Heart Full of Soul Dinner – 4 seats left!

photo 3Napa Cafe and Stax Academy have come together to throw one awesome party that benefits the students at Stax. This event raised $13,000 last year, and is going to do better this year! It is so popular that they had to spread it out over two nights. There are a couple of seats left tonight for those of you that want some good music and good food and aren’t going to see JT.

photo 2

Each course pairs a song from the Stax catalog, a wine from Sleight of Hand Sellers (who also bottled 120 extra cases to sell at Napa and four area wine shops to benefit Stax), and food from Napa’s chef Scott DeLarme.

photo 3 (1)

Entertainment will be provided on two stages by students from Stax. All in all, it looks like an awesomely, soulful experience. Hope you can make it!


You want to go to there:

Heart Full of Soul
Napa Cafe
Tonight, 6-9pm


Amped Up at Tamp and Tap



Craft beer?


That’s the name of the game at Tamp & Tap, which is the latest in a pretty long line of Taylor Berger inspired ventures that have brought Memphians something that they might not have known they wanted until he opened it up. I had my first experience with this great new spot over lunch with some coworkers.

Downtown Chill Factor

I imagine that I am not alone in my love of iced coffee. Sure, I love any coffee cold, but my preference is for a good cold-brewed coffee, which makes for a less acidic cup. Tamp and Tap has a cool setup where they cold brew coffee and then carbonate and keg it, which keeps it fresh and easy to serve. Cook use of technology from the beer side of the game that benefits the coffee side.

iced coffee


Sorry for the blurry shot, but rest assured it is a good cup. They use great beans from Metropolis Coffee in Chicago. On a later visit, I picked up a half pound of a Kenyan bean they had, which made some excellent coffee in my french press.


Strawberry Salad


One friend got the Halladay salad with Baby spinach, arugula, candied pecans, gorgonzola, pickled red onion, strawberry, and champagne vinaigrette.



Here’s a Stanley smoked turkey sandwich with fontina, candied pancetta, pickled red onion, arugula, and roasted artichoke aioli. Delicious.

Grilled Cheese


Another friend got this glorious Packard, which is a grilled cheese with three cheeses and a garlic puree.



Lastly, my last pal got the Maxwell, which is a roasted veggie sammy with hummus, manchego, local greens, and balsamic vinaigrette on ciabatta.

On Tap

If you’re downtown, this is a great place for lunch or a great cup of coffee. I wan’t around for anyone to sample the beer selection, but the word is that they have a good selection. Get on over there and try em out, as this is another of those places that we wanted before we even knew about it. See you there!


You want to go to there:

Tamp and Tap
122 Gayoso, Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 207-1053
Tamp & Tap on Urbanspoon

Chefs, Cookbooks, Charity, Collards, and the Catbird Seats

Since getting this thing started, I have written a lot about meals and special events over on Brookhaven Circle. K and I have spent a lot of time at Andy and Mike’s spots Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen and Hog & Hominy. Since AMIK and Muddy’s opened pretty close to each other and are essentially neighbors, we’ve had a cool connection in watching the businesses grow, and we’ve loved seeing all of the recognition that they’ve earned.

The most recent event was a celebration of the major effort that went into making their new cookbook Collards & Carbonara.

2 Books

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Cancer Has a New Enemy. Chili

November 2, 2013.

Mark it down.

ACS Chili Cook-Off

That’s the day that a one-time event becomes an annual Memphis tradition. American Cancer Society Junior Executive Committee is back for round two of the American Cancer Society Chili Cook-off. Teams will come together at Cancer Survivors Park at Audoban Park on Saturday, November 2 from 11am-3pm to compete.

$10 gets you a ticket at the door, a chance to try everyone’s chili, and the knowledge that you are firmly in the anti-cancer camp. That’s a pretty good deal. There is room for a few more teams to compete and there is always room for more sponsors. If you are interested, please contact Hudson Atkins at (901) 412-0642 or Hudson.Atkins@duncanwilliams.com.

I’ll be judging the event, so I’ll report on it more on gameday. See you there!


Love Local with PGF

I feel like October is the time of football, weddings, and special events. In case your social calendar isn’t already tapped out, you should hit up the new Wiseacre Brewing Company to enjoy Project Green Fork’s 4th annual Loving Local event.

Because of the work that Margot McNeely and PGF do, we have 56 restaurants in our community that are certified as making less paper waste, recycling glass and cans, and recycling food waste. Check out their impact numbers!

I’ve gone to a bunch of these in the past, and I can assure you that there will be fun, good food, and awesome auction items. Here are the details:

Loving Local 2013 for web

Buy your ticket online here.


Southern Currence (y) – Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey – Book Release Party

Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey. Book Jacket

When I read the title of the new John Currence cookbook, my cadence kept falling into an imitation of Warren Zevon and kept ending with a “hooah!”

Based on my first impression Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey should be every bit as popular as that classic tune. We can all get a taste of the action by attending the cookbook release party tomorrow night at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen.

Dinner Details
On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, Chef John Currence, the James Beard Award Winning Chef of City Grocery, Big Bad Breakfast, Boure, Snackbar in Oxford, is taking over the kitchen at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen to cook from his new cookbook, Pickles, Pigs, and Whiskey.

Our chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman call Chef Currence Uncle Johnny (and yes, if you’re a fan of the brunch item on Sundays, its moniker is in tribute to Chef Currence) for all the support, guidance, and inspiration that he has given them over the years, and they are excited to have him in their kitchen.

Not just another successful Southern chef, James Beard Award-winner John Currence is THE ambassador for Oxford, Mississippi. In his first book, he shares his rugged and fancy style of cooking through 130 delicious recipes, colorful personal stories, music pairings, and beautiful photography.

The dinner costs $75.00 per person and includes the cost of the meal and Chef Currence’s mighty cookbook. Additional costs are alcohol, tax and gratuity. Chef Currence will sign books from 6:00-7:00 p.m. and then will serve a massive meal that packs a punch of flavor straight in your mouth.

There you have it. I’ll be there. See you there!


You want to go to there:

Chef John Currence Cookbook Release Party
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen
For reservations, please call (901)347-3569

The Best Around – Flyer’s Best of Memphis 2013


It is that time of year again. The Memphis Flyer has taken our votes, counted them twice, and published the results in their Best of Memphis issue. Memphians vote on everything from Best Chef (Kelly English) to Best Jukebox (Ernestine & Hazel’s) and all of the categories in between. I won’t spoil the surprise, so head over to their website and read the list!

Before wrapping this up with a sweet montage video, I’d be remiss to not mention two things:

First, thanks so much to all of you that voted Eat Local Memphis as a Best Blog in Memphis for the fourth year in a row. That’s a very nice honor, and I greatly appreciate that you all read and enjoy the blog. I enjoy writing it (and of course, all of the “research” that goes into it)!

Secondly, I want to  give a shout out to K and her team at Muddy’s for winning Best Bakery and Best Dessert again. Not only do they have awesome products, but they really work to be a special place with great service that gives back to Memphis. I think they accomplish all of that, and I’m so pumped to see them recognized.

K and T

Read the list, picks some places to eat, and I’ll see you there!


You want to go to there:
Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis 2013

Bonus Video:

Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Shotwell Candy

Shotwell 1

I write a blog about food in Memphis, so I like to think that I have an idea of what’s going on in this town. Then, I read this blog post on Garden & Gun about Jarrod Smith and his Shotwell Candy Co. Right under my nose and reported in my favorite magazine, someone is making my favorite candy in our collective backyard. I had to get together with Jerrod and learn about him and the business and get a taste of these caramels that are quickly showing up all over the country.

K and I met Jerrod at H&H to share some drinks and some stories. I went home pumped up about caremels, his company, and the state of craftsmanship in our city. Here goes.

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Back Again – Heritage BBQ Comes to Town

As a child (or a yoot), I was never too pleased when summer started winding down. I had to change when I woke up, I had to get my haircut, and I had to start cramming in all of that summer reading that I dilly-dallied on all summer. But now, as an adult who does not have a 12 week vacation, then end of summer brings a different set of feelings. As we move through August, we can all look forward to football and the return of the Cochon Heritage BBQ event on August 30.

Cochon Heritage BBQ

First Memphis was treated to a Cochon 555 event, won by Kelly English. Then we hosted the first ever Heritage BBQ event, which was a feast of epic proportions. Now, Heritage BBQ is back in Memphis on August 30 for another demonstration on what can happen when fine chefs mix excellent technique with the highly-flavorful heritage breed pork that will be on display.

Cochon Heritage BBQ

The Cochon events are the brainchild of Brady Lowe. He puts on events across the country to showcase heritage breed pork and the chefs that can take it to the next level. Here’s what he says about the event:

“My goal is to create team building events that showcase the growth potential of BBQ restaurants buying whole heritage pigs from family farms. The process and judging format is my best approach at whole animal utilization, whereas we do not create a burden on small farmers to hold a surplus unwanted animal parts during any part of our competition. The events are hyper-local and they create word-of-mouth marketing for family farms. It’s an honor to have a national spotlight right and develop a message with a deeper meaning, far beyond competition BBQ. Today, we are reaching out to people who care about the conversation of local food made by real people.”

Cochon Heritage BBQ

Last year, we gathered on the rooftop of the Peabody for an opening night kick-off party. This year’s festivities will take place at Beale Street Landing. I’m pumped about the new location, because I think it has a lot of potential. I imagine that this will my first official visit to the Landing, so I am excited to get some great use out of a project that has really taken a long time to get of the ground/river.

Last year the food was insane, as chefs from across America descended on Memphis to bring their take on whole-hog utilization with interesting takes on classic barbecue styling. Each team is responsible for six dishes that represent bone, muscle, pull, stew, mayo, and mustard.

Cochon Heritage BBQ

This year Memphis will be represented by Ryan Trimm (Southward, Sweet Grass, Next Door), Jackson Kramer (Interim), Rick Farmer & Miles McGrath (St. Jude), and Craig Blondis (Central BBQ). They’ll compete for the title along with Travis Grimes (Husk, Charleston, SC), Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow, Boston), and Chad Clevenger & Nick McCormick (Alma Cocina/Tap A Gastropub, Atlanta). So, as it should be, there will be plenty of Memphis faces representing our barbecue traditions, as some fine chefs come in from across the country to show of their skills.

This is sure to be a feast of epic proportions. I highly recommend not missing out. Also, wear comfortable pants…

See you there!


Click below for all of the details and to order tickets!