Tag Archive for: Hattiesburg

Comfort food for when you need it | Call 601.450.0510

Hattiesburg, as we all adjust to the new ways of life required to fight COVID-19, we have decided to offer pre-cooked comfort food for you and your family. Beginning Wednesday March 18, we will offer prepped and ready to heat meals that you can purchase for a family of four. 

The meals will vary from day-to-day, but they will always be comforting family friendly staples like shepherd’s pie, lasagna, blackened chicken Alfredo pasta and others. Each fully-cooked meal will come in disposable aluminum pans that you can pop in the oven to heat at your convenience. 

We hope this will help break-up the monotony of cooking every day at home, and it may also provide home-cooked comfort for those on the front lines responding to the coronavirus or the elderly in need.

Each order will cost $50 plus tax, and will feed a family of four. We will also offer dessert upgrades where you can get our famous cheesecakes and pies at a discounted rate. 

Further, if you would like to order a meal as a thank you for your neighbors that are working tirelessly in the healthcare or retail/grocery industry, that can be arranged as well.  We can also deliver to anyone that may be medically vulnerable during this unprecendeted time.

How this will work

Each day, on our Facebook page, we will announce what we’re cooking.

The meals will be available for pick-up or delivery (if you live within our delivery area).

You’ll just need to call us at 601.450.0510

We will also continue to offer delivery and pick up of many of your favorite Cotton Blues dishes. You can learn more about that here.

Closing our dining room

We have decided to close our dining room. While it’s not required by local or state government at this time (March 17), we feel that closing our dining room will allow us to focus our energy on take-out and delivery. We also think it’s the safest way to distribute food to our community.

We know government officials will have to make a lot of difficult decisions with few practical options. We support each and every one of them.

Thank you for understanding. We look foward to your take-out and delivery orders and we can’t wait to switch back to the norm on the other side. 

Strawberry Icebox Pie — Lemon Icebox Pie’s Evil Twin

The Strawberry Icebox Pie is one of the best selling desserts at Cotton Blues Restaurant in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It’s light, creamy and bursting with fresh strawberries. But this amazing dessert almost failed to make it out of our test kitchen.

It has to be exact, or it doesn’t work

Chris Ortego Cotton Blues
Chris Ortego – Owner, Cotton Blues

Cotton Blues Owner, Chris Ortego, has a theory when it comes to cooking and baking.

“Cooking is an art, and it’s a flair,” says Ortego. “Baking is a science, and it has to be exact, or it just doesn’t work.”

Mississippi pastry chef, Shaun Davis who was trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas has been working with Ortego for seven years, and he’s responsible for executing all the desserts at Cotton Blues.

“You need acidity, you need alkalinity, you need air,” says Davis.

In 2013, Ortego wanted to add some new desserts to the menu. At the time, the popular Mississippi restaurant was already well known for their Lemon Icebox Pie, and they were hoping to convert that success into a strawberry icebox pie.

Ortego says they found a recipe for a Strawberry Icebox Pie online, but it called for making it with gelatin, an ingredient neither Ortego nor Davis were fond of using.

So Ortego asked Davis, how does a Lemon IceBox Pie work?

Davis said “Sweetened condensed milk is the main ingredient of it, so it needs something to thicken it. In Lemon Icebox it’s the acidity of the lemon juice that cooks part of the eggs and makes the condensed milk a lot thicker.”

Unfortunately, strawberries don’t have an acidic quality, so creating a strawberry icebox with the same methodology is nearly impossible.

Never say never

Cotton Blues Pastry Chef
Shaun Davis – Cotton Blues Pastry Chef

Alway up for a challenge, Davis spent some time brainstorming on how to make a strawberry icebox pie a success.

“He starts looking around, and he comes back with a bottle of red wine vinegar,” says Ortego.

Davis mixed the vinegar into the condensed milk to give it an acidic agent.

And it worked!

“We try it, and it’s wonderful!” says Ortego. They were ready to put it on the menu.

A punch in the gut

The next day, Ortego and Davis come back in and the pie is swimming in two inches of strawberry juice.

The strawberries bled out and ruined the pie.

“I was so disappointed,” said Ortego, “I told Shaun that this was such a good dessert and that it stinks that this isn’t going to work.”

If at first you don’t succeed…

Shaun just said, “Give me some time.”

“It needed a little bit more thickening power,” said Davis.

So Davis tried tossing the fresh chopped strawberries in cornstarch. And Voila!

“That [the cornstarch] keeps all the strawberries from bleeding out, said Ortego. “Combine that with what Shaun did with the vinegar and it’s pure brilliance!”

“As popular as our lemon is, I think the strawberry is a little bit better, but it just shows that this stuff doesn’t happen by accident, says Ortego. “That Strawberry Icebox is a Shaun Davis original, and it’s fantastic!”

All Rights Reserved. Cotton Blues 2012-2019.

No bride wants to think about it, but a catering disaster can strike on a wedding day.

The team at Cotton Blues has tended to thousands of weddings, and they know all the ins and outs of catering. Together, they’ve compiled a list of the most critical questions you should be asking your wedding caterer so you can be sure the business you hire is up to the challenge.

1. Will we run out of food?

Avoid caterers that want you to plan using “piece counts.” For example, this is where a caterer intends to bill you for 200 crab cakes for 200 guests.

“Piece counting” is an efficient business model for the caterer because it allows them to assure no food is wasted. But “piece counts” are lousy news for a bride and groom and places a significant burden on them to guess the right amount of food.

A quality wedding caterer will use a per-head pricing model.

A stellar caterer will do the same, but also prepare for a 10% increase over your final guarantee.


Caterers that are in the business for the long haul know their name is on the line when they cater a wedding, and they’ll want to ensure your family and friends are well fed.

2. Are there hidden fees?

Just like buying a car, sometimes you may only consider the sticker price. But anyone that’s purchased a car before knows you’re also going to have to cough up extra cash for the taxes and title.

Once your caterer gives you their estimate, be sure and ask them if that includes the tax, service fees or any other hidden charges.

3. What happens once the food is delivered?

Some caterers may only give you a quote for the food, but who’s responsible for the food once it arrives at your venue? A caterer that offers servers can be critical to ensuring your friends and family enjoy your wedding.

Is the food being dropped off?
Who’s responsible for serving guests food and drinks?
Who’s maintaining that trays are full and food stays at the proper temperature?
Who’s responsibility is it to bus tables?


Your wedding is your day, and it’s supposed to be stress-free. If your caterer can affordably provide some servers, take them up on it.

4. Does the price include serving dishes, plates, cutlery, tables, and tablecloths?

An experienced caterer knows how to make your wedding food beautiful. Be sure and ask the caterer if they have a creative way to display the food.

Wedding Catering Hattiesburg Laurel Mississippi

Disposable serving trays do not display as well as a themed approach using heavy duty platters.

If it’s within your budget, your display should be consistent with your theme and venue.

Wedding Catering Tips

A great caterer will offer creative ways to display your food. Choosing real cutlery and serving dishes can make a big difference in your presentation.

5. Can your caterer provide a reference list of previous wedding parties?

We now live in a world where you can find ratings of most businesses online. However, many independent caterers are small operations and crowdsourced reviews of their company may not register online.

If you’re considering using a “mom and pop” catering operation, don’t hesitate to ask if they can show you some references or testimonials from their past work. It may also be wise to ask your venue coordinator if they’ve ever worked with the caterer you’re considering?

6. Does your caterer use a contract?

When it comes to booking a caterer, contracts are a good thing.

It’s typical for a caterer to want money in advance of the event, but you deserve some guarantees as well.

Do not give your caterer money unless you have a contract that guarantees they will execute your function or return your money.

Local news stations have covered hundreds of wedding day horror stories where caterers have taken cash and then vanished.

Further, many caterers operate on thin margins, and they sometimes go out of business before your event. Don’t get burned by a fly by the night caterer.

Best wedding Caterer Hattiesburg Mississippi

7. Does your caterer work out of a state health inspected facility?

The thought of a bunch of your wedding guests getting sick right after your wedding is a nightmare. If your caterer works out of a facility that is state health inspected the bar will be very high for them to run a clean operation. Another plus, the history of a state health inspected facility can usually be pulled up online with a quick google search.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about ways Cotton Blues can help at your next catering event email Ryan at ryan@cottonblues.com or call 601.450.0510

Or visit our Event & Wedding Catering webpage.

All Rights Reserved. Cotton Blues 2018.