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Special Currence Project Pops Up Today

PosterBig Bad Chef staging impromptu dining experience in Oxford with top chefs from Memphis and Atlanta

By Angela Rogalski, Senior Journalism Major, Meek School of Journalism & New Media


Picture it: four top chefs camp in Oxford, dedicated to preparing mouth-watering, delectable, and distinct foods. Beginning Wednesday, January 9, you don’t have to just imagine it. You can actually experience it.

John Currence is turning his The Main Event office and catering kitchen into Big Bad Pop-ups while his City Grocery restaurant on the Square undergoes renovation.

The promotion entails a full month devoted to street foods and some very special folks cooking them up.

Eli Kershtein
Eli Kershtein

Credit Currence with introducing this innovative concept to Oxford. Meghan Scott, assistant general manager of City Grocery, said the event is something that Currence and his staff are excited to offer.

Chefs A-Poppin’

“City Grocery celebrated our 20th anniversary this past May,” Scott said. “And at present, the restaurant is closed for renovations. So, while we’re making the necessary improvements to City Grocery, we decided it would be great to offer the folks of Oxford something a little different.”

And different—and delicious—it promises to be. Starting Wednesday and running through Saturday, the first week serves up epicurean ecstasy for the appetite, as Chef Eli Kirshtein from ENO Restaurant & Wine Bar in Atlanta, and also of Top Chef fame, cooks up some splendorous delights.

“There’ll be a separate menu for each week from each chef,” Scott said. “So from Wednesday to Saturday, one chef will prepare the food, and then the following Wednesday through Saturday, another chef will implement that menu and so on.”

Kelly English
Kelly English

The other chefs who will be tickling collective fancies with their “street foods” are Kelly English from Restaurant Iris in Memphis, Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman from Hog & Hominy in Memphis, and of course, Currence.

Meghan Scott explains, “We’re holding this event at The Main Event, which is our normal office and catering kitchen. So, when you have a ‘pop-up,’ it means creating something out of nothing,” Scott said. “For example, turning our office and catering kitchen into a pop-up restaurant.”

A true feeling and experience of spontaneity seems to be the target here. Scott said diners should be prepared for a nice, relaxed atmosphere, reasonable prices, and truck stop-type style—quick, efficient, and delicious—when being served. Meals will be be a la carte, and a lounge area will be available.

Street Flavor

Andrew Ticer, John Currence, and Michael Hudman. Photo from the Southern Foodways Alliance, www.southernfoodways.org
Andrew Ticer, John Currence, and Michael Hudman. Photo from the Southern Foodways Alliance, www.southernfoodways.org

The street foods menu will consist of four types of cuisines: Israeli Street Foods, Louisiana Cookin’, Italian Cooking with Southern Roots, and kicked-up American Classics.

Each category is a temptation to chuck those pesky little resolutions you may have made at New Year’s and open up to the taste explosion. After all, there are priorities in life, and Big Bad Pop-ups could certainly become one quickly.

Big Bad Pop-Ups will run for four weeks, Wednesday through Saturday beginning January 9. The doors of The Main Event, located at 1005 North Lamar Boulevard, open at 5:30 p.m. for this culinary adventure and close at 10:00 p.m.

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