Monday, May 14, 2012

Uncorking for Culinary Causes

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience starts May 22-26

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience boosts a number of events sure to delight your palette May 22-26. More than 90 wineries and 80 restaurants (most of which are LRA members) will be on hand during the Grand Tastings providing tastes of fine whites, reds, roses and champagne from around the world and tastes of fine New Orleans cuisine. Do you have your tickets?

The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation is a proud recipient of part of the proceeds from NOWFE which benefits the ProStart Program. ProStart is a two-year, dynamic curriculum in nearly 50 high schools statewide that teaches juniors and seniors culinary arts and restaurant management in preparation of college culinary programs. 

The five day celebration kicks off on Tuesday night with the Ella Brennan Award Dinner and Auction honoring Bill Goldring with a Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award. Goldring’s extraordinary leadership, personal and professional accomplishments and philanthropic contributions to the community earned him this recognition.

Wednesday evening, attendees can choose from one of nearly 20 vintner dinners, where premiere New Orleans restaurants are matched up with a renowned vineyard; they work together to plan menus, ensuring outstanding food and wine pairings.

Thursday, stroll down Royal Street for a taste of wonderful cuisine, authentic jazz and sip wine while taking in the sites, fine art, architecture and antiquities of this historic French Quarter corridor. 

Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, the Grand Tastings are both a foodie and wine connoisseur’s dream come true. More restaurants and wineries than one person can possibly visit in three hours, come together under one roof. On Saturday, the Grand Tasting features the Louisiana Seafood Cook-off, where 12 chefs will compete for the title of King or Queen of Louisiana Seafood and the chance to compete nationally at the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans in August at the Louisiana Foodservice and Hospitality EXPO. Enjoy close out performances by Ingrid Lucia on Friday and Jeremy Davenport on Saturday.
Johnny Iuzzini
Pastry Chef & Host of
Top Chef Just Desserts
Burlesque Ballroom
headliner Trixie Minx

New on the scene this year is the Friday night event, The Big Gauteaux Show, featuring invited pastry chefs that will create their own signature version of a burlesque-themed anniversary cake. Hosted by Top Chef Just Desserts' Johnny Iuzzini and local celebrity pastry wiz Sucre's Tariq Hanna, the new event will boast entertainment by Trixie Minx and the beauties from the Burlesque Ballroom.

Each chef will be assisted by a local culinary student to create a spectacularly designed cake, to be displayed and tasted at a festive after party following the Friday Night Grand Tasting. The winning design and pastry chef will be awarded with a $5,000 prize sponsored by Valrhona.

Now doesn't that just take the cake?

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