Voting for the 2015 Taste Awards is going on right now!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Penny Packer Bourbon: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

Penny Packer Bourbon
Penny Packer Bourbon
Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar returns to a review this week with the Penny Packer Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($6 a pour at Lock & Key). The nose is light and sweet with some grassy notes and a faint hint of oak. On the tongue the grass remains, possibly turning into a wet hay flavor with bland grains. That may not sound all that appealing, but in reality this is a very drinkable bourbon and is an affordable whiskey to serve as a solid backup to any nicer whiskey you may normally keep on your shelf. The flavors are fairly muted and crazy light, but the bourbon finishes quickly with a warming quality. It is simple but tasty... nothing that wow the taste buds but nothing that will upset them either. In all reality this bourbon is a great value. It may not be your go-to sipping whiskey, but if you are mixing it in cocktail it will do just fine.

Penny Packer Bourbon
Average Score: 63.0


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar. Lock & Key has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys available for on premise consumption. This WW feature was scored by Jay Ducote from Bite and Booze, Arthur Lauck from Lock & Key, Jeremy Spikes from Old Maul, and Natalie Parbhoo from International Wine and Spirits. Scores are marked for Nose, Taste, Finish, and Balance and Complexity using our own proprietary scoring system. Marks are then added and averaged, leaving us with a final score out of a 100 point scale. Our scale should be looked at on the full range of 0-100 rather than an academic range where 70 is passing and anything less is failing. A 50 should be considered a very mediocre whisk(e)y (though not undrinkable) while anything below 20 is absolute horse piss and anything above 80 is rather extraordinary and anything above 90 is world class.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Barbecue Bites: Jay D's Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls

Jay D's Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls
Jay D's Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls





Egg rolls are a great bar food snack. I like to make these Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue chicken egg rolls when I have a bunch of friends over because they're easy to make and easy to hold when you have a beer in the other hand!


Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Chicken Egg Rolls

Makes 12 egg rolls

3 cups green cabbage, julienned
2 cups red cabbage, julienned
3 cups chicken, chopped
3 scallions
1 large carrot, julienned
1/2 onion julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Jay D's Louisiana Barbecue Sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
12 Eggroll wrappers
1 tsp. mirin
1 tsp. sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Preheat frying oil to 350 degrees F. Heat saute pan with olive oil and saute vegetables with mirin, sugar, salt, and pepper until soft. Remove and set aside to cool. Heat chicken in saute pan with barbecue sauce and simmer until thick. Remove and set aside to cool. Fill eggroll wrappers with 1 Tbsp. sauteed vegetables and 1 Tbsp. of chicken. Use the egg to seal the wrap. Fry until golden brown. Serve with Jay D's Asian Barbecue Sauce!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Natalie Parbhoo: The Duchess of Distribution

The journey booze takes to from conceptualization to the drink in your hand is a long one which involves multiple several characters. From brewery, winery, and distillery owners to distributors, retailers and service industry members, there are females all over the state of Louisiana dedicating their passion and hard work to make sure our beverages can live up to our cuisine. Check back with us every month to see which lady we're spotlighting next on this new women in booze series on Bite and Booze!

Natalie Parbhoo
Natalie Parbhoo with her hands full at The Cove
Natalie Parbhoo has been working for International Wine & Spirits for eight years now. After working in restaurants ranging from Semolina's to Fleming's, her love for booze and its variety of flavors has grown over time. It wasn't until she attended a tasting with some service industry ladies at Slinky's 8 years ago that she realized that infusing craft beer, fine wines, and quality spirits into the restaurants of Baton Rouge could be pursued professionally. The distribution world can be tough for females. Parbhoo said that it takes time and persistence to be taken seriously in a field that's almost 80% male. "First getting into it, the woman I replaced was only the second female representative in the city, so people just didn't take me seriously. They wasted a lot of my time flirting with me and never bought anything. That's when I realized I needed to be super aggressive to sell." Parbhoo went on to explain that a lot of men in the industry would comment on a female's looks to gauge whether or not she would be able to make it in a job like this. Hearing that as a woman or not being taken seriously in my profession, "is intimidating," Parbhoo says, "but, it gave me more of a drive. I had to build up that trust and prove to them that I was serious." Parbhoo now manages over 75 accounts in the Greater Baton Rouge market representing a portfolio rich in craft beer (over 700), wine (over 600), and artisinal spirits (over 400). Her expertise in the alcohol world is intimidating to any novice that may try to test her knowledge, but with a warm smile Natalie will gladly share her passion with anyone at the bar.

As we were talking about picture ideas, a man sitting next to us suggested she lay on the bar, which was the perfect end to our talk about what it's like to be a woman forging through the alcohol industry. Eight years later, Parbhoo still loves her job and the different products she represents. She's keeping Baton Rouge fresh one drink at a time.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Louisiana Culinary Trails: Prairie Home Cooking

Kermit Lejeune talks to Jay Ducote as Fred Mince, Dan Jones, Jordan Lewis, and Blair Loup produce
Kermit Lejeune talks to Jay Ducote as Fred Mince, Dan Jones, Jordan Lewis, and Blair Loup produce

Blair Loup helps feed the baby goats before we get back on the road
Blair Loup helps feed the baby goats before we get back on the road





Filming the Prairie Home Cooking trail brought us away from New Orleans and the Northshore and to the more rural central part of Louisiana. Life slows down a little here but the food culture doesn't. Much of Louisiana's famous smoked sausages and other meats come from this part of the state. We visited smokehouses, slaughterhouses, and people's houses to capture the spirit of Prairie Home Cooking. We paid a visit to Chefs Cody and Sam Carroll at Hot Tails, Kermit Lejeune at Lejeune's Sausage Kitchen, Andy Fontenot and Willie Burson from the Eunice Superette, Marguerite Constantine from WesMar Farms, and Karlos Knott from Bayou Teche Brewing.







Jordan Lewis, Fred Mince, Dan Jones, Jay Ducote, and Katie hope producing a great interview at the Eunice Superette
Jordan Lewis, Fred Mince, Dan Jones, Jay Ducote, and Katie hope producing a great interview at the Eunice Superette


Jay Ducote checks out cheese curds at Wes Mar Farms
Jay Ducote checks out cheese curds at Wes Mar Farms


Dan Jones in the smokehouse at Lejeune's Sausage Kitchen
Dan Jones in the smokehouse at Lejeune's Sausage Kitchen


Kermit Lejeune and his faithful companion check the smokehouse at Lejeune's
Kermit Lejeune and his faithful companion check the smokehouse at Lejeune's


Chef Sam Carroll of Hot Tails in New Roads talking about Prairie Home Cooking for Louisiana Culinary Trails
Chef Sam Carroll of Hot Tails in New Roads talking about Prairie Home Cooking for Louisiana Culinary Trails


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To Decant... or Nah: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key

There seems to be a rift in the whiskey world about whether or not to use a decanter. So this week, Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Lock & Key Whiskey Bar will explore just that. In the world of grapes, the taste of a wine can improve dramatically when it is decanted, but does the same apply to the taste of a whiskey? The answer is no. Whiskey decanters got their start back when whiskey only came in barrels. Similar to bringing a growler to fill with a special craft brew, you would bring your jugs to the local general store and fill 'er up with hooch. Decanters were used for easier pouring over thick, heavy clay jugs, and they provide, to this day, a more refined aesthetic. Flash forward a couple hundred years and the whiskey decanter's current use is purely for looking good and possibly for hiding the brand of your booze. Whiskey Decanter Co. recently sent me a couple of their premiere decanters, both beautiful but both very different. I'm excited to have them sitting on my shelves for years to come!

The Lexington
The Lexington






The Lexington is hand-made with mouth-blown accents. Squared off with a hefty bottom weight to it, the Lexington has an outward beveled spout. It is an ideal gift for any man in your life because of its more masculine shape and heft, but by all means the ladies can enjoy a pour from it too!



The Fusion Derby
The Fusion Derby














The Fusion Derby is slightly more feminine. It has a rounded bell shape and the topper fits a more securely than that of the Lexington. The glass is thin and extremely light so it is also easier to pour whiskey from it. 

Join us at The Truck, the Brewer, and the Blogger IV Pop-Up Dinner on January 20th!