JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Mississippi Development Authority
Visit Mississippi is partnering with The Southern Food & Beverage Museum to celebrate Mississippi Month in March. A kick-off event featuring Natchez chef Regina Charboneau is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 7, at the museum's New Orleans location.
The event will explore Mississippi's culinary history and showcase the state's creative food traditions. Both First Lady Deborah Bryant and chef Regina Charboneau will be featured as part of the program.
“This is an important partnership because it highlights the centrality of Mississippi's food and beverage culture to the overarching Southern food experience,” said Malcolm White, Director of Visit Mississippi. “It is also very important in our ongoing efforts to connect with our neighboring states as we explore our culinary heritage, particularly in terms of the Mississippi Culinary Trail, which is entering its fifth year of programming.”
First Lady Deborah Bryant will attend the kick-off event, contributing a piece of gubernatorial history in the form of Governor's Mansion tableware. The First Lady will donate dinner, salad, dessert and butter plates, along with other items, to represent Mississippi in the museum's extensive china collection. She will also offer brief remarks about the state's rich culinary heritage and the Mississippi Culinary Trail program, beginning at 4 p.m.
Charboneau is a Natchez chef and author who currently serves on the executive team of The American Queen, the largest steamboat ever built, as Chef de Cuisine. Charboneau has served as chef in Alaska and San Francisco, Ca. and is also the author of “Regina's Table at Twin Oaks.”She and her husband reside at and run Twin Oaks guesthouse in Natchez. Charboneau also owns King's Tavern, housed in the oldest building in Natchez, and Charboneau Distillery, where Mississippi rums are made. She will perform a cooking demonstration and will also be available to sign copies of her book.
Also in March will be guest LaMont Burns, farmer, television personality, author and chef, who is heir to four generations of African-American culinary tradition that began over 150 years ago in the kitchen of a Tennessee plantation, where his great-grandmother gained fame as one of the finest cooks of her time. She passed on her recipes, secrets, techniques, and love of Southern cuisine to her daughter, granddaughter and great grandson, LaMont. He will discuss his book, “Authentic Southern Cooking: Four Generations of Black Culinary Tradition” at the museum at 2 p.m., March 14.
On March 21, Brad Orrison, owner of The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint in Ocean Springs, will discuss the restaurant's rich and dynamic history and the overall presence of barbeque in Southern cuisine and in the world today.
During the entire month of March, the museum's permanent exhibit will be on display, as well, featuring memorabilia from the Southern states. Admission to the museum is half-price for all Mississippians during March, with the requirement of a valid Mississippi driver's license. The museum's exhibit will be constantly changing, with updates and new memorabilia being added to the collection as it grows. A photo contest will be held each week, encouraging the public to share a photo of Mississippi food or drink memories on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #SoMississippi and #SoFAB. One winner, receiving free admission to the museum, will be chosen each week throughout March.
Visit Mississippi, the Tourism division of Mississippi Development Authority, is partnering with the museum on the project for the next three years.
“There will be a lot to look forward to in terms of programming in the near future,” said White. “The Southern Foodways Alliance's Craig Claiborne traveling exhibit will make a permanent home at the museum during the month of March. We know that in Mississippi, the ‘culinary arts' is a growing sector of the creative economy. Mississippi's creative economy accounts for $955 million or 3.2 percent of the state's $101.5 billion GDP (gross domestic product).”
Showcasing the state's true flavor, The Mississippi Culinary Trail helps grow the culinary arts, and as White stated above, is in its fifth year of programming. Each of the five regions has its own delicacies like hot tamales, slug burgers and comeback sauce. The trail itineraries work their way around the state highlighting each region's restaurants, cooks and food traditions that exemplify Mississippi's distinctive cuisine.
The Southern Food & Beverage Museum first opened their doors in 2008 at the Riverwalk Marketplace in New Orleans, and after six years of growing in that location, re-opened in their own building at 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in New Orleans. While based in New Orleans, the museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South's unique culinary heritage. It brings all races and ethnicities to the table to tell the tale. And although the museum is based in New Orleans, they are bringing their message about the entire South to the world through exhibits, collection of oral histories and videos, and other research.
The museum hosts special exhibits, demonstrations, lectures and tastings that showcase the food and drink of the South. They cooperate with the many fine local and regional museums, restaurants, theaters, academic institutions and artists to present richly-textured experiences in multiple venues.
More information can be found at their website,
For more information on Mississippi's story, the culinary arts, or the state's culinary trail, see