Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, Essence, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter. Add to the dry ingredients and mix just until blended, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the ham.
Preheat a large, heavy skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Lightly grease with enough vegetable oil to leave a film on the bottom, about 1 tablespoon. Working in batches, ladle the batter into the pan 1/4 cup at a time, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook until the pancakes are golden brown underneath and bubbles form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown on the second side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter and place in the oven to keep warm. Add more oil to the pan as needed and repeat with the remaining batter.
In a nonstick saute pan, add vegetable oil to coat the bottom. Carefully crack each egg into a small bowl and then pour into the skillet and cook to desired doneness.
Place the pancakes on a plate. Top with fried eggs, cheese, parsley, and chives. Or, serve the pancakes warm with butter and cane syrup, as desired.
Yield:† 6 servings