Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, MS
(Live from Scenic City Supper Club)
Oxford, Mississippi isn’t an easy place to get to if you’re accustomed to interstate highways and direct flights. Just the name of this town conjures a rich layer of images: SEC football tailgates, blues music wailing across big cotton field skies, and Faulkner, of course. But layered in all of this is also a hopping culinary scene, and one of its epicenters is Snackbar, a taste on the plate of a South that is even more layered than the town. That’s because it’s helmed by Vishwesh Bhatt, the 2019 James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South. Vish is a man who cooks from his own heart, and that means using Indian flavors and Southern ingredients, and most of all keeping in mind that the restaurant business is a people business, focusing on fostering talent in the kitchens and regulars in the dining room who become friends. You might also catch him as part of the popular SFA dinner series, Brown in the South, or as I did, at a guest chef dinner.
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