Chef Keith ‘Buttons’ Hicks Celebrates National Soul Food Month With New Menu Items

Josh’s pasta, named in memory of Hicks' brother, is comprised of pappardelle noodles in a pesto-peanut sauce.
Josh’s pasta, named in memory of Hicks’ brother, is comprised of pappardelle noodles in a pesto-peanut sauce. (photography by Marley Dablo)

In honor of soul food month, Chef Keith “Buttons” Hicks showcased his upcoming menu items at a dinner for invited media members at Buttons Restaurant. He told a story with each of the seven dishes and I was fortunate to sample them all on Thursday night.

“No matter what race or background you come from, everyone has soul food,” Hicks said. We started off with a wedgeburg salad; moved on to fried green tomato with redeye gravy, ham, and an over-easy egg with béarnaise sauce; and ended with a fun play on sweet potato pie with a side of bananas foster. In between, there were jerk-season chicken satays with a peanut sauce and dash of Sriracha in the center; a small salad with a side of watermelon; and grilled ratatouille with Mediterranean-style chicken, eggplant, squash, asparagus, zucchini, and tomatoes in a caper-butter sauce.

Chef Keith Hicks
Chef Keith Hicks
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Live music

Buttons Restaurant, which has one location in Addison and one in Fort Worth, hopes to expand nationally by starting with two or three opening in Texas. The mission behind these restaurants is to provide a venue where all ethnicities can go to enjoy food and music.

“We are bringing people with a love of and music and so far we’ve been successful,” Hicks said. “I mean y’all look like a bowl of M&Ms – all flavors and colors.”

Buttons Restaurants have live jazz and R&B music to entertain you during your soulful meals. They also have a theater component and will start a new interactive mystery series on July 14.

Marley Dablo is the culinary intern at D Magazine. She will be an online journalism senior at the University of Oklahoma this coming fall. She plans to attend culinary school upon graduation in hopes of combining her writing and kitchen skills to ultimately have her own cooking show one day.