As I write this, I’m in Mississippi finishing up the Stockman Grass Farmer Marketing School. The school is limited to 30 people and is 2 and 1/2 days of intense marketing strategies for grass fed meats. The school is led by Allan and Carolyn Nation (editor and owner of the Stockman Grass Farmer Magazine), Joel Salatin and myself.
We’ve met some new faces and made new friends. The world is getting smaller and smaller in the local, clean food movement.
Last night about 20 of us went to a local restaurant here in Ridgeland called Ro’Chez.
What an experience!
Chef James Roache (pronounced Roe-Shay) prepared a feast with culinary expertise. Now, lest you think this is a typical dining experience, let me tell you otherwise.
The chef is as eccentric as the place is eclectic. There are no matching dishes or silverware. Tables are placed helter-skelter and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for any particular picture or decor. It is truly an experience with a capital E.
Here’s the menu we enjoyed last night:
Cochon Gumbo – Smoked pork with Limas, Trinity in rich broth and finished with Hoe Cake
Apple, Bacon, and Bleu Salad -Warmed apple bacon bourbon vinaigrette on baby spinach sprinkled with cajun pecan and bleu cheese.
Country Ham Chicken – Salt cured fried chicken rested on roasted garlic potato cake then smothered with artichoke mushroom cream.
Smoked FLouder Ala Ro Chez – Flounder filet layered with crab andouille dresssing rolled and smoked then rested in a pool of meuniere cream
Cajun Baked Apple – Apple baked in house caramel topped with cinnamon crust with vanilla cream angelaise.
Yes, he brought out every single one of these entrees.
All of the food is sourced as much as possible from local farmers, many of whom Chef Roache has helped work their farms himself. Here are a couple of really amazing attributes that make this restaurant unique:
In the 7 years that he has been opened, he has never repeated a menu. Every single menu is completely new. (open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings)
All of the food is sources locally. In fact, he even barters his time with some farmers for the food!
And lastly, all of the cooking/baking is done on a wood cook stove. No modern appliances can be found in the kitchen.
That last one is the fact that astonished me the most. So if you’re ever in the Jackson, MS, area, be sure to check out Ro’Chez for an extremely unique and eclectic dining experience.