The Pie of the Summer


Owner and Head Chef Jon Lansdale built a name for himself making quality baked deserts in the metro. He got his big break providing desserts for the Jackson Junior League’s Mistletoe Market Preview Party. And after success in that venture, he later went on to open Crazy Cat Bakers in a 643-square foot space in Highland Village. 

In 2016, ten years after opening Crazy Cat Bakers, his eatery and his original business model expanded, and with the help of loyal customer and fellow chef Gary Hawkins, The Crazy Cat Eat Up at the Canton Market Square in Jackson, was born. 

The menu has now expanded to include lunch and dinner, the quality is still the same. And even though the Southern Tomato Pie might not be as sweet as the pecan pie, it is still savory all the same. And popular too.

“It’s consistently popular,” says Chef Jon. 

“It’s a very popular seller,” Kilgore Knight, a server at the restaurant, explains. “For some [regulars], the tomato pie is all they ever get.”

This delectable tomato pie features three kinds of cheese; parmesan beautifully baked on top of the pie’s crust, with white cheddar and Vermont Cheddar in harmony on the inside. The pie also has bread crumbs on the inside to work with and complement the cheeses’ flavor. 

Now one can’t have a tomato pie without tomatoes, and when in season, Chef Jon Lansdale dices up locally-sourced tomatoes in ¼ inch cubes. Otherwise, Roma tomatoes are used. Then a combination of the tomatoes, fresh basil, and green onions are mixed in with the cheeses to fill this hearty Southern Tomato Pie to the brim in a generously-sized souffle dish. Then it is put in a broiler and comes out piping-hot. It is sealed with a pie crust and parmesan cheese until a customer charmed by its looks and smell breaks it open with their fork. A mayonnaise cheese dip helps to cool down the hot, yet flavor-filled pie.

“It is very gooey. It is very nice but it’s very gooey,” explains Knight. “You might want to take your time with it.”

It comes with the customer’s choice of a fresh house salad or strawberry salad with juicy strawberries and butter toffee almonds. The Southern Tomato Pie is recommended to be enjoyed with an Iced Tea, and most people would not have it any other way. 

They are made in batches by Chef Jon and are subsequently cooked to order. It takes him approximately 30 minutes to make a batch of these delicious pies.

Ironically, Chef Jon wasn’t even a fan of tomatoes growing up. He didn’t grow up eating a single tomato pie. Why he started making these tomato pies in the first place was because one of his clients for a catering job he was doing wanted some made. She even gave Jon a recipe for it.

After some research and quick adjustments to that recipe, the Southern Tomato Pie was born, and the rest is history.