• Top Chef: Dell Smith

    Dell is the great-nephew of Leottis “Lee” Barnett, the namesake of Lee’s Coffee & Tea. Before moving to Laurel, Dell lived in Texas and Arizona, where he developed a great appreciation for fine craft coffee and beer and honed his skills making both at home. Missing the coffee culture to which he had become accustomed, Dell saw an opportunity to help build one in the growing downtown Laurel district. The stars aligned, and he found himself in charge of one of the staples of the community.

  • Lee's Coffee & tea

    On a hot Sunday morning, the Food with Friends crew decided to caravan a little north to the City Beautiful herself, Laurel, to check out a beautiful coffee shop in the heart of its downtown – Lee’s Coffee & Tea.

  • Chef Q&A: Antoine Anthony

    Antoine Anthony is originally from New Orleans, La., where he began his career in the food industry at age 16. After gaining experience at the “garde manger” section at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas, Anthony went on to work as a chef’s assistant at “The Grape.” After moving to Hattiesburg in 2000, Anthony has served as executive chef at Canebrake Golf Club and Cotton Blues. Now serving as executive chef at the Hattiesburg Country Club, he creates a personalized dining experience for members and their guests.

  • Luxury Dining at the Hattiesburg Country Club

    On a chilly spring day, three of the regular “Food with Friends” friends missed our fourth friend, brought along another friend, and met up with an old friend for a fabulous dining extravaganza at Hattiesburg Country Club.

    Have I lost you yet?

  • Chef Q&A: Michael Petitto

    Michael Petitto, 54, is originally from Amite, La., where he owned and operated his family's restaurant, Spitale's, from 2002-2012. Spitale's was originally opened in 1921, by Sam Spitale, Michael's grandfather.  Michael is the son of the late Frank and Frances Petitto. He is married to Lori Petitto of Amite, La., and they have a total of six children combined. Michael has four adult children – Michael, Chris, Andy and Kasey. Lori has two adult daughters, Christine and Mikki. They have four grandchildren, Peyton, Cameron, Ty, and Olivia.

  • Doggone Good Time: Dis & Dem

    First impressions are important. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. In a sea of restaurants off Highway 98, in what I like to call “retail-ville,” there is a place I’ve always said I would try, but had yet to finally check it out. Well, I’m happy to report that I have finally eaten at Dis & Dem, and I’m kicking myself for not trying it sooner. 

  • Top Chef: Carlos Molina & Isabel Laguna

    Isabel Laguna is originally from Guanajuato Mexico. She learned all of her cooking skills, like most Mexican chefs, from family traditions. Carlos Molina is originally from Rio Grande City , Texas. Similarly, he was trained by family traditions, but passion for food and work experience all joined to help him create new mixed recipes. Both chefs work side by side to bring traditional and new flavors to Hattiesburg. Through food, they both feel they create unity not only with customers, but in the community.

  • A Taste of Tradition at La Mexicana

    Food With Friends is the perfect way to describe these nights, because my close friends Jamie, Brittany and Allison aren’t the only ones involved. My friends are also behind the scene – offering some well-crafted meals in a sensational atmosphere.

    This time I have the opportunity to write about my friend, Carlos Molina.

  • From a Fruit Cart

    Some people judge towns by their population.  Others judge them by amenities such as parks and playgrounds.  Many consider school systems and tax policies.

    I judge towns by the quality and longevity of their small independent diners and cafes.

    For 94 years, the Coney Island Café has defined my hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

    Arthur Fokakis, the original owner, emigrated here from Greece in 1923.

    He got his start by selling fruit from a pushcart parked under a large shade tree near the railroad tracks on Main Street.

  • Signature Magazine's Top Chef: Will Taylor

     

    What’s one ingredient that you can't live without? Greek yogurt

    What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when cooking? JJ Grey & Mofro or Widespread Panic either or is alright by me.

    If you could cook for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?  John Daly – I feel like he’d love a Pepperjack Gyro and the stories would be great!

    What’s your favorite ethnic cuisine? Mediterranean

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