Smith sees cooking as fun, not work

Smith sees cooking as fun, not work


Pam Smith is the type of person who adores cooking and sees it as a pleasure, not a task. 

Smith, owner of City Limits Seafood & Steaks, has been in the restaurant business since 1991. She grew up around multiple cooks in the family, including her grandmother, mother, and aunt. 

“I started cooking at a young age and was introduced to country cooking through my mom’s side of the family, and to seafood through my dad’s side, as he grew up on the coast,” Smith said. “I was around many of those avenues where you could pick up the local cuisine wherever you were, and once you tasted that rich seafood, you just wanted to go back and share it with everybody."

Smith was born in Hattiesburg and moved to Philadelphia when she was five. 

“I went into cooking just to be with my family, and I ended up enjoying it a lot,” Smith said. “It eventually became a career. There are so many people these days that don’t enjoy cooking and just see it as a task and not a pleasure.”

Smith said she enjoys serving people, going to different places, and trying all kinds of new foods. She said while living in central Mississippi, the people around her don’t have as much access to rich, tasty seafood as they would living on the Coast, so she made seafood dishes one of her staples at City Limits.  

One of her favorite dishes to make is gumbo, and she always uses a special recipe that has been passed down through her family for over 100 years. 

"My favorite part of cooking is finishing the dish, giving it to someone, and hoping I see a smile and a thumbs up,” Smith said. “I enjoy people that enjoy food." 

She said a food she enjoys experimenting with is soup, as she has a special lasagna soup recipe and she is working on a soup with turnip greens as the spotlight ingredient.

Her favorite dessert to make is red velvet cake, which is a fan favorite in her family. 

"I make red velvet cakes a lot for everyone,” Smith said. “My granddaughter Marleigh Ryan has already started making brownies, and she's only five. She's started making brownies with M&Ms in them and I can see her recipe being passed down. She's already doing well, and she watches the baking shows on the Food Network. I've got her started on grits and bacon and I've got to get her on the biscuits next."

Smith said her family enjoys cooking meals for their church, Church at the Arc. 

“We do a lot of eating and there's a lot of activities there, so there's a lot of food,” she said.


½ cup melted butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

½ cup flour

½ cup cocoa

½ cup chopped nuts

A handful of M&M candies

Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Add eggs and beat well with a spoon. Combine flour and cocoa. Gradually add to the creamed mixture and blend well. Stir in nuts and M&Ms.

Spread mixture in a floured 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Make sure to lick the spoon to make sure the mixture tastes good before cooking.



1 large onion, chopped

1 lb. okra, sliced

2 tablespoons oil

3 ½ chopped tomatoes

1/8 teaspoon curry powder

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of Thyme

Dashes of salt and pepper

Sauté onions and okra in oil until okra creases, or for around 30 minutes. Stir frequently. Add tomatoes and stir in other ingredients. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Serve with rice. 


4 slices of crisp bacon, drained 

1 tablespoon bacon drippings 

4 tablespoons vegetable oil 

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

1 lb. raw spinach, washed and drained

2 eggs, hard-boiled and sliced 

6 green onions 

Fry and crumble bacon. Drain. In a small bowl, combine bacon drippings, oil, and wine vinegar. Mix well and set aside. Place spinach, eggs, onion and bacon in a bowl and add seasonings. Toss gently with dressing. 

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