Lori and Floyd Bozeman serve up specialties in downtown Philadelphia at their cafe, Taste and See.
Lori and Floyd Bozeman serve up specialties in downtown Philadelphia at their cafe, Taste and See.
Cooks of the Week Lori and Floyd Bozeman strive to add a little Philadelphia home-touch feeling to the Philadelphia main street scene, selling home-cooked food and supporting local artists at their café Taste and See.

When the Bozemans set out to open a small café on the main strip in Philadelphia five years ago, they said they had hoped to offer something beyond that of a chain restaurant.

“We definitely wanted a family-owned business,” Lori Bozeman said. “We wanted something just like this.”

The café, located at the corner of Center Avenue and Beacon Street, sports the original bones of the building, including original floors and brick and plaster walls. However, it also has added touches. Local artists, including Floyd Bozeman himself, Laura Horn and Millie Howell, are displayed on the walls, adding pops of local color and culture for guests to enjoy.

Most of the art on the walls is for sale, and the Bozemans are looking into hosting more artists and displaying their works on the walls, adding more local culture and color to the venue.

“I paint, she cooks,” Floyd Bozeman said. “It’s kind of the name, ‘Taste and See’ which came from the Bible, Psalms 34:8 ‘Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.’ So, we have her food, my art.”

Lori Bozeman grew up in Sebastapol. She learned to cook from her mother, Rita Kennedy and her grandmothers, the late Bobbie Joiner and the late Willie B Davidson. Bozeman’s parents, Guy and Rita Kennedy, work alongside her and Floyd in the kitchen of Taste and See, and Lori said she would be lost without them.

“My grandmothers were wonderful cooks,” Lori Bozeman said. “I’m nowhere close to them as far as my cooking, but I do enjoy cooking. I’ve always enjoyed it, I guess.”

The couple loved her grandmothers’ cooking so much, when they were married in 1998, they used her food for the rehearsal supper.

The Bozemans started their first business in Sebastapol in 2010, and opened their second, larger sandwich shop along with espresso options in May 2014.

Floyd Bozeman was born and raised in Neshoba County, and always wanted to open a business in his hometown.
“It has been kind of like a homecoming for me,” Floyd Bozeman said. “I teach 7th through 12th grade at Philadelphia High School, teaching Art Education part-time…That’s my heart over there.”

The Bozemans said they appreciate their employees, who are like a big family to them. Everyone pitches in.

Family is most important in the Bozeman household. During the weekend, the shop is closed to focus on enjoying time with family. The couple spends their weekends creating memories with their 2-year-old twin boys. On Sundays, the Bozemans teach a Sunday School class for 6- and 7-year-olds at Pine Grove Pentecostal Church in Sebastapol. They also enjoy taking trips on weekends.
“We love to travel,” Lori Bozeman said. “I love to take my babies new places.”

When it comes to cooking, some of Lori’s classics include crawfish étouffée, cupcakes and chocolate buttercream cake.  Floyd Bozeman recently came up with a new recipe just in time for the summer and the Neshoba County Fair; Pearl River Brownies. He said they have already sold a few pans of them for the Fair.

“We all have a hand in desserts,” Lori Bozeman said. “It’s not just me. We’re a team. We’re like a big family here.”

The couple is planning to be open and available for catering each day of the Neshoba County Fair except for Thursday, when most of downtown businesses close down. The Bozemans have a special Fair Catering menu with cakes, casseroles, desserts and appetizers.

This will also be their 10th year designing a Neshoba County Fair T-shirt and prints to sell for souvenirs.

“This is the 130th year of the Fair, so it’s a pretty big deal,” Floyd Bozeman said. “We kind of focus on the historical aspect of it, not so much the party side of it.”

The café’s signature sandwiches are the Flo’N’Lo Chicken Salad – named after Floyd and Lori Bozeman, and the Flying Pig sandwich. The couple enjoys catering to in-house events such as wedding rehearsal dinners and class reunions, and said they have even had a couple get married at the café.

The Bozemans have enjoyed their time cooking for Philadelphia customers so far, striving to make a good product and provide a place for artists to display their work.

“We love our customers, we’re thankful for our customers,” Lori Bozeman said. “They’ve given us five years here, now, and we hope for many more.”



Crawfish Cornbread
1 box Jiffy (do not make according to directions on box)

3 eggs

1 stick of butter, melted

1 cup chopped green onion

1 cup chopped white or yellow onion

1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained

2 handfuls grated cheese of choice (I like Colby Jack or Pepper Jack)

1 pound crawfish tails (I coarsely chop mine)

Mix all ingredients. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.



Strawberry pretzel salad

2 1/2 cups crushed pretzels

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup butter or margarine.

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 12-ounce Cool Whip

1 6-ounce package Strawberry Jello

2 cups boiling water

1 10-ounce bag frozen sliced strawberries

Whipped cream or Cool Whip for garnishing



Topping: Add 2 cups boiling water to Jello mix well. Add strawberries to Jello. Cool Jello mixture in fridge until thick

Crust: Melt butter, add sugar. Crush pretzels with rolling pin and add to butter mixture. Press into bottom of greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool well.

Filling: Combine cream cheese and 1 cup sugar, beat well. Add Cool Whip. Spread over cooke crust. Pour or spoon thickened Jello mixture over cream cheese mixture and set until firm. Spread additional Cool Whip over the top, cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.



Summer Salad

1 pound Roma tomatoes

1 English cucumber

1/2 medium red onion sliced

2 avocados diced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)

1/4 cup 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt or 3/4 teaspoon table salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper



Egg Custard

5 eggs

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon lemon or vanilla flavoring
1-1/2 cup milk

1/2 stick butter

1 unbaked pie crust

Beat eggs. Add sugar. Heat milk with butter then add to egg/sugar mixture. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Do not overbake. This makes 1 large pie.



Jalepeño Chicken Rolls

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 (16 oz) bottle Italian salad dressing

3 fresh jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded

3 ounces cream cheese softened

6 slices of bacon



Pound chicken breast halves with a mallet to about 13” thickness. Place chicken in a shallow dish, pour Italian dressing over top. Cover dish and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to marinate. Stuff each jalapeño half with some of the cream cheese. Roll one chicken breast half around each stuffed pepper, discarding the marinade. Wrap one slice of bacon around each chicken roll, securing with toothpicks. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-low heat and lightly oil the grate. Grill the chicken for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the bacon is browned. To broil chicken, place 5” or 6” under preheated oven broiler for 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through and bacon is browned.



Cowboy Caviar

1/2 cup bell pepper, orange

15 1/2 ounces black beans

15 ½ ounces black-eyed peas

1 cup cilantro

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup red bell pepper

1/2 cup red onions

15 ounces sweet corn

Condiments:

1 tablespoon lime juice, fresh

Baking and Spices

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4  cup sugar

Oils and Vinegars

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

Chop bell peppers and onion, drain black eyed peas, black beans and corn. Mix all ingredients together and chill. Serve with tortilla chips or Frito scoops.