Best Bets: Deviled eggs

House Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs with Arkansas White River Caviar from Felicia Suzanne’s Restaurant.

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

House Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs with Arkansas White River Caviar from Felicia Suzanne’s Restaurant.

When I think of Felicia Suzanne’s Restaurant, I think of deviled eggs. That’s because I’ve eaten the eggs made by the restaurant’s chef/owner Felicia Willett at charity events.

I didn’t know until recently that the eggs are on the menu at her restaurant. Look in the appetizer list for “House Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs with Arkansas White River Caviar.” They cost $10 for four halves.

House Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs with Arkansas White River Caviar from Felicia Suzanne’s Restaurant.

Photo by Michael Donahue

House Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs with Arkansas White River Caviar from Felicia Suzanne’s Restaurant.

The night I decided to pop in and try them, Willett just happened to be in the kitchen preparing a batch of the eggs for a Leadership Academy party that night on the restaurant’s patio. Scooped-out Flora Farms organic egg whites were placed on trays waiting for Willett to fill them with a creamy mixture that includes homemade mayonnaise with specks of Creole mustard, smoked salmon and hot sauce. The finishing touch is a dollop of Arkansas White River sturgeon caviar on top.

The eggs go great with champagne, vodka and other drinks, Willett said.

Deviled eggs are her signature small plate or appetizer, but Willett said deviled eggs also are her family’s signature dish. “Every holiday we have deviled eggs,” she said.

Her “entire family cooks,” but preparing deviled eggs usually is the task for the “newbies” — the new bride or groom in the family — when everybody gets together in the kitchen. The veterans get the “harder items” like the roast or cakes.

Willett’s version of deviled eggs includes hot sauce. Others spice them up with pickle relish or mustard. They serve them on a relish tray with olives and pickles.

She was 8 or 9 when her grandmother taught her to make deviled eggs. Willett almost always uses smoked salmon, but she has added crab meat to her eggs when she can’t get the salmon.

The most she ever made at one time was 2,000 for a party given by Harold Ford Jr.

Willett put my four egg halves on a doily so I could photograph them at the restaurant. She then boxed them up, and I took them back to work, where I ate them (except for one I gave away) faster than anything I’ve ever eaten anything at one time.

Felicia Suzanne’s Restaurant, 80 Monroe; 523-0877.

— Michael Donahue: 529-2797; donahue@commercialappeal.com

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