What comes to mind when you think of “soul food”? Traditionally one would say it is basic, down-home cooking with its roots in the rural South. It is said that with real soul food, you can taste the spirit and heart that goes into each bite; and that is exactly what you’re getting at My Michelle’s in Oxford, MS.
Oxford native Michelle Rounsaville is a classically trained chef from the Culinary School at Colorado Mountain College. She came back to Oxford in 2010 to and opened a shop that offered healthy, prepared meals with a southern flare. Before she knew it, the catering side of her small business was growing by leaps and bounds. My Michelle’s organically grew into a catering company that could accommodate group of any size, provided food for grove tents and offered catering services and manned bars for private parties. “Catering, to me, is very rewarding… with it, you’re always celebrating something: milestones, comradery, life itself. I get to see and be a part of the comfort that good food brings to these celebrations.”
As time passed, new diets emerged (gluten-free, keto, etc.) and healthy, convenient meal delivery services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron burst onto the scene. Soon, more and more friends came to Michelle asking her to do something similar… meal plan for them with her healthy, yet soulful recipes. That’s when she decided to go back to her roots - back to where her heart truly lay – in the kitchen. This was the true watershed moment for her business and Taste Like Home was founded in 2019.
My Michelle and Taste offer Oxford a unique way to get the homecooked foods you love. While they still offer catering as well as a dine-in location, they also offer “grab-and-go” meals that can be picked up or delivered. These e meals are packaged and prepared in a way that families or individuals can warm for dinner or freeze for a later date. This is a lifesaver for any busy student who craves a home-cooked meal, but their schedule doesn’t allow for time to cook or go to a restaurant.
Do you have picky eaters or dietary restrictions in your house? Not a problem. Michelle offers exceptional individual meals along with family meals so even the most hard-to-please child (or spouse) as well as keto, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Also, when you order a meal from either My Michelle or Taste, you are getting a 100% original recipe. Michelle acquires her inspiration from all kinds of sources: food blogs, books, what’s fresh and available at the local market, and (especially) customer requests! It’s almost like having a personal chef without the added cost.
When she studies different recipes, she looks at several and tests them out in her kitchen, making adjustments until it’s just right. “I’m not a measurer - more of a ‘smell and taste’-kind of chef. I make tweaks as I go.” The only thing she absolutely does not change are family recipes. With those, she wants the food to taste like a memory… maybe take you back to your grandmother’s kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, wearing those uncomfortable, hard-sole church shoes on the linoleum floor. Those kinds of wonderful memories are the ones you don’t want to alter.
Each week she and her team refresh the menu. Constantly moving, tweaking, and improving. They sit down together and consider “what do we feel like exploring” or “what have we not done in a while”? They try to keep things fresh and interesting.
A local favorite that she has a hard time keeping in stock is the Rotel Chicken Spaghetti. But don’t let the name fool you. She always tries to include healthier ingredients, like whole wheat pasta and low sodium, fat free soups. You’re not only getting a very thoughtful, heartfelt meal, but a nutritional one as well.
Within 10 years, My Michelle has gone from a very small catering business to the future of Oxford’s healthy and convenient homemade fare. Two things that have made Michelle successful is her love for being in the kitchen and personal client interactions. She listens to her customers, takes requests, and encourages feedback. Her goal is to make customers happier with each meal than the previous. “I love feeding people. I take it personally. If I can offer a delicious, healthy, and easily-accessible meal then I consider my day’s work successful.”
As Cesar Chavez has said, “the people who give you their food give you their heart,” and that is truly what you get when you dine on food prepared by My Michelle’s/Taste Like Home.