Chamber’s Taste of Natchez a tremendous hit

Published 10:07 am Saturday, June 26, 2021

It feels wonderful to return to some semblance of life as we knew it before COVID.

Tuesday night’s Natchez Adams County Chamber of Commerce 2020 gala, aptly named the UnMaskerade Ball, had to wait more than a year to take place. Social interaction was encouraged, and interact we did! The gala was worth the wait. Debbie Hudson and her crew did an outstanding job putting on the event at which all, truly, had a good time.

The event, which took over the entire main floor of the convention center, was very well attended. It seems like the Natchez business community was more than ready to come together and do a little celebrating.

One of the best parts about the evening was the Taste of Natchez. It don’t know whose idea that was, but it was brilliant.

Instead of a sit-down dinner, the Taste of Natchez at the Chamber gala Tuesday brought together 18 Natchez restaurants and caterers who showed off what they offer on their menus. It was amazing! The oohs and ahhhs from the crowd were abundant from gala-goers as they visited each restaurant’s station, set up around the perimeter of the convention center.

I was introduced to several restaurants I haven’t been to, but I surely will go to in the future. Apparently, that was the situation for a number of people there.

I heard one gala-goer exclaim, “This is the best sushi I’ve ever eaten. I didn’t know they served this at Planet Thailand!”

Another was going on about the meat egg rolls, hummus and the tabouli from The Guest House. “This is the real deal,” she said.

Butter Cakery’s table of cupcakes and confections were a big hit, as was the charcuterie cups from Natchez Grazing Co.

The wings from 100 Main, one of the Parks’ trio of Natchez restaurants which includes also Pearl Street Pasta and Magnolia Grill, were some of the best, if not the best, I’ve ever had. They were the kind that wasn’t dripping in sauce. The sauce was on the side, just like I like them. Talk about good. The Parks’ came with the big guns and served Magnolia Grill’s fried catfish and coleslaw, and Pearl Street Pasta’s Cajun chicken pasta.

The Markets served a strawberry cake parfait-like shooter with layers of Chantilly cream, which was outstanding. And the bread pudding from Restaurant 1818 at Monmouth Historic Inn was delicious and much talked about.

The Kitchen served boudin bites and some fancy deviled eggs and Rolling River Reloaded offered gumbo.

Linden Bed and Breakfast was there with stuffed potato casserole and southern-style green beans.

The Little Easy served their extraordinary salmon salad. The chef smokes the salmon himself and it’s simply the best.

One of the most popular stations was the Natchez Grand’s baked brie with a fig reduction.

Slick Rick’s came with a new twist: seared ribeye steak over a loaded waffle topped with béarnaise sauce.

The Castle at Dunleith served magnificent shrimp and grits.

Natchez Coffee Company served an assortment of homemade desserts, Rolling in the Dough was there with its gourmet edible cookie dough, and Natchez Brewing Co. brought its famous garlic knots.

Are you hungry yet? Any of these things sound good to you? Simply pick one and head out to it this weekend. You’ll be glad you did!

Jan Griffey is editor and general manager of The Natchez Democrat. You may reach her at jan.griffey@natchezdemocrat.com