City Grocery Celebrates 20 Years
MARCH 16, 2012 (Oxford, MS) -April and May will see a full month of events marking the 20th anniversary of the opening of City Grocery. "We could not be more excited or more proud." says John Currence, the restaurant's executive chef and owner, "It has been a remarkable 20 years and, frankly seems like the blink of an eye."
Papers were signed on April 17, 1992 and the restaurant opened about a month after. On April 17 and 18, 2012, Currence has enlisted Top Chef Master friend Suvir Suran to offer two nights of dinners from his new book Masala Farm. "Nobody I know could make this evening any more engaging or glamorous that Suvir. He is a great character and he is engaging in the same dialog about food that we are at City Grocery." Currence says. "I just wanted to kick it off with someone really fun and entertaining and Suvir is certainly that. It's going to be wonderful, fresh and delicious. His book is awesome."
Currence was 26 years old when he and, then partner, Palmer Adams launched the Oxford landmark. "We really had little idea what we were doing. I was a kid and all I knew was that I needed to work within my abilities. If I tried to reach beyond that, we would fail. It was so simple, but we tried to do everything perfectly. The herb roasted chicken we did, I tried to make the best chicken anyone would have ever eaten. We were lucky. People loved us."
To mark the anniversary, the restaurant will run the original menu at the original prices for a limited time. Then take the same menu and reinterpret the same dishes for 2012. "We have grown tremendously in ambition and attitude. It will be really fun to see those dishes and what they look like beside the contemporary versions."
At the end of the month of menus and on the anniversary of the actual opening, Currence is having ten or so of his past sous chefs return to do two nights of dinners on the 18th and 19th of May. The chefs will be divided into two groups and will do two separate menus, one on each night.
"Sunday is the bash, though," exclaims Currence, "we are going to head out to Woodson Ridge Farm and have a huge party. As much as I hate to say it, it's going to be like a culinary jam session. We are going to cook all kinds of stuff over open fire and set a table for as many people as will join us." Currence and friends plan on roasting whole fish, lamb, pigs, plus "every vegetable we can pull out of the ground, off the bush, or from the vine! It is going to be a blast!"
City Grocery is currently taking reservations for the Suvir Saran dinners and the alumni dinners. Suvir's menus are online at citygroceryonline.com. Alumni dinner menus are forthcoming and the Woodson Ridge Jam Sessions menu will be a complete surprise. Woodson Ridge party will be a ticketed event. Tickets are available through The Main Event (City Grocery's catering office) at the number listed below.
City Grocery Corporate Offices
1005 North Lamar Blvd.
Oxford, MS 38655