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A LOOK BACK: JOHN CURRENCE + FRIENDS OF THE CAFÉ

In August, The Factory Café hosted James Beard Award-winning chef and fellow Southern Foodways Alliance lover, John Currence, for a special evening that combined savory with sweet and included personal touches to each dish. We were also joined by renowned wine importer Eric Solomon, who created original and clever wine pairings.

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The meal featured a wide range of dishes—everything from a vegetable course to a hearty steak dish. Passed starters included chicken liver pate on grilled bread with pickled egg mimosa and kheema pao, a spiced lamb dish served on a sweet roll; the portions of the roll were so generous that some guests found themselves sharing the bread dish. The starters were served with a young Spanish rosé, certified organic from an organic vineyard.

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The first course, a sweet corn soup with marinated blue crab was a nod to Currence’s mother and her proficiency in the kitchen—particularly with seafood. It was paired with a rioja blanca made from organic and biodynamically farmed fruit, and it had both a warmth and vibrant acidity.

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Next came a celebration of grilled summer vegetables, served with a side of Middle Eastern spiced homemade yogurt. This dish was particularly special to Chef Currence, as it was made using a vinegar made from his late mother’s champagne. The diners were emotional, as this is not something he uses for just any dish or any crowd. Solomon explained that the rioja blanco served with the vegetables was a limited-production wine, so this dish was especially meaningful for our guests.

Bone-in beef ribeye accompanied by a flavorful chimichurri it was accompanied by a velles priorat, a wine with powerful flavor—perfectly paired with steak.

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The fourth and final course was a Mississippi mud pie, a hearty finish to the third course accompanied by prosecco with Jack Rudy Elderflower tonic.

Thank you to John, Eric, our team at The Factory, helpers from the community, John T. Edge, the SFA, and all our guests who came together to create a beautiful evening.

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For those who were not able to attend the dinner (or for the lucky guests who were), we are offering a giveaway of John’s book, Pickles, Pigs, and Whiskey, signed by the chef. To enter, follow @alabamachaninfactorycafe, like the post on @alabamachaninfactorycafe, and tag three friends on the comment.

The giveaway ends at 11:59pmCST on October 5th and is open to US residents 18+ older. One lucky winner will be announced the following day and will receive a signed copy of Pickles, Pigs, and Whiskey to add to their culinary library.

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