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New communitywide cookbook features recipes from Meridian

By Staff
NEW COOKBOOK n Pictured are Lallie Bennett, Vicky McDonnell and Kim Waters, chairmen of the "Prime Meridian" cookbook project. The cookbook will be on sale Oct. 29 at the Lamar School Cafetorium. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall/The Meridian Star
Oct. 17, 2001
Meridian residents will have a chance to enjoy mouth-watering hors d'oeuvres, a four-course meal and wines from all over the world at "A Prime Affair."
The dinner, in connection with Meridian's newest community cookbook, "Prime Meridian," will be held Oct. 26 at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Phillips.
The highlight of the evening will be the meal prepared by world-famous Chief Gus Martin of Palace Caf in New Orleans.
Thousands of submissions
The cookbook is the idea of Kim Waters, Vicky McDonnell and Lallie Bennett.
A committee was set up to screen the recipes. Before one qualified for consideration, it had to be tested by three different cooks. Around 500 recipes were chosen.
Among the recipes were favorites by Emmy award-winning actress and Meridian native Sela Ward, Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott and U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering.
The cookbook cover was designed by local artist Greg Cartmell.
It was printed by Wimmer Publishing of Memphis, and will available Oct. 29. Pre-ordered copies can be picked up at Lamar School Cafetorium from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on that date. The cookbook will also be available to the general public.
About the chef
Born and raised in New Orleans, Martin began his culinary career at age 14, working in the kitchen at Commander's Palace where he developed an extensive knowledge of Creole spices and seasoning.
At age 17, he left the restaurant business to serve in the U.S. Army. After serving six years, he returned to civilian life and went to work for Louisiana Offshore Catering. His passion for cooking fully realized, Martin was eager to return home to New Orleans.
In 1997, Martin was promoted to Chef de Cuisine at yet another Brennan family restaurant, Palace Caf, and was named executive chef of the restaurant in 1998.
As executive chef of Palace Caf, he has appeared on CNN's "On the Menu" and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation's "Newsworld."
Martin now spends his time in the kitchens of Palace Caf and Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, serving as executive chef of both restaurants. He will also hold the tile of executive chef at Bourbon House, a New Orleans seafood restaurant scheduled to open in the French Quarter in 2002.
About the dinner
The dinner will include a sneak preview of the "Prime Meridian" cookbook. A sampling of hors d'oeuvres will be featured beginning at the 7 p.m. cocktail hour.
In addition to the four-course meal, a wine flight broker will also be on hand. The broker will explain why each wine is being paired with each course.
The formal dinner is $125 a plate and begins at 8 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by pianist Wayne McInnis. Reservations can be made by calling Elsie Jordan at 737-8167. Special seating arrangements and menu choice must be made at this time. The dinner is limited to 60 people.
Penny Randall is an editorial assistant at The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3216, or e-mail her at prandall@themeridianstar.com.

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