Cleveland chef David Crews will be leading a "popup" restaurant night at Dockery Farms Plantation on Monday to offer an alternative-dining venue at the Delta landmark. The event is part of a statewide effort through www.eatyall.com.
Cleveland chef David Crews is bringing a twist to Delta dining Monday with a special meal to be hosted in the old service station at the Dockery Farms Plantation. The affair is part of a statewide effort by www.eatyall.com to offer an alternative eating experience that provides an inside dish on the people, places, ingredients and events that define southern food. Crews, a chef instructor in the culinary arts program at Mississippi Delta Community College, is partnering with Jackson-based chef Matthew Kajden for what is believed to be Cleveland's first-ever fine dining "popup" meal. Kajden is the chef at the highly praised Parlor Market in downtown Jackson. "The whole popup idea is to pick an interesting place, make a great meal, have a lot of fun and then it's gone," said Crews. "Events like this are great because they allow both the chef and the diner to experiment. People around here are very receptive to the idea." Blues landmark Dockery Farms Plantation will be the Delta's first spot on Eat Y'all's map, which already includes a number of intriguing venues from the Jackson area and southern Mississippi. Crews said the local response has been remarkable as the $65 tickets for Monday's event sold out quicker than all previous venues. "People in the Delta will drive 100 miles for great food and they won't even blink," he said. "It's going to be an awesome event for the chefs, Eat Y'all and the diners. It's a win-win-win for everybody." The evening kicks off at 6:30 p.m. as the guests will enjoy six courses prepared from locally sourced ingredients, including Yazoo City's Simmons Farm-Raised Catfish. The tunes of Delta Blues will also season the air. The extensive menu is sure to please the palates. The courses include: *D.L.T. — Stone Ground Grit Cake with shredded RC Braised Duck, Micro Arugula, Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, Olive Oil, Smith County Honey and Cracked Pepper *Duck Confit and Catfish Boudin “Corn Dogs” — Horsey Aioli, Spicy Ketchup and Pickled Jalapeño Honey Mustard *Deconstructed Catfish Chowder — Poached Simmons Catfish, Rillons, Smoked Corn, Potato Hash, White Wine and Potato Nage with Corn Bread *Surf and Turf — Petite Beef Tenderloin and Low Country Simmons Catfish Cake, Roasted Cauliflower Purée and Tempura Fried Pickled Green Bean finished with a Ham Hock Hollandaise *Blackened Simmons Catfish — Sweet Corn Maque Choux, Sweet Potato Tostones and Hot Sauce *Fresh Apple Cake —Buttermilk and Brown Sugar Glaze, Cathead and Vanilla Bean Frosting, Apple Chips and Fig Gelato Dockery Farms Foundation Executive Director Bill Lester said the service station would provide a perfect environment for the occasion. "We're very pleased that the old time feel of the station will be all dressed up to help show people just how special the Delta really is," said Lester. "The popup idea is something really innovative. People will be able to try foods from talented chefs that they normally might not have the opportunity to try," he said. Crews agreed that exposing locals to the concept should help the Eat Y'all movement continue to grow. "It's not about making money," said crews. "It's more of a promotion of the venues, chefs and culinary arts in the state of Mississippi. "It's also about promoting good fresh food. People become complacent sometimes." Chef Crews will turn around and assist Vicksburg chef Jay Parmegiani for another event at the Viking Cooking School in Ridgeland on Feb. 19. Visit www.eatyall.com for more information.