Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Praise of Pimento Cheese

The last year or so have been important ones for the South's beloved Pimento Cheese. Our iconic spread--a mixture of sharp cheddar, mayonnaise, and diced pimento peppers has gone from being virtually unknown outside of the South to the "it" appetizer across the US.

Jim 'n Nick's Bar-B-Q has had their version of pimento cheese on their menu for many years. Served with their spicy, smoked hot links, crackers and hot peppers, it is one of the more popular menu items. Executive chef, Drew Robinson shares his recipe below but was also quoted on the popular national food blog,, this week. A handful of our friends, including Southern gal turned NYC chef, Elizabeth Karmel (from Hill Country and Hill Country Chicken), Southern Foodways Alliance director, John T. Edge, chef Hugh Acheson from Five and Ten in Athens, GA and Empire State South in Atlanta, and Chef Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch Public House in Atlanta add their comments along side Drew's. Check it out here:

And here's that recipe:

Jim 'N Nick's Old-School Pimento Cheese

1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/4 cup mayonnaise (we prefer Duke's)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 oz. fire-roasted red peppers or diced pimentos

Mix ingredients together well. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Serve on crackers, celery, make a sandwich, slather on a burger...the combinations are up to you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankfulness and Community in Good Times and Bad

"Community is an interesting thing in the sense that as humans, we depend on it to provide a certain sense of our well-being, yet at the same time we struggle to define or reinvent our place in it. Given the opportunity to look at our place and function in our community, people have the chance to see their value because what a community is really composed of is relationships.

In difficult times and when tragedies befall us, it is most important as individuals to reflect on what our relationship is to our community and to fulfill that role by whatever means we have at our disposal. The culinary community has a unique opportunity at those times to be on the front line of trying to help revive and nourish people in need. Food can very quickly comfort and console people and help give them a little strength to start rebuilding or recovering from what has hurt them."

--Drew Robinson, Executive Chef--Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q

Our good friends at CNN's "Eatocracy" gave Jim 'N Nick's Executive Chef and Pitmaster, Drew Robinson the opportunity to speak about the very beautiful opportunity that humans have to reach out to each other in times of trouble. Last year, following the terrible storms that raged through Alabama--leaving entire towns leveled and thousands of people homeless and struggling--Drew, along with teams of people from Jim 'N Nick's decided to venture out from the restaurants and take food to the devastated communities. The blessings and lessons learned from the efforts were deep and Drew was inspired to share his thoughts to the folks at Eatocracy.

Now that it is a time of year to reflect and give thanks, CNN decided to re-post Drew's beautiful words for us to ponder today. The above is an excerpt from that post and you can read the rest of it here:

Thank you Drew and CNN for reminding us of what matters and why cooking is not only fun and delicious, but really, really matters.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meat & 9 in Oxford, MS

The Southern Foodways Alliance held its annual Symposium last weekend in the lovely university town of Oxford, Mississippi. The SFA--part of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi--is an organization that Jim 'n Nick's Bar-B-Q takes pride in supporting. Their studies and celebration of the traditional, diverse and changing foodways of the American South inspires what we do at our restaurants and last week, we were honored to be a part of their "Cultivated South" programming.

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Many friends--including Caleb Zigas (pictured above serving food to symposium attendees) who is the director of the amazing organization La Cocina in San Francisco, California joined us for the fun. The dinner included some other Southern chefs and kitchens and together we created a "meat and nine" dinner. Jim 'n Nick's smoked pork and provided vegetables from Southern farms like spicy greens, a sweet potato hash and giant skillets of cornbread.

Photo: Jennifer Davick

A team of Jim 'n Nick's folks caravanned to Oxford by bus, plane, car and smokin' rig. The site of the rig parked beneath the Oxford water tower whetted the appetite of passers by and provided a gathering place for friends like South Carolina BBQ pitmaster, Rodney Scott, Jim 'n Nick's team members, Nicholas Pihakis and Sarah Johnson, Atlanta mixologist and restaurateur, Greg Best, and Chef Steven Satterfield of Miller Union Restaurant in Atlanta.

To find out more about the Southern Foodways Alliance and their oral history collections, films and events, visit

Many thanks to Alabama photographer Jennifer Davick who took photos of the event all weekend long. To see more, visit her website and blog at