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gfron1

Starting a high profile new restaurant (after closing another)

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Monticello's not quite the Ozarks. Southeast part of the state; Ozarks are north central, northwest.

 

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2 hours ago, kayb said:

Monticello's not quite the Ozarks. Southeast part of the state; Ozarks are north central, northwest.

Remember I am trying to define Ozark cuisine, and differentiate it from other identifiable cuisines. So boundaries are not a limiting factor so much as concentration of ideas. Seeing what surrounding communities did and didn't do is important to the process.

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Love your dedication and research. Perhaps you shared already and I missed it. I am wondering how you plan to educate your customers on the background and underpinnings of Ozark food culture aside from presenting the menu items.

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56 minutes ago, gfron1 said:

Remember I am trying to define Ozark cuisine, and differentiate it from other identifiable cuisines. So boundaries are not a limiting factor so much as concentration of ideas. Seeing what surrounding communities did and didn't do is important to the process.

 

There are a lot of similarities between Delta (which is Monticello) and Ozarks cuisine. Things like greens and dry beans are the same; cured pork is about the same (though barbecue is decidedly different). The Delta has more African influences in its cuisine, as well as more Spanish/Creole influences (tamales, gumbos, etc.). Fish is bigger in the Delta, game in the Ozarks. Cornbread is common to both regions, but it's more likely to be sweetened in the Delta (an abomination, IMHO). There tends to be a bigger variety of vegetables these days in the Ozarks. Tomatoes are big in both regions. 

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4 hours ago, heidih said:

Love your dedication and research. Perhaps you shared already and I missed it. I am wondering how you plan to educate your customers on the background and underpinnings of Ozark food culture aside from presenting the menu items.

I can answer that roundabout by saying my greatest fear is coming off as a gimmick. Yes, i want to educate, but I'm only using the knowledge to give me a spark on my menu design. For example, turns out because of the German Euro immigrant influence I found all sorts of kruellers/doughnuts in the cookbooks. So that would be fun for me to always have a krueller on every tasting menu - both sweet and savory. I'd like to be able to talk about why that is, but certainly not claim it as an authentic Ozark experience.

4 hours ago, kayb said:

There are a lot of similarities between Delta (which is Monticello) and Ozarks cuisine. Things like greens and dry beans are the same; cured pork is about the same (though barbecue is decidedly different). The Delta has more African influences in its cuisine, as well as more Spanish/Creole influences (tamales, gumbos, etc.). Fish is bigger in the Delta, game in the Ozarks. Cornbread is common to both regions, but it's more likely to be sweetened in the Delta (an abomination, IMHO). There tends to be a bigger variety of vegetables these days in the Ozarks. Tomatoes are big in both regions. 

I agree on all of this and I am trying to dig into older sources. I want to know what enslaved people contributed and was it more rooted in their African cuisine or previous ownership's cuisine. I want to know what indigenous people at before resettlement. And of course, the intricacies among the Euro-immigrants. A good example is you mentioned corn bread. Yes, but styles seem to have strong difference. I'm still teasing this out but pone seems more common in Northern AR and Souther MO than elsewhere. My process is to keep digging to find the first reference to pone either as a term or possibly just a description of the technique.

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Ha! should have known you had thought this through well. Agree on avoiding "gimmick". I see another book in your future :)

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