Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What a Month!

The week after Rick and I returned from our invigorating dinner at the James Beard House, we prepared for the launch of Lunch service back in New Orleans.
Restaurant R’evolution began offering Lunch in early August with many standouts from the Dinner menu, so now you don’t have to wait to have Corn and Crab Cappuccino or Death by Gumbo!  And we've decided to offer our house-made, bite-sized treats prepared by Chef Erin, normally available at dinner, also at Lunch in the month of September.  We’ll present Fall-flavored bites in our jewel boxes (see picture on right) after each lunch service with our compliments.  In addition, I’ll be hiding a Restaurant R'evolution gift card in one gift box each week of the month and giving lunch guests complimentary parking in the Royal Sonesta Hotel garage.

Back in August while Rick was off in Chicago and Los Angeles, I was crossing the big pond to the 2012 Olympic Games where I had the privilege to cook for Team USA and represent the Louisiana contingent in BP’s “Spirit of the Gulf” promotion, a series of special events for Team USA showcasing the Gulf Coast’s unique culture, distinctive attractions and our best-tasting seafood. Along with seven of the best chefs from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, we prepared buffet-style dinners for over 1000 people each day for three days and a 200-person lunch with cooking demonstrations.  I was excited to serve my ultimate Louisiana crab cakes with a roasted red pepper cream sauce.  My friend and Galatoire’s Executive Chef, Michael Sichel, also showcased Louisiana crab with the restaurant’s classic dish: Crabmeat Maison.  We had prepared all of our recipes at my manufacturing plant in Donaldsonville and shipped the food via UPS to London, chilled at minus 40 degrees. The good news: every ounce of seafood tasted like it had been swimming in the Gulf that morning! The logistics of getting that much Gulf seafood to London took trust and a whole lot of prayers.  

While I wasn't able to sneak away to watch the Games, I was in London on the Glorious 12th, the opening of the grouse hunt.  Bringing a copy of my wild game cookbook to Rules, one of the oldest and game-focused restaurants in Europe, was like my gold medal for the trip.

At the end of August, Rick and I were honored to help organize the Fourth Annual Dining By Design fundraiser at White Oak Plantation in Baton Rouge benefiting neighbors at the Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center.  The culinary extravaganza at The Crowne Plaza Hotel on Sunday, August 26th was prepared by ten national and Louisiana renowned chefs with tablescapes designed by eight local interior designers and florists.  Patrons feasted on four-course dinners with crawfish boil risotto, root beer glazed veal shank, white chocolate bread pudding and other delicious dishes.  This year we extended the event by adding Chilin’ & Grillin’ the day before as an opportunity to meet and greet the participating celebrity chefs and designers and tour the Prayer Center to learn more about the mission of the Sister Dulce Foundation.  It was a wonderful success, and we’re thankful for the support of everyone involved.  Rick and I had the most fun bringing the visiting chefs on some unique Louisiana field trips, like shrimping and fishing in the Gulf and swamp tours!

This weekend we launched Sunday Brunch at Restaurant R’evolution.  Every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. we’ll offer a “r’evolutionary” brunch of Crawfish Crepes, Duck Confit and Eggs, Grillades and Gravy Spanish Style, and more twists on classic dishes!  We invite you to make reservations at 504-553-2277 or on Opentable.com.
And November may seem far away, but Rick and I are really looking forward to bringing a taste of Restaurant R’evolution to Blackberry Farmthe exclusive 9200 acre luxury hotel and resort in Tennessee.  If you'd like to attend our Cooking School & Epicurean Event celebrating Blackberry Farm's 35th anniversary please email reservations@blackberryfarm.com.  We've both been once before, but never together…
The Farm at Blackberry Farm, TN