Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wok'n in Memphis slated to have a permanent location

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 9:18 PM

Chefs Spencer Coplan and Trevor Anderson at a Wok'n in Memphis pop up at Silly Goose. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Chefs Spencer Coplan and Trevor Anderson at a Wok'n in Memphis pop up at Silly Goose.

Spencer Coplan will only have one place to walk to after Wok'n in Memphis moves to The South Main Market at 409 South Main.

Coplan’s pop-up restaurant featuring his take on Chinese food is slated to open in its first permanent location in November. It’s popped up at several locations around Memphis since he first opened his traveling restaurant about a year ago.

“I’m very excited to finally have a location,” says Coplan, 28.

He plans to serve lunch and dinner daily except for Mondays when The South Main Market is closed and he plans to offer a weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

For lunch, Coplan wants to do his General Tso’s chicken, sweet and sour pork, fried rice and noodles and his popular vegetarian dish - mapo tofu. Dinner would include his eggs rolls and crab rangoon.

Now this isn’t authentic Chinese food; Coplan purposely does it his way. It’s Americanized Chinese food. He uses ketchup, sugar and lots of hoisin sauce.

Take his chicken and waffles, a combination Asian/American dish. Instead of maple syrup, he uses kung pao sauce. “We put green onions and scallions inside the waffle batter to give it a little more of that Asian flair, if you will.”

In 2016, Coplan, who was born in Seattle, moved to Memphis and began working at Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen. He continues to work a couple of nights a week at The Gray Canary, which is owned by Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman.

Coplan is captivated by Asian food. He says he spent a lot of after hours in Asian restaurants in Seattle.

His expertise in Chinese cooking was a result of “a lot of cookbooks and a lot of time messing around making staff meals for my colleagues. Just kind of being like, ‘Well, how does this taste? Does this taste like General Tso’s chicken?’”

For now, you can visit Wok'n in Memphis on Sundays for his brunch at Silly Goose. The brunch, which is from noon to 4, includes items, including his chicken and waffles, that will be on the menu at his new location.

And Wok'n in Memphis currently pops up on Saturdays at the Farmers Market in Cooper-Young.

Coplan’s restaurant also will be featured Nov. 3 at the Meddlesome Brewing Company’s 

Spencer Coplan's take on chicken and waffles. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • Spencer Coplan's take on chicken and waffles.

art and crafts fair.

  • Michael Donahue

Huey's Vegan Burger

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 12:15 PM


Huey's Goes Vegan! How's that for a headline?

Welp, it's fake news. BUT, Huey's will introduce a new 100 percent vegan burger in the next couple weeks.

"We've had our veggie burger forever," says Steve Voss, vice president of operations at Huey's. The veggie burger is vegan (the black bean — my jam — isn't). Voss says that customers want more options, and when some really great vegan burgers, like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burgers, became available, Huey's thought it was worth it to explore options.

Huey's is going with the Beyond Burger. In fact, Beyond Burger has crafted a six-ounce burger just for Huey's. The burger will be cooked on a grill, not the flat-top, so that the vegan burger doesn't get contaminated by Huey's other options. The burger will be served on a kaiser bun (as usual) and dressed with Follow Your Heart smoked Gouda and Veganaise.

So is this burger up to Huey's standards?

"They're awesome," says Voss. "I love it."

Voss says the burger will first be available at Midtown, Germantown, and Downtown Huey's locations as soon as next week, and then roll out to all locations in early November. 

Sushi Meets Kosher BBQ

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 9:58 AM


Happening on Sunday, October 21st, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Anshei Sphard-Beth El Emeth (ASBEE) Synagogue, is the 30th Annual Kosher BBQ Competition and Festival. This is where cooks flex their barbecue muscles while keeping it 100 percent kosher — no pork up in this joint.

This is one fun event, garnering national attention for its Jewish approach to barbecue in this pork-barbecue-manic city. The event features its popular three-on-three basketball contest and stuff for the kids.

One competitor is Marisa Baggett, who is known around town for her astounding sushi creations. Her team, Adam's Ribs, took home three trophies last year — 1st Place Ribs, 4th Place Chicken Wings, and 2nd Place Beans — so she's definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Baggett took time to answer some questions on how this sushi chef came to conquer kosher barbecue.

You're known for your mad sushi skills. What interests you about this contest?

The ASBEE Kosher BBQ contest first appealed to me because I don't eat pork. (I actually keep kosher.) And living in Memphis, it was the idea that I could walk into a barbecue competition and enjoy anything that was being prepared that blew my mind. I was a little hesitant to compete at first. I'm a sushi maven and manning a grill was out of my comfort zone. But I joined a team anyway and we ended up taking two trophies that year! It was a lot of fun.

Do you use the same skills for sushi as you do beef barbecue?

I think there is a patience and tolerance for tedium that I carry over from sushi. With sushi, you can't hurry the process of the rice and you have to do several hands-on things with just a few ingredients. For this contest, you have to work within limits regarding ingredients and use a charcoal grill. It makes you very aware of the entire process and you stay in the moment. I'm very comfortable working like that.

How do you approach the competition?

Strictly fun..unless someone talks smack. Last year, someone from another team mercilessly made fun of the way I boiled the ribs first. I took it in stride but I was so determined to get the ribs perfect. Coincidentally, we took home 1st place in Ribs last year.

Any other surprising culinary skills?

I'm not much for entering contests. But I think people would be surprised given my sushi background what my latest obsession is — classic Jewish deli fare. I make and cure my own pastrami (and turkey pastrami) and I bake knishes and babkas. My kitchen is very lab-like these days with containers of custom spice blends, tubs of meats in the fridge constantly being brined, and bags of baked goods everywhere. I'm having alot of fun.

What's next with you?

I actually have a concept in the works. It's a little too early to discuss, but there are sometimes little hints and clues on my social media.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Memphis' Top 11 Cookies

Posted By on Mon, Oct 15, 2018 at 9:30 AM

When the Apple personal assistant Siri is asked the question, "what is zero divided by zero," she responds with the answer: "Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends." — Wikipedia entry on Cookie Monster

There’s almost no problem that a cookie can’t solve. Hungry? How ‘bout a chocolate chip cookie? Depressed? Oatmeal raisin will cheer you right up. Tired? A protein-packed cookie will put pep in your step.

Memphis has plenty of great cookies, from the standard to the sublime, sprinkled all about town. Go grab you a dozen or two.

Did we miss your favorite? That’s how the cookie crumbles. But let us know in the comments.

And, now, in no particular order ... the best 11 cookies in Memphis.

Oatmeal Cream Pie

A crowd pleaser, this cookie includes two perfect oatmeal cookies crushing on some super-sweet buttercream icing. It's a take on Little Debbie's oatmeal cream pie. From Muddy's, which knows a thing or two about sweets. For your sweetest tooth.

Muddy's Bake Shop, 5101 Sanderlin (683-8844)

Marranitos from La Espiga

You, a porch, temps in the 60s, a steaming cup of coffee, a marranito from La Espiga on Summer. This cookie, sweetened with molasses, has long been an obsession of ours. Will do for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

La Espiga, 3967 Summer (454-9220)

Butter Cookies
We could sing the praises of this cookie all day long — buttery and so rich as to knock you to your knees. Bring a tray of Makeda's butter cookies to any event and you'll be welcomed with open arms. Their peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies are excellent, too.

Makeda's, 488 2nd (295-0901)

Lemon Blueberry Sugar Cookie

Large and bold. This cookie is no ordinary sugar cookie. This one has zing. The bite of the lemon is tempered by the sweet of the blueberry. It's a beautiful thing and is available at Dessert Therapy, a relatively new sweets shop in East Memphis.

Dessert Therapy, 6645 Poplar, Carrefour Kirby Shopping Plaza (567-8837)

Peanut Butter
About as close to a Platonic ideal of a cookie as one can get. Crisp bottom, fluffy center — salty and peanut buttery. Terrific. From Lucy J. Bakery in the Crosstown Concourse. They pay their workers a living wage, which makes this cookie all the sweeter.

Lucy J Bakery,  1350 Concourse (257-9206)


Pretty and delicate — in both taste and appearance. These dainties are for Memphis' best ladies and gentlemen, mane. A real treat from 17 Berkshire.

17 Berkshire, 2094 Trimble Place (729-7916)

Susan Ellis

Acorn Cookies


Nostalgia lovers might remember the home-made “acorn” cookies at the old Seessel’s grocery stores. They were acorn-shaped.cookies with raspberry filling dipped in chocolate with sprinkles. Milk Dessert Bar owner Sharon Cohn re-created the cookies from memory. As one who worked at Seessel’s for three years, I can say Cohn did a good job. They evoke those great days at Seessel’s, when children were given free ladyfingers when they passed by the store’s bakery with their parents.

Milk Dessert Bar, 1789 Kirby Parkway No. 10 (730-0893)

Gingerbread Men

Kay Bakery sells its gingerbread men all year ‘round, but the cookies are more popular during Christmas, says Queo Bautista, one of the owners. That’s when they sell “10 or 12 dozen daily,” he says. They still decorate them the way they were decorated back in the 1950s and they still use the same cookie cutters, he says.

Sugar Cookies

The sugar cookies in Halloween shapes of a ghost, pumpkins and a black cat with an arched back at Kay Bakery evoke Halloweens past, particularly for Baby Boomers. And, like the gingerbread men, these are the made from the same cookie cutters as the ones made decades ago.

Kay Bakery, 667 Avon (767-0780)

Butter Cookies

You might think of a butter cookie as something shaped like a daisy or just a thin beige cookie, but the butter cookies at Frost Bake Shop are thick, white cookies with yellow rivulets. If you’re into texture along with great taste, these are for you.

Frost, 394 Grove Park, Laurelwood Shopping Center (682-4545)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Maybe it’s because they’re rectangle and small instead of big and round in addition to tasting great, but whatever it is the chocolate chip cookies at Ricki’s Cookie Corner & Bakery are addictive. It’s hard to stop eating them. Owner Ricki Krupp says her chocolate chip cookies are made of flour, sugar, eggs, and canola oil, but she puts her personal touch in each cookie. Krupp says she took a basic recipe and over the years tweaked it. She now sells 4,000 of her chocolate chip cookies a week.

Ricki's Cookie Corner, 5068 Park Avenue (866-2447)

— Michael Donahue

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Save the Gay Hawk

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 3:52 PM

  • Gay Hawk

Terica Bobo has set up a gofundme page to save the Gay Hawk Restaurant, which is need of expensive repairs.

Terica inherited the restaurant from her father, Louis, who passed away in April. She lists some $30,000 in repairs, including roofing and bathroom updates.

Terica says continuing the restaurant is important. "It's my father's legacy," she says.

The Gay Hawk is a much loved soul food place on Danny Thomas. Among the notable guests over the years: Magic Johnson, Rufus Thomas, and Jesse Jackson.

From the gofundme page:
Mr Bobo turned the Gay Hawk into a meeting place for old friends, a citywide catering hub, and a Memphis Legend for community and comfort food. Mr Bobo served the Memphis community for over 50 years and in 2012, he passed the restaurant on to his daughter, Terica Bobo, who now operates the facility, working hard to keep this cherished Memphis landmark alive. 
Louis Bobo bought the restaurant in 1963.

Gay Hawk, 685 S Danny Thomas (947-1464)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

How To Drink Tequila

Posted By on Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
  • Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
The Memphis Tequila Festival is coming up on you. This festival features some two dozen top-brand tequilas for sampling, Day of the Dead facepainting (!), food from local restaurants, DJ music, and more.

It's really fun and most certainly will sell out, so get your tickets sooner rather than later.

This event is set for Friday, October 19th, 6-9 p.m. It's 21-plus. Proceeds benefit Volunteer Memphis.

To prime the pump, we spoke with Don Julio's tequila expert Raymond Tremblay on the finer points of tequila.

A few years ago, we created tequila cocktails for a story, it's surprisingly versatile.
What are your favorite cocktails?

Raymond Tremblay:
With tequila cocktails it’s all about showcasing the agave. I love a good Oaxacan Old Fashioned with Don Julio Reposado tequila, Pierde Almas mezcal. On a nice warm day, you can never go wrong with a classic Paloma, but for me, personally, there is nothing better than a neat pour of your favorite tequila with a side of sangrita (not to be confused with sangria).

What advice do you give with consumers who want to work tequila into their repertoire?
RT: I would say do your research. Tequila is a beautiful and complex spirit that can vary immensely in flavor depending on the region and production process. It’s very similar to wine in that fashion. Highland tequilas are known for being bright and floral, while valley tequilas are known to be a bit earthier. The Blue Weber Agaves usually takes between six to 15 years to mature before it can be harvested, so make sure you’re supporting a brand that practices good farming and production habits that showcase this wonderful plant.

Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
  • Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
  • Memphis Tequila Festival 2017

Tequila is considered particularly dangerous. Is this a fair assessment?

As in dangerously delicious?!? I think tequila received a bad rep years ago from the amount of poorly made mixto tequilas that were produced and marketed as shooters or mixed with glow in the dark sour mixes. People tend to remember that one shot of tequila they had after drinking all night and think that’s the culprit for everything. That’s like saying that one catch you missed is high school is the reason you never went pro. As with anything, tequila should always be enjoyed in moderation. Luckily there are bars all over the world now that showcase incredible selections of 100 percent agave tequilas, with knowledgeable bartenders that can guide you down proper ways to consume the spirit.

This is a tequila festival. How would you approach it?

RT: Festivals can be overwhelming for some people because of the amount of delicious options presented to them. Firsts thing first I would make sure to prepare myself by eating beforehand and properly hydrating. If there are waters around, take advantage of them. I always love to try new tequilas and ask about the brands. I want to know what makes this specific tequila special to the producer. Tequila flavor variations are so broad it can be easy to fall into the rabbit hole of trying new ones, but you always want to drink responsibly. No one wants to be “that person” at the festival. Lastly, the most important part of going to any tequila festival is to have fun!

Memphis Tequila Festival 2017
  • Memphis Tequila Festival 2017

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Elemento Neapolitan Pizza Opens Oct. 16

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 2:59 PM

  • Justin Fox Burks

Elemento Pizza, in Crosstown Concourse, now has an opening date: Tuesday, October 16th.

It was originally set to open in June.

The restaurant will adhere to the Neapolitan standard, which dictates what tomatoes and cheese are used and extends to the flour for the dough. Cooking times and temperature are also key for an authentic Neapolitan pizza.

The restaurant exported its pizza ovens — pizzas are cooked in 90 seconds — from Italy. The ovens will be cured before the restaurant opens.

In addition, Elemento will serve buratta dishes — centering around Italian buffalo milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream.

  • Elemento: Facebook

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Indian Pass Has Closed

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 9:39 AM

  • Indian Pass Facebook

Indian Pass, the off-shoot of the popular Florida-based seafood restaurant, closed on Saturday.

The restaurant was open about 7 months. The owner of the restaurant, George Gouras opened Another Broken Egg in the area.

It was billed as a "little getaway" in the middle of Overton Square. One of its draws was the serve-yourself beer system.

Gouras had tweaked the original restaurant's menu a little, adding such dishes as a crab dip and gumbo.

The idea behind the spot was an emphasis on fresh seafood. Gouras drove to Jackson to meet his seafood supply a few times a week.

Indian Pass is the third restaurant in that spot. It was the old site of Chiwawa, which completely re-did the space after Chicago Pizza Co. closed.  

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Breakfast Biscuit Roundup

Posted By and on Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 3:27 PM

We barely made in time for National Biscuit Month, but make it we did. What we've got here is a roundup of notable Breakfast biscuits in Memphis.

Biscuits can be tricky. I've made 'em straight off the box of Bisquick, and they've turned out dry and crumbly — like special effect out of The Mummy. I've made 'em with buttermilk (a specialty item if there ever was one) from a recipe off the internet, and they were just okay. I've never really mastered it.

But these folks have mastered the breakfast biscuit and knocked it straight out of the park.

Without further ado and in no particular order ...

Bryant's is the mothership when it comes to Memphis breakfast biscuits. They've been slanging biscuits for 50 years. You can get your biscuit with pork tenderloin, city ham, smoked sausage, country ham, bologna, bacon, or steak.

But I went with classic egg and cheese. Mmmmmmmmm. This is one buttery, perfectly done biscuit, with egg, and melty American cheese. Super good.

Bryant's was included in a round-up in Food & Wine by local reporter Andy Meek, which pretty much sums it up:

Among the things Memphis has in abundance are breakfast options that do simple extraordinarily well. Bryant’s Breakfast is one of those places. It’s not much to look at inside — your basic dive with somewhat spartan accommodations — but the biscuits are addictive. Get here early, by the way, if you plan to visit. The line of hungry diners stacks up quick.

Curb Market

Justin Allen of Curb Market used to be the private chef for Curb owner Peter Schutt. "He liked my biscuits so much, he offered me a job at Curb," he says.

He says the secret to this biscuit is in its shape — square. With round biscuits, the cut-off cast-off dough is reincorporated into more biscuits, which can make them tough. There's none of that with the square biscuit. Allen says this approach is what makes his biscuit light and fluffy — soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Curb's take on the egg, too, is different. Instead of slapping a slice of cheese on top, grated, sharp cheddar cheese is added to the soft scrambled eggs. Great care is taken with the meat as well. They know the pigs from which their sausages are made. The hams are brined for seven days, the sausage is cooked sous vide and ground in-house.

This one is a beast of a biscuit. Hearty as hell. A favorite.

Edge Alley

While the menu has since expanded and will change again in a week or so, Edge Alley's opening menu was built around the biscuit. But it's not the biscuit you know.

"Our biscuit's a little different," says Timothy Barker.

They go at their biscuits with a breadmaking method. It makes this biscuit something that can be easily picked up and eaten without falling apart.

Barker says that when they first opened they may have been a little bit too fancy with their biscuits, adding herbs and peppercorns. He quickly discovered that folks like their biscuits recognizably biscuit-y.

The egg is done over-easy, which you don't see every day with a breakfast biscuit. What this means is a delicious runny yolk, with the biscuit made for sopping. It's one of life's great pleasures.

Barker knows this. "We try to keep it as simple as we can."

This one is both dense and fluffy. A real delight.

Elwood's Shack

“Elwood’s Country Biscuit” is the first breakfast biscuit I tried at Elwood’s Shack.

This delicious mixture of sausage, applewood bacon, ham or, if you’d like, an egg and/or cheese, could be a lunch or dinner biscuit. These are big biscuits. You could make a meal out of them.

My next Elwood’s biscuit was something completely different: a breakfast biscuit with homemade pimento cheese and a vine-ripened tomato. I’d never thought about pimento cheese for breakfast, but it works.

“A customer just suggested it and I said, ‘Sure,’” says Elwood’s owner Tim Bednarski. “It went on the menu not long afterward.”

They already had their pimento cheese sandwich made from Bednarski’s pimento cheese recipe, so a pimento cheese breakfast biscuit was a no-brainer.

But what about those biscuits?

“That’s my grandmother’s biscuit,” Bednarski says. “Our biscuits are made with butter, sour cream, 7-up and no lard.”

He calls the 7-up his “extra leavening agent.”

There are two kinds of baking powder - single and double acting. Bednarski uses double acting baking powder. The 7-up gives an “extra rise” to the flour and it makes the rolls “super flaky.”

Since he doesn’t use lard, Bednarski uses a high-gluten flour to keep the biscuits from falling apart when you eat them.

“I call it a ‘cat head biscuit,’” Bednarski says. “It’s the size of a cat’s head. It’s a big biscuit. It’s a Tennessee staple.”

Note: Bednarski’s ribs and corned beef will be featured on chef “Burgers, Brew and ‘Que” at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 on the Food Network.

Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q

I loved the classic sausage-and-egg biscuit on a great-tasting biscuit at Three LIttle Pigs Bar-B-Q.

They use a commercial biscuit - Rich’s - for their breakfast biscuits, which include all the combinations of bacon, sausage and egg, says manager John DeMarco.

But, he says. “Sausage biscuit is our best seller.”

Asked what people like about their sausage biscuits, DeMarco says, “The good taste. Not too spicy. They like the texture.”

Has anyone requested a barbecue breakfast biscuit? “It’s been rare. In the 10, 12 years I’ve been here, maybe three or four times. It’s extremely rare, but it has happened.”

Customers are welcome to ask for a barbecue biscuit, DeMarco says. “If they want one ounce, two ounces of barbecue on it, if they want sauce on it, we can do that.”

Sunrise Memphis

Eating one of Sunrise Memphis’s biscuits is a great accompaniment to actually watching the sun rise (the restaurant opens at 6 a.m.) or even watching the sun when it’s high in the sky (the restaurant closes at 3 p.m.)

I asked chef/owner Ryan Trimm which of their biscuits was the most popular.

The Rooster, he says. Trimm wanted to include a chicken biscuit on the menu, so he came up with fried chicken on a biscuit He added honey because he likes honey on fried chicken.

He also likes it spicy, so he uses tabasco honey on his chicken and biscuit.

If you order the “Mother and Child Reunion” you get egg with the fried chicken and honey, Trimm says.

I also tried the “P-Love” - a smoked bologna with egg and cheese. “That’s my favorite,” Trimm says. “A buddy of mine cooked it for me at his hunting camp. It’s his favorite thing to go to. He just does bologna, egg and cheese. We smoke the bologna. It gives it a better flavor.”

Their handmade biscuits are made with flour, buttermilk, butter, salt and baking powder. “I like our technique - hand kneading the butter in and slowly folding it together to get pockets of butter. When butter melts it steams. It’s actually air pockets inside the biscuit.

So, that makes it light and fluffy.”

Pancake House

I’m a big fan of Pancake House, but I seem to get everything else except the breakfast biscuits.

I recently tried one of their bacon and egg biscuits. It was terrific. Very flavorful. Everything a breakfast biscuit should be, as far as I’m concerned.

They have other types, but my server, Michelle Gerlach, suggested I try the bacon biscuit.

Those are popular, says owner Juli Druien. “Or the chicken biscuit. We use a fairly good size chicken tender that we put on our biscuit.”

As for the bacon one, she said, “We use a thick Wright’s bacon.”

And you can have breakfast biscuits for lunch and dinner at Pancake House.

The Work of Calvin Farrar

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 12:01 PM

Farrar paints Penny for a mural on Parking Can Be Fun
  • Farrar paints Penny for a mural on Parking Can Be Fun

You most certainly know the work of Calvin Farrar. It's the Tigers and Grizzlies and Redbirds and snowmen, etc., that decorate the windows of Huey's and the Bar-B-Q Shop and various other businesses around town.

He's a Memphis native, who grew up in the New Chicago area. "I grew up painting — watercolors, cartoons," he says.

His first gig was about 25 years ago for the old White Way Drugs on Cleveland. His second job was for the Bar-B-Q Shop. Then Huey's picked him up and it went on from there.

He says he's got about 80 clients all over the city, and it pays pretty well.

His clientele includes Margarita's, Pancho's, Cash Saver, Superlo, and Silky's.

His method is pretty straightforward. He paints the window white, makes an outline, and then gets to work. It takes him a couple hours to complete a work.

A lot of his work is seasonal. He does different seasons and holidays, from Easter to Christmas.

At home, he works in oils. Currently, he's been working on landscapes. He'd like to put together a show.

With his adorable tigers and grizzly bears, Farrar's is not the type of work to court controversy. Though one time, he had to rework a mural, which had a grizzly pointing to a sign. It looked like the grizzly was giving the finger.

Farrar says he never has to pitch his work. "Most people are calling me," he says.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sneak Peek at P.O. Press restaurant

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 3:00 PM

P.O. Press restaurant opens Oct. 1 in Collierville. - MICHAEL DONAHUE
  • Michael Donahue
  • P.O. Press restaurant opens Oct. 1 in Collierville.

With apologies to Eudora Welty, “Why I Live at the P.O. Press” might soon be a common expression among food lovers.

P.O Press is the new restaurant at 148 North Main Street in Collierville. The century-old building once housed the U. S. Post Office and, later, the Collierville Herald newspaper.
Recently, it was the 148 North restaurant.

The sleek, contemporary restaurant, owned by chef Jimmy Gentry and sommelier Chris Thorn, will open Oct. 1. It will feature New American food, Gentry says. For instance, they’ll serve something familiar such as green beans, but include delta Bacon, black garlic and cornbread crumbs with it.

Enticing entrees on the menu include “duck, last season’s figs, pea tendrils” and “black bass/bok choy/miso-curry.”

Gentry and Thorn designed and built or had built much of the furniture in the 4,000 square-foot restaurant. Giant electrical wire spools from a supply company next to Gentry’s Paradox Catering were cut in half, copper strips were applied to the side and used as table tops for the banquettes, which they also built.

Lanterns in the dining room came from Horseshoe Casino’s Magnolia restaurant, where Gentry once worked.

Old barn doors are incorporated into the bar area. One of the doors was cut in half and made into a conference table.

Katie Dailey is making a large three-dimensional installation, which will go on the west wall.

Thorn describes the look as “an elegant color scheme with muted white and soft gray.”

As for the total package, Thorn says, “We wanted to bring downtown midtown dining out to Collierville. We want to be able to provide the same type of experience. We’re moving it to the suburbs, closer to the people, closer to the farms. And then providing all that with a more relaxed, casual service that is still polished and attentive.

“The exciting part to me has been the response that we’ve gotten from the community. It’s the opportunity to bring our vision. So, being able to keep our dollar in the community, work with local vendors, the response we’ve gotten from the neighborhood - those are things that really excited us and continue to drive us to do this.”

Manning the bar will be Mitchell Marable and Nick Manlavi.

The restaurant will be open for dinner and a 9:30 a.m.Sunday brunch.begnning Oct. 7 Lunch will be served at a later date.

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Celtic Has New Menu, Chef

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 2:24 PM


Garrett Quinn's rise at Celtic Crossing begins as many of these stories do with karaoke.

"I was doing karaoke," says Quinn, "when Brandi [Miller] walked in." Bruce was then working the kitchen at Celtic. There was some talking and then Quinn says he went to the restaurant like "a lost dog."

Miller eventually left and the kitchen was his. "I started at the bottom and worked my way up," he says.

Quinn went to culinary school, but feels it's prudent not to mention it. Otherwise, it looks like you're bragging.

But, you could say, with Celtic's new menu and its new flair, there's plenty to brag about.

Quinn says he inched out of the Irish bounds as much as he dared. Like the quesadillas. "I'm trying to be different, eclectic," he says.

And like the gnocchi, an Italian dish if there ever was one. He justifies it by noting that it's traditionally made out of potatoes.

There's also a chicken curry, which is not like a yellow curry but is an English curry. What does that mean? Well, it's less on the turmeric and more like gravy.

Quinn says he's got his eye on the four types of clients Celtic sees. And, he's got nachos for each of them.

1. The morning crowd. They are looking for something quick and easy. For them, he recommends his chicken curry nachos.

2. The lunch crowd. They grab a sandwich and go. The pimento and bacon nachos are perfect for them.

3. The nice dinner crowd. They are the wine drinkers. He'd suggest the Irish nachos with corn beef and the Angry Mary Rose sauce, a spicy take on this traditional mayo/ketchup and Worcester sauce.

4. The late-night crowd. These are the folks for whom nachos were designed. For them, it's the CBCR nachos all the way. That's chicken, bacon, cheddar, and ranch.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Chicken Business

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 4:19 PM

  • Obsidian
Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling says he would often see people leave the Crosstown Concourse and return with big bags of food. (Those bags were not, by the way, from Mama Gaia.) He's seeing those same folks lining up at his newest investment Saucy Chicken.

Opening Saucy Chicken was simply a matter of giving the people what they want, not a 180 turn on healthy eating principles.

As von Holtzendorff-Fehling explains, Mama Gaia's organic ingredients were expensive, which made the meals pricy. Chicken, even locally sourced, antibiotic-free chicken is cheaper. Hence, Saucy Chicken was able to offer bigger plates of food for cheaper prices.

"If people are happy, then I'm happy," he says.

von Holtzendorff-Fehling says he had little to do with the concept — just that he wanted something unique that would fit the Crosstown vibe.

He brushes off the lack of transparency regarding the other investors, saying it's not all that unusual.

Ultimately, he says, “Mama Gaia is my passion and a business. Saucy Chicken is not a passion, it’s a business for me."  

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Monday, September 24, 2018

All-Star Chef Lineup to Celebrate Andrew Michael's 10th

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 3:00 PM

  • andrewzimmern.com

No two have done more than Michael Hudman and Andy Ticer (Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Hog & Hominy, Catherine & Mary's, Gray Canary) to make Memphis a really interesting place to eat. Sure, good food was here eons before Ticer and Hudman, but what they've brought is style, drive, and wit to their food. They both push boundaries while paying upmost respect to their forebears.

On October 22nd, Andy and Michael are marking the 10th anniversary of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen with a block party at Old Dominick Distillery, next door to their latest restaurant The Gray Canary. And, they invited some guests to help celebrate — some top-notch guests ...

Carey Bringle (Peg Leg Porker, Nashville); Sean Brock; Gerard Craft (Pastaria Nashville; Sardella, Taste Bar, Brasserie by Niche & Porano Pasta, St. Louis); Kelly English (Restaurant Iris); Jose Enrique (Jose Enrique, Puerto Rico); Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde, Chicago);Kevin Gillespie (Gunshow, Atlanta); Erling Jensen (Erling Jensen); Jeremiah Langhorne (The Dabney, Washington, DC); Jonathan Magallanes (Las Tortugas); Kevin Nashan (The Peacemaker & Sidney Street Café, St. Louis); Ryan Prewitt(Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans); Patrick Riley (The Majestic Grill); Chris Shepherd (UB Preserv, Houston); Jason Stanhope (FIG, Charleston); Stephen Stryjewski (Cochon, New Orleans); Ryan Trimm (Sweet Grass & Next Door); Jason Vincent (City Mouse, Chicago); and more chefs to be announced.
Expect a toast or two ...
Davin & Kellan Bartosch (WISEACRE Brewing Co); Alba Huerta (Julep, Houston); Jayce McConnell (Edmund’s Oast, Charleston); RoyMilner  (Blackberry Farm Brewery, Maryville, TN); Preston Van Winkle (Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville); and more to be announced.
Tickets are $250; $350 VIP. Benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Now Open: Nutrition Bar

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2018 at 1:31 PM

  • Nutrition Bar: Instagram
  • Funfetti shake

Katelyn McMurry says she tries to stay away from bread, but one of her favorite foods is the blueberry muffin. It’s okay, though, it’s a blueberry muffin protein shake, which clocks in at about 200 calories.

McMurry and her husband Seth opened Nutrition Bar in East Memphis a few weeks ago. It is the sister shop to Nutrition Hub in Germantown. McMurry says that folks would drive from Midtown for their protein shakes.

McMurry got into protein shakes because both she and her husband are athletes. But, the protein shakes they knew were chalky and gross. These are not — they taste like milkshakes and come in indulgent flavors such as apple pie, snickers, Tootsie Pop (orange and chocolate), dulce de leche, and glazed donuts (!).

Nutrition bar also offers energy teas and aloe shots, which help with digestion issues.
McMurry says shakes are good for something quick and easy. But they are not everything and shouldn’t replace every meal. “You’re going to need something to eat,” she says.
Nutrition Bar is open from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Nutrition Bar, 4615 Poplar

Caramel apple for fall - NUTRITION BAR: INSTAGRAM
  • Nutrition Bar: Instagram
  • Caramel apple for fall

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