Where’s a whole lot of soul in good ol’ southern cooking. When Matt Matthews started working on the fish fry at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Mayfield Village in 2010, he wanted to incorporate his Southern roots into the event. He was a self-taught cook who grew up in Mississippi.
“I missed the food,” says Matthews. “I look for ways to jazz up the food and try to make it unique and more flavorful and make it so you look forward to seconds.”
So, he added boiled shrimp po’boys with his Mississippi comeback sauce — a mix of mayonnaise, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, Cajun seasoning and other spices that carries a slightly sweet chili kick.
He also added Southern sides such as hush puppies and fried pickles to be served with fried cod ($12) and grilled salmon ($12) that traditionally comes with a salad with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and a rotating list of homemade desserts.
Matthews says the menu changes helped bring more people to the fish fry and helps him better connect with the church and the Mayfield Village community. This year’s fish fry is even raising money for the church’s Boy Scouts troop.
“I live in Mentor, so these are people I otherwise wouldn’t get to meet,” Matthews says. “There’s families that come that have made friends with other families and they met at the fish fry.” Fridays during Lent 5-7 p.m. 435 SOM Center Road, Mayfield Village, 440-449-2290, saintbartohio.org