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Tu Country Catering
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Tu Country Catering is family-owned and operated right here in Oxford, MS. Since our company opened in 2012, we’ve treated every customer like they were a part of our family. Other catering companies may offer sandwich platters and pre-bagged chips resold to you at three times the price, poor quality frozen foods and reheated restaurant leftovers sold as catering. We do not do that. 

Hand crafted, artisinal foodstuffs for you and yours from local farms and local meat suppliers.
That's our bag and we are great at it!

Committed to helping our customers achieve their entertaining and lifestyle dreams
Lee S. Craven
Email: tucountrycatering@yahoo.com

Culinary Institute of America graduate

20 year restaurant veteran

Nationally and Internationally recognized

James Beard Foundation nominee

Experienced Teacher and National Speaker

Creative food and creative solutions

An attitude free chef  who will work WITH you, not AROUND you, to deliver what YOU need, desire, and deserve

15 years happily married to Dr. Jacqueline Craven, coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Professional Studies, Delta State University


Private Restaurant and Hotel Consulting
August 2007- Present

The National Food Service Management Institute Presenter and Trainer

University Of Mississippi-Instructor in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management

Morgan Freeman's Madidi , Clarksdale MS 
Executive Chef

Peabody Hotel Memphis, TN
Sous Chef Under" Maitre' Cuisineaire de France" Jose' Guiterriez

McEwen's On Monroe, Memphis, TN

Melange, Memphis, TN
Sous Chef


Co-Founder of "Mississippin'" Oxford's best beer tasting event

National School Nutrition Association Conference Presentation July 2011

Daily Mississippian 2008-2012 multiple issues

Invitation!, April 2011

Invitation!, April 2010

Oxford Eagle April 2010

Oxford Eagle 2008

Boston Globe featured travel article 2008

Here's Clarksdale 2003-2008 multiple issues

Mississippi Magazine May-June 2007

New York Times Travel 2007

El Pasro Madrid Spain 2007

Bon Appetit 2007

Delta Magazine 2007

My South, April 2007

Iron Chef Event for Junior League, Jackson MS, November 2006

​Southern Living Magazine, June 2007

Delta People, 2005

Participated Chef James Beard Foundation Dinner, June 2005

60 Minutes appearance with Mike Wallace and Morgan Freeman, April 2005

MidSouth Magazine 2005

​Destin Log 2005

Commercial Appeal 2005

Memphis Magazine 2005 Reader's Poll Winner- "Worth the Drive"

At Home In Memphis, May 2005

Food Network Appearance on "Inside Dish" with Rachel Ray, 2004

Recipes on Food network website

Nominated Finalist "Rising Star of American Cuisine" James Beard Foundation

Showcase Dinner at James Beard Foundation House NYC  August 2004

Participating Chef in Julia Child Commerative Dinner with Chef Rick Tramonto, Jean-Louis Dumonet, Philippe Boulot, Thierry Rautureau, Susan Spicer, 
Nancy Silverton, 2004

Fund Raising Dinner  "Chefs and Chiefs" for Chucculisa Museum Native 
American Exhibit at the University of Memphis 2004

Commercial Appeal feature article August 18, 2004

Delta Business Journal September 2004

Esquire Japan November 2004

Commercial Appeal July 9, 2003

Birmingham Times July 11, 2003

MidSouth Living July/August 2003

Arkansas Times October 24, 2003

Mississippi Magazine 2003

Memphis Magazine Restaurant Guide 2002

Memphis Downtowner Magazine March 2002


SERV-SAFE food safety certified and Certified To Instruct

Participated in Memphis City School Job Fairs

Culinary Judge for Memphis City Schools High School Culinary Programs

Member of University of Memphis Family and Consumer Science Advisory Board

Authored bi-weekly wine column in Clarksdale Press Register

So basically-  "This ain't my first rodeo"

If you are looking for artisan quality food in your home 
on a weekly schedule or a one-off house party,
 I'm your man.
Excerpt from James Beard Foundation Showcase Dinner:

“The essence of Southern cooking lies in its simplicity. That, and its ability to transport you ‘home’ no matter how far from there you may wander.” That’s Madidi’s executive chef Lee Craven speaking, and he knows. A Florence, Alabama, native who traveled north for his culinary training, Craven presides over a restaurant co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman, who also left his native Mississippi as a teenager and traveled the world for decades before returning to make the Delta his permanent home some 15 years ago.

Located in Clarksdale—home of the fabled crossroads where the devil is said to lurk looking to exchange blues guitar skills for the souls of the hopeful—Madidi is named for a nature reserve in Bolivia that’s been noted for its stunning biodiversity. Freeman and his co-owner Bill Luckett, a local attorney, originally opened the place to save themselves a long drive to Memphis or Oxford when hit with the urge for fine cuisine. Now going on its fifth successful year, Madidi thrills Delta dwellers and visiting blues pilgrims alike with its upscale Southern fare, tinged with classical French and restrained Mediterranean influences.

Tim Sampson, of Memphis magazine, praised Madidi’s cuisine promising, “The food is worth the hour-and-ten minute drive through the Delta.” More recently, Jim Harris noted in the Arkansas Times, “The kitchen, under the guidance of Chef Lee Craven…obviously put much effort and attention to detail into each [dish]…Along with the exquisitely tender pen-raised duck, some of our highlights included a ravishingly rich shrimp bisque with a balsamic vinegar drizzle, cornmeal fried oysters with a brandy cream sauce, a large top-of-the-line filet of beef…Even the cole slaw that came with the fried oyster appetizer was different and delicious.”

Craven, who was the last to interview for the chef job at Madidi, beat out some of the region’s top culinary talents, no small feat for a chef who is still in his mid-20s. Before he arrived in Clarksdale, Craven spent three years at Memphis’ Chez Philippe under the direct tutelage of chef Jose Gutierrez, one of only 52 American chefs certified as a Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. Craven graduated with honors from the CIA in 2000, and has been cooking professionally since his early teenage years.


Pickled Oysters with Fire-Roasted Red Peppers

Crawfish Beignets

Mississippi Farm-Raised Catfish Pâté

Confiture of Rabbit with Chestnut Spoon Bread


Delta Crispy Shrimp with Aunt Clementine Dust

Stone Crab Claw Turnover with Mississippi Lemon Butter

Coahoma County Farm-Raised Striped Bass with Hominy and Green Tomato Gravy

Three Hour–Braised Pork Cheeks à l’Orange with Stone-Ground Grits

Roasted Breast of Duck with Creamy Black-Eyed Peas, Cranberry Reduction, Truffle Essence, and Crispy Collard Greens

Nanny’s Pound Cake with Vanilla Custard, Muscadine Sorbet, and Muscato Syrup

Tu Country Catering handcrafts your meals using local products almost exclusively.

Why exclusively local?

1. To promote local business and local jobs. 

2. To give you the best nutritional value for your money.

3. Because real vegetables and meats grown organically in your neighborhood are far superior in flavor to clearinghouse produce
 and meats used in restaurants.

4. Eating local whenever it is possible will force us to stay in touch with the seasons and the earth. Because I grew up on a 84 acre farm this is important to me.

Tu Country Catering prepares your meals in your home.

Why do you prepare them in my home?

1. Basically the short answer is it saves us BOTH money. Since I do not have to pay for equipment, employees, rent, storage and refrigeration, etc, you don't have to pay the 200% restaurant markup and I can pass the savings on to you. 

2. It allows for better quality control as I can be 100% focused on your meals.

3. A much safer and cleaner product. Restaurant sanitation, generally speaking, can be a 
"Trust me, you don't want to know" type situation.