Chef Dwayne Ingraham is now the director of food and beverage at The Graduate Oxford Hotel. He is bringing traditional confections with a modern twist to Oxford’s food scene.
“It will definitely be a lot of chocolates and confections,” Ingraham said. “The nostalgic part of it will be trying to give that nod to old-school soda shops.”
You can expect to see milkshakes and sundaes, Ingraham said. However, he is also adding his own modern touch to it by adding truffles, bonbons and fudges.
“It’s going to be a whole mixture of things,” Ingraham added.
Ingraham believes that you should always cook from a thought or a memory which is where the concept of tradition meets modern flavors emerged.
“I look at the things I enjoyed the most growing up with my family,” Ingraham said. “Then I try to use the technical skills that I learned through my culinary classes along with my experience in high-end restaurants.”
Being from Boothville, Louisiana, Ingraham experiences came from his home rather than visiting soda shops.
“Growing up where I grew up in the south, there weren’t very many of those [soda-shops],” Ingraham said. “But what I do remember is family reunions.”
Ingraham’s family reunions always involved making homemade ice-cream and drizzled chocolate sauce which shows in his favorite item on the menu.
“My favorite item on the menu is the ‘Southern Sunday Sundae,” Ingraham added. “What we are doing there is a bourbon ice-cream with toasted butter pound cake, brown sugar and peach compote all topped with a cherry and whip cream on top.”
Ingraham hopes his creations bring a mixture of childhood memories and southern traditions to each and every customer.
“I am hoping that everyone goes back to the point of being five or six-years-old and indulging themselves in way more sweets than they ever possibly could,” Ingraham said. “ I just want customers to remember that feeling that they felt when being surrounded by family and southern food.”
By Talbert Toole, associate editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.