Chef John Currence’s ‘Light in April’ event in Oxford features renowned chefs

Published 10:14 am Tuesday, March 28, 2017

For the second year in a row, chef John Currence has organized a fundraiser weekend that looks to target childhood hunger and nutrition in the state through his Move On Up, Mississippi foundation.

The “Light in April” fundraiser will take place from April 7-8 in Oxford and features events from renowned chef dinners to fun runs.

On Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m., the weekend kicks off with a “Mexisissippi” dinner which will be celebrating Mexican men and women in the state. Twelve chefs, including Marco D’Emidio of St. Leo and Nick Reppond of GRIT in Taylor, will be creating Latin-inspired dishes at the Pavilion on the corner of University Ave. and Bramlett Blvd.

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“These folks work tirelessly in our kitchens and dining rooms, rarely getting credit for the unbelievable work they do,” Currence said. “They are the heartbeat of our industry.”

But be sure not to get too full on Friday night as Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. there will be the 5K Breakfast of Champions race. For children 12 and under, there will be a superhero themed race. Once runners cross the finish line, Currence’s Big Bad Breakfast will be offering breakfast burritos, coffee and hot chocolate. Yalobusha Brewery will also be on hand to pour out glasses of Family Snopes Pilsner for adults and kids will have a bounce house and family play area.

That evening at 7 p.m., chefs will be entering private homes in Oxford for dinners that will seat anywhere from 12-24 people. Guests will have the opportunity to buy tickets for specific chefs’ dinners. Visiting chefs, which include Michael Solomonov from Philadephia, Pennsylvania to Justin Devilier of New Orleans, will be paired with host chefs working with the City Grocery Restaurant Group.

Tickets for the “Mexissippi” dinner are $55 and can be purchased at

Admission for the Saturday morning run are $35 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Sign ups can be found at

For the visiting chef dinners on Saturday evening, tickets are $300 which includes a wine pairing. Reservations for the private dinners can be made at 662-234-9397.

“It’s time to take the fact that Mississippi shows up at the bottom of every annual list published and do something about it,” says Currence of his Move On Up, Mississippi initiative. “It is no laughing matter we continue to bring up the rear. We can make change, if we put our minds to it.”