Chef’s Table is our look inside the mind and palate of notable chefs and bartenders across the South. First up, Hattiesburg’s Josh Casper, head chef at the Depot Coffee House and Bistro.

Josh started cooking in Portland, Ore. in 2009 and hasn’t stopped since. You can find him at the Depot in downtown Hattiesburg making creative, accessible sandwiches and convincing his co-workers that “Fernet is awesome.” 

What do you cook when…

  1. You’re trying to impress someone?

I’ll play it safe at first, especially if I don’t know them that well, or what they like to eat. 

It won’t be anything too crazy. Probably a simple pasta dish or a solid burger. Nothing that makes me look too sloppy. Some sloppy is good, though.

  1. You’re hung over?

Potatoes. I keep an emergency bag of potatoes in my kitchen at all times. Also eggs. I make hash browns a lot with leftovers in my fridge. Add a couple of poached eggs, a few dashes of Cholula, a solid cup of black coffee and I’m on my way. Leftover Chinese food is ideal too, or a nice bowl of Pho. I eat a few ibuprofen as well.

  1. You’re homesick?

My mom’s rice and peas. Generally that is chicken flavored Rice-A-Roni and a can of Le Sueur peas. (Though I usually add a couple of knobs of butter to everything at the end.)

There it is, folks. Stay sloppy, and don’t be afraid to open a can of peas when the need arises.

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Written by

Troy Coll is a New Orleans-born, Mississippi-raised investigator of all things gustatory. A 2007 graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, Troy has written for a number of now-deceased Hattiesburg publications, along with and Signature Magazine. He also assisted in the efforts of Raise Your Pints, a grassroots organization dedicated to modernizing Mississippi’s draconian beer laws. By day, he runs Mr. Sippi Beverages, Hattiesburg-area bottled water provider. Otherwise you can find him roaming the South, with a glass in his hand and food in his mouth. His non-edible interests include meeting new dogs, making mix CD’s and tweeting a lot. Follow him across social media @TacoHole.

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