for the October 'sipp Sourced menu, which he began serving at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 15, and will serve through Saturday, Oct. 17.

Besides the fried green tomato and pig-ear Panini, the menu for "Scary Good Creepy Cuts" will feature a range of dishes with "scary" types of meat—chicken liver and gizzards, pig tails, oxtails and turkey necks.

It fits, considering the Halloween theme for this month's Museum After Hours. But besides that, Wallace wanted to take less desirable cuts of meat and turn them into something more elevated.

"To me, I think (Halloween) is pretty super, like in the Louisiana area," he says. "I think it's getting there for Mississippi, but I don't think it's there yet. This gives us a way to really embrace October, the Halloween season, all that stuff, which is great. As far as the menu is concerned, with the creepy goodness, all the cheap cuts of meat, that's how I was raised."

He grew up on a farm in Edwards, and says that his family used every cut of meat on the animals they cooked.

"We didn't throw anything away because we just couldn't afford to," he says.

For this month's 'sipp Sourced, he wants to bring that back.

"People that are poor really are the best cooks ever, because they'll take a chicken gizzard and boil it and marinate overnight, then fry it, and you think it's the best thing in the world," he says.

For those who are hesitant to try some thing like pig tails, Wallace will also serve dishes that include meat cuts such as the scaredy-cat seafood po'boy, which has shrimp boudin sausage, lettuce, tomatoes, blood sorrel, sun-dried tomato aioli and crispy catfish, served with fries. And for those who are vegetarian or vegan, don't worry. The menu also includes dishes such as the zombie-fried green tomato panini, which is basil, mustard, onion marmalade, breakfast radishes and Swiss cheese on sourdough bread, served with fries and ketchup. The adventurous eaters can try dishes such as the "no-guts-no-glory" fried chicken livers, which are served with white gravy, whipped potatoes, bread-and-butter pickles, braised greens and hot sauce.

Mississippi Museum of Art's Museum After Hours (380 S. Lamar St.) is Thursday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 10 p.m. The event will include works from artists who learned from, knew or were influenced by Marie Hull, whose art is currently on display at the museum and a showing of the film, "Night of the Living Dead." For more information, visit or find 'sipp Sourced on Facebook.

September 8, 2015

Food Truck Fridays

By amber_helsel

If you work downtown, or just like to be there, you now have another option for lunch. Every Friday until Oct. 9, local food trucks will be at Smith Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for We Are Jackson Food Truck Friday. If you need another reason to check it out, each Friday will have a DJ. This Friday, Sept. 11, DJ Kool Aid of WRBJ 97.7 FM will be there, and the food trucks will be Hog Heaven, LurnyD's Grille, Small Town Hotdogs and Pop Culture Ice Pops. For more information, contact Shelia Byrd, the director of communications for Mayor Tony Yarber, at 601-960-2324.

March 16, 2015

Surin of Thailand Now Open in Old Nick's Location

By amber_helsel

Jackson Free Press reported Feb. 11 that Atlanta-based franchise Surin of Thailand was close to opening a location in the old location of Nick's Restaurant (3000 Old Canton Road, Suite 105). The Jackson location of Surin is now open. For more information, visit, go to the location's Facebook page or call 601-981-3205. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 or 9:30 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

May 27, 2014

Nick's closes after three decades

By CCristo

Jackson staple Nick’s Restaurant is closed as of Monday after 31 years as part of the area’s culinary landscape.

Nick’s, previously located in the BancorpSouth building on Lakeland Dr., has called Fondren home for more than four years.

Owner Nick Apostle said on Facebook that his motivation for closing the fine dining restaurant was his family. “This closing will allow me to spend time with those that supported me during all the late nights and long weekend hours,” he said. “Alice and I are looking forward to being together and with our five young grandchildren.”

While Nick’s modern American fare will be missed, Mermaid Café in Lake Caroline, Apostle’s other restaurant, will remain open.

December 28, 2013

JFP Beer Fridge #6: Schlafly APA

By Todd Stauffer

Up this time in the beer fridge it's Schlafly APA from St. Louis Brewery; this is a smooth drinking, hoppy pale ale that's worth a taste:

October 31, 2013

Beer Fridge #5: Napa Smith Lost Dog

By Todd Stauffer

Todd reviews Napa Smith Lost Dog, an American red ale from California.

October 16, 2013

Tom Ramsey's New Restaurant

By Kathleen M. Mitchell

In addition to making his Food Network debut Sunday, Oct. 20, local chef Tom Ramsey is busy opening his first restaurant, La Finestra. The Italian eatery will open in the Plaza Building on Congress St. downtown the first week of November. Here's what he had to say about the restaurant:

This came together real fast. I got a call that this place was available. I came down and met the owner, and within a week, we had a deal struck. I got the keys on Oct. 1 and we’re turning it around in 30 days.

It’s called La Finestra, which means "the window." (He gestures to the walls of floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding the space in a corner of the ground floor of the Plaza Building downtown). It is traditional Italian food, very affordable. We make all the pastas in-house, all the sauces from scratch.

Well, initially I though I would open a burger place. When I came down to see the space, I had my son Whit with me. I said, “You know, it doesn’t really look like a burger place,” and my son said, “It looks like an Italian restaurant.” And I said, “Ooooooh.”

Anytime I have a concept for a restaurant, I write a menu. So I went home and wrote an Italian menu, and really liked the way it was coming together. I just made a decision that night to go Italian. We're really excited about the direction its going.

October 5, 2013

Beer Fridge #4: Samuel Adams Octoberfest

By Todd Stauffer

Todd reviews Sam Adams' seasonal Oktoberfest offering and is pleased to find a drinkable amber lager in an attractive, recyclable can.

September 26, 2013

Beer Fridge #3: Steven's Point Six Hop IPA

By Todd Stauffer

Todd (with guest star Mukesh Kumar) reviews Six Hop IPA, a higher-alcohol beer with a suprisingly smooth flavor.

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