Friday, May 9, 2014

First King of Crawfish event a success

Crawfish is all the rage as evidenced by the onslaught of events honoring the beloved Louisiana mudbug. The Louisiana Restaurant Association Greater New Orleans Chapter held its first King of Crawfish competition, a tasting event featuring notable restaurants serving their signature crawfish dish, at Generations Hall, May 8, to benefit the LRA Education Foundation. During the event, attendees sampled an array of dishes and voted on which one they thought should reign supreme.

Nearly 500 fans of Louisiana’s favorite crustacean were salivating over Galatoire’s crawfish risotto, Fulton Alley’s crawfish tater tot, Katie’s Restaurants’ crawfish beignet, Semolina’s crawfish cakes, Ma Momma’s Cornbread, Chicken and Waffles’ crawfish cornbread and Barcadia’s fried crawfish tails over spoon bread, just to name a few.

“This was a great event and I’m definitely in for next year,” said Michael Sichel, Galatoire’s Executive Chef. “Everyone was so happy and it benefiting culinary education made it even more rewarding.”
Katie's Restaurant Crawfish Beignet, an
overstuffed beignet filled with Louisiana
crawfish, jalapeno peppers, onions and
three kinds of cheese, fried then topped
with a jalapeno aioli. Served on the
restaurant's menu daily. 

After the tickets were counted, the clear crowd favorite was Katie’s Restaurant led by Sous Chef Jonathan Laugand, who took home the title with the restaurant’s crawfish beignet. As event chair and LRA GNO Director Stanton Ripp announced Katie’s as the winner, the team was elated and the crowd cheered. Katie’s beat out Café Giovanni, who placed second with an Italian crawfish mole over creamy grits and Semolina’s who placed third, with a made-to-order crawfish cake with micro greens.

“It was a great time,” said attendee Meg May. “The cuisine was great and the LRA did an awesome job.”

Guests also had a selection of libations to enjoy courtesy of MillerCoors, Abita Beer and Glazer’s of Louisiana brands Pyrat Rum, 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey, Lunazul and Crown Royal XO.

The proceeds from the event benefit the LRA Education Foundation, which awards annually culinary and hospitality management scholarships, $60,000 this year and nearly $200,000 since 2009. The LRAEF also administers the Louisiana ProStart program, a two-year restaurant management and culinary arts curriculum in more than 45 high schools statewide for juniors and seniors. 

To see what you missed, visit the event's marketing sponsor, Where Y'at Magazine's Facebook page to view event photos here

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