Kevin Nashan & his Sidney Street Cafe crew threw out an amazing plate full of pig. I loved the scrambled egg mousse & I gotta say that the Memphis nod with the "Elvis" was absolutely delicious & gave me a little home turf pride.
Up next was Lee Richardson with Ashley's at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock. I imagine there was a bit of a friendly rivalry between Chef Kelly English & Chef Lee Richardson since they used to work together years ago. However, both chefs seemed too focused on their dishes to really give any play to that possible rivalry. I have to hand it to Chef Richardson for his mortadella stuffed in a pig head.
As we continued on we began to see that each chef was operating on very different wavelengths. Yes there was pork belly, trotters & ears, even blood but each chef produced distinctively different dishes.
Chef Chris Hastings of Hot & Hot Fish Club in Birmingham had somewhat of an Asian style going but with somewhat of a Spanish-French infusion. I flipped over the heart crudo. So creamy, lush & supple but with a brightness from the capers. The blood sausage was absolutely to die for. It had a beautiful mineral earthiness & reminded me of my grandmother's cooking.