Photos by Justin Fox Burks
Since we’re cookbook authors and bloggers, not restaurant owners, you just never know where we might pop up. You may find us presenting a three-course lunch at the James Beard House or contributing smoked mushroom tamales to a Memphis-themed dinner in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Often, we’re collaborating with local chefs to create unexpected and unique vegetarian options for their own menus here in town.
This Saturday, July 11, we’re over the moon about where we’re popping up next! We’re honored to be presenting some of our favorite summer dishes at the Iris Etc. space at 62 S. Cooper in Midtown. With Kelly Robinson at the helm of the operation and Shawn Mitchell in the kitchen, Iris Etc. is the catering arm of chef Kelly English’s restaurant group. We were honored to be asked to choose some of our favorite summer dishes to be executed by Iris Etc.’s capable staff so that the way we cook at home can be shared with a wider audience.
The Chubby Vegetarian pop-up restaurant will be an all-day event from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There’s no need to make a reservation — everyone’s welcome and just come as you are. We have great memories of the Chubby Vegetarian brunch we collaborated with English on in June of 2011 at Restaurant Iris, so here we go again!
We’ve developed courses for plenty of seated dinners and secret suppers, but we decided to do something very different with this opportunity in order to celebrate both the easy informality and excellent produce of summer. A dozen or so of our favorite recipes will be served à la carte in paper boats. Everything will be reasonably priced so that folks can try a slew of different things.
You can look forward to a grilled watermelon salad, pimento cheese and tomato pie, king oyster mushroom scallops, a carrot corn dog, smoked shiitake mushroom tamales, oatmeal power cookie ice cream sandwiches, and maple lemonade with rosemary and summer fruit; even more favorite recipes are up for consideration this week as we prepare the final menu for Saturday.
Also on the agenda is going out to pick yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers from our family farm, Steve Lawrence’s Concord Farms in Slayden, Mississippi, so that we can include the produce we’re constantly using this season in some of the dishes.
So pop in to Iris Etc. on Saturday and also check in with us on social media this week for a peek into the process of putting the event together. It’s likely that you’ll see a surprise or two as we get ready to share some of our favorite Chubby Vegetarian summer mainstays with our wonderful hometown.
Amy Lawrence and Justin Fox Burks