“Chef David Raines is extremely passionate about his food, as well as an emphasis on local ingredients with a history behind them. His culinary talent is technically driven and executed, resulting in it being simply delicious.”
Chef Rick Tramonto, Judge on Bravo Television’s Top Chef
On August 1, 2016 foodies in Mississippi and beyond discovered a new destination for their inner gourmet. A place to buy prized Japanese Wagyu beef (often called Kobe beef) at a fraction of the cost charged by national purveyors. It was on that date that international chef and Louisiana native Chef David Raines opened the doors to The Flora Butcher in the charming turn of the century town of Flora, Mississippi.
Chef David Raines comes to this point in his illustrious career after a celebrated culinary tour of the world where he shared his talents in restaurants in Italy, Denmark, Australia, Germany and Japan. He has cooked for Michelin-rated Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Denmark as well as Emeril Lagasse’s Nola in New Orleans. While working in the Big Easy he was lured to the famed R’evolution restaurant in the French Quarter where has talents did not go unnoticed by owner/chefs Rick Tramonto and John Folse. So when it was decided to open Seafood R’evolution in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Tramonto/Folse named David Raines Chef de Cuisine of their new venture. That honor did come with one condition. David agreed to bring Seafood R’evolution’s menu to life, but he would be leaving after one year to pursue his ultimate dream, to create The Flora Butcher.
“When we decided to open The Flora Butcher many thought we were crazy to open a premium butcher shop in a small rural town,” says Chef Raines. “Looking back, it was the obvious choice with numerous benefits. Flora, Mississippi was already iundergoing a bit of a renaissance when we opened. I’d like to think our being here contributed to that rediscovery of what was named the #1 small town in Mississippi in 2016.”
Since its opening, The Flora Butcher, has caught the attention of local, regional and national media. Features in Mississippi Magazine, Cast Iron Cooking, Jackson Free Press, Hometown Madison, The Northside Sun, Jackson Free Press, The Clarion Ledger, WMPB Radio(NPR) and WLBT-TV News have put Chef Raines and the shop on the map. Customers have come from as far away as Illinois, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. Restaurants in not only the Central Mississippi area, but in New Orleans, are serving Raines Wagyu.
The Wagyu Beef featured at The Flora Butcher is all raised by David’s family on their Louisiana farm. His father oversees the ranch where they have some 1,500 head on pastureland between Monroe, Louisiana and Vicksburg, Mississippi.
If you’ve ever had a Commander’s Palace signature New York Strip, you’ve most likely had a Raines Farm Wagyu Steak.
In March 2018 the second phase of Chef Raines’s vision took shape when he opened the ultimate farm-to-table casual dining lunch restaurant called Dave’s Triple B: The Butcher, The Baker, The Barbecue Maker. Located on High Street, adjacent to the Jackson, Mississippi Fairgrounds, Dave’s will feature Wagyu Chicken Fried Steak, Wagyu burgers, locally sourced salads, blue plate specials, barbecued pork from Flora and Wesson, Ms.; chickens from Hattiesburg, Ms. ; tomatoes, lettuce, salad greens from Flora. All baking, from hamburger buns to desserts are prepared on the premises.
In the future look for Chef Raines third phase. What that will encompass remains to be seen.