Biloxi Bacon, Barq’s and bread. To someone from the Coast, Biloxi’s three Bs might be as common sense as peeling crawfish. Those who grew up eating fresh from the boat and wearing flip-flops well into November have Biloxi’s history instilled in them. But for someone like myself, a non-traditional local if you will, they can be a little bit confusing.
The first time I ordered Biloxi Bacon I smiled when the waitress brought out my meal. I ate it and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I then asked that the waitress check my bill and subtract a few bucks because all I’d been given was fish. Now, after countless pressed po-boys and fried crab claws, it’s easy to see where I went wrong. Here I was, having lived on the Coast for a few months, and I had not the slightest inkling what Biloxi Bacon was. I spent the evening wondering what else I didn’t know, and I came to find that as much as I’d tried to experience the area, I still had a lot to learn. Cue Danielle Rodriguez and the Knight Cities Challenge.
Danielle Rodriguez, or Chef Danie, has been cooking on the Coast for over twenty years. In her two decades of feeding hungry Mississippians, Danie came to find that as much as people loved coming to visit the Coast, they wanted to see something besides casinos. Those of us who reside here, I’m taking the liberty of including myself in that group, know that the Coast surely doesn’t end with Highway 90. But for the many tourists who pass through, it’s hard to hit the entire Coast in one weekend. Chef Danie has proposed that we make it a little bit easier on people to experience South Mississippi by creating a Vieux of Biloxi based on the three B’s the city is known for.
Vieux of Biloxi will be more than just a few dots on a map. The Vieux will consist of a tour train that runs twice daily to various spots in Biloxi. The idea is that the project will evolve into a culinary district and marketplace in downtown Biloxi that blends diverse cultures with the city’s rich history. Because Biloxi is such a melting pot, Chef Danie believes in bringing people together through the wonderful foods we’re accustomed to eating. And because I love eating so much, I can’t think of a better way to experience the Coast!
Like all of Gulf Coast’s entrants, Chef Danie is using her knowledge of our unique culture to attract outsiders to the Coast. It’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina, and in the time since then our home has grown. It’s time to build what Biloxi can be proud of again. And anyone who disagrees is just Barq-ing up the wrong tree!