Recipes to take a shine to: StarShine’s chefs share some of their best

August 26, 2009 10:58:00 AM

Jan Swoope -


Ever wished you could tap into some of the most creative dishes devised by great chefs? Today is your day. Recipes that wowed the crowd — and judges — at the Starkville Area Arts Council’s StarShine culinary extravaganza at The Bistro in Starkville Aug. 7-8 are yours to try.  


Thanks to the generosity of celebrity chef Robert St. John — named the state’s top chef for three consecutive years by Mississippi magazine — you can experiment with favored recipes prepared at StarShine and featured in his renowned Purple Parrot Cafe in Hattiesburg. . 


StarShine’s Chef Ty Thames, of Starkville’s Restaurant Tyler, also shares the recipe for a component used in his Judges’ Choice Award-winning wild boar bacon-wrapped fig dessert made during a chefs’ cook-off with six of the area’s top culinary talents.  


Chef Matt Reid, of The Bistro, was voted by attendees as the Best of StarShine winner and offers his recipe for Edam cheese and catfish mashed potatoes. The potatoes were used in Reid’s Mississippi surf n’ turf creation, which also featured a mustard green coulis, heart of ribeye, fried frog leg and asparagus, topped with basil blueberry barbecue sauce.  


Thames shared, “I chose to do (the fig dessert) stuffed with candied pecan cheesecake filling, served with molasses custard sauce and finished with muscadine ‘ice cubes,’ with a fresh fig brule, because these are all local items, and I personally pick the figs and muscadines from a friend’s back yard in Starkville.” 


(Thames explained the muscadine ice cubes are made by reducing fresh muscadine grapes with muscadine wine, adding a little honey, and setting the mixture in gelatin. Once set, squares resembling ice cubes are cut.)  


St. John served as one of the cook-off judges and conducted an entertaining cooking demonstration, as well as masterminding a summer seafood feast for the StarShine finale dinner. That menu dazzled with corn and crab bisque, baked shrimp and squash, sensation salad, roasted pork loin with muscadine glaze, au gratin potatoes and white chocolate bread pudding.  


“Don’t be scared by a list of ingredients,” the master chef and food columnist advised at the cooking class as he broke down some of his favorite Purple Parrot recipes. “Ingredients are not hard to handle if you measure out everything ahead of time.” 


And with that advice, enjoy these creative StarShine recipes. For more of Chef St. John’s recipes, e-mail  






Servings: eight  




6 cups squash, sliced into 1/2 inch discs 


1/4 cup clarified butter (or margarine) 


1 tablespoon garlic 


1 teaspoon salt  


1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 


1 tablespoon Creole seasoning 


1/2 cup green onion (chopped) 




For the shrimp: 


3 cups fresh shrimp (36-42 count), peeled and de-veined 


1/4 cup clarified butter (or margarine) 


1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning 


1 tablespoon garlic 


1/2 cup onion (chopped) 


1/4 cup red bell pepper 


1/4 cup green bell pepper 


4 tablespoons butter 


1/2 cup Parmesan cheese  


1 cup cheddar cheese (grated) 


1 cup sour cream  


1/4 cup green onion 


1 tablespoon Crescent City Grill cayenne and garlic sauce 




For the topping: 


1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (pulsed until fine in Cuisinart) 


1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 


2 tablespoons parsley (chopped) 








Servings: eight  




1 /2 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise 


Two egg yolks 


1 tablespoon sherry 


1 tablespoon Creole mustard 


1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed 


1 teaspoon Crescent City Grill Creole Seasoning 


1 teaspoon Worcestershire 


1 teaspoon Crescent City Grill Cayenne and Garlic Sauce 


1 /3 cup red bell pepper, small dice 


1 /3 cup green bell pepper, small dice 


1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat 


1 /2 pound backfin lump crabmeat 


Two 8-ounce wheels Brie or camembert cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes  


6 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs 


Eight oven-proof ramekins or scallop shells 










5 ounces white chocolate 


Four egg yolks 


One egg 


1/4 cup sugar 


2 teaspoons vanilla extract 


1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 


1/2 cup milk 


1/4 teaspoon salt 


French bread as needed (crusts cut off, and cut into 1-inch cubes) 




For the white chocolate sauce: 


8 ounces white chocolate 


1/2 cup heavy whipping cream 










1 pound cream cheese 


2 cups powder sugar 


1 tablespoon vanilla 


1 cup honey roasted pecans (add 1/2 cup Mississippi honey) 


3/4 cup maple syrup 


1/2 cup heavy cream 


1 cup Mississippi honey 


Pinch of salt 








1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed  


1/2 cup heavy cream 


1/2 cup milk 


8 ounces MSU butter 


8 ounces Mississippi farm-raised catfish meat, diced and par-baked 


6 ounces MSU Edam cheese, small diced 


1 teaspoon thyme, chopped 


Salt as needed 


Pepper as needed