Community Service & Volunteerism

Published on March 26th, 2015 | by Nature Humphries

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Big Bad Minero Pop-Up to Benefit Oxford City Market

It’s time for another “Pop-Up” event in Oxford for the City Grocery Restaurant Group. This time, Lamar Lounge will host chefs John Currence and Sean Brock with a Mexican themed event called “Big Bad Minero.” The title is a mashup of Currence’s “Big Bad” motif and Brock’s newest restaurant, Minero, a casual Mexican eatery which opened in Charleston in October of 2014.

The Pop-Up will benefit Oxford City Market’s SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card system that will debut this Spring along with the new “Double-Up Bucks” program. Market Director Betsy Chapman describes the program as a way to incentivize making healthier food choices when the cost of junk food is much lower. Many people aren’t aware that Oxford has two USDA-declared food deserts, with 33% of the population living below poverty, and 50% of children receiving free lunch in the school system. Chapman said that one of the Market’s primary missions is to work to address food insecurity – “limited access to healthy, high-quality food that is also affordable.”

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“[With] the EBT system in place, the next step is for the market to acknowledge the higher cost of eating healthy,” Chapman said. “So we want to make it easier for people to access healthy local food. We’re doing that by offering Double-Up Bucks. If a SNAP customer comes and spends $10 at the market, the Double-Up Bucks fund will provide a $10 match, so it’s a dollar-for-dollar match to increase the customer’s food-buying power for the week. In essence, it’s great for the customers because they get more bang for their buck, and it’s great for vendors because they’re making more money on their stuff. So it’s mutually beneficial.”

The Market’s season will start in April (tentative opening date is April 21st) and will continue throughout the summer every Tuesday from 3 – 6:30 pm on West Oxford Loop. They have plenty of exciting programs planned for this season, so stay tuned for more information on upcoming Market events. With the new EBT system in place, folks who have the cards will be able to shop there and use it just like at the supermarket.

Chef John Currence is very excited about the event and the cause. “I couldn’t be more proud to be involved and part of helping the market,” he said. “This is something that the community desperately needs.”

 The Pop-Up will begin at 5 pm, and there will be no reservations taken. All seating (including the bar) will be managed by a hostess on a first-come first-served basis. The upstairs patio area will open as a waiting area, serving Mexican beers and a special cocktail that Currence promises is a must-try.

 The El Satánico is a “totally weird,” concoction of tepache (fermented pineapple wine), pineapple vinegar, and white tequila. “It’s crazy,” said Currence, “and it’s so delicious. And weird.”

 

 Other features of the menu include Lamb Neck Posole, Smoked Brisket Enchiladas, and Smoked Pork Tostada – all spotlighting Lamar Lounge’s signature pit-smoked meats. Brock’s contributions include Charcoal Grilled Chicken Wings, Fried Catfish Tacos, and Chilaquiles made with “heirloom beans and pork, fried egg,” and other goodies.

 Chef Sean Brock’s new book, Heritage, will also be for sale at the event, with signing available.

For more information on the Oxford City Market, visit their web site: http://oxfordcitymarket.com/

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About the Author

Nature Humphries is Editor-in-Chief of The Local Voice. Nature is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, but moved to Oxford in 2004 after spending time in the United States Navy. She has also worked in the restaurant industry for many years as a server and a bartender. Nature graduated from Ole Miss in 2007 with a degree in English and Modern Languages.



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