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Monday, November 19, 2012

Baton Rouge Chef Scott Varnedoe to Cook the Thanksgiving Meal at the James Beard House in NYC

Myself and Chef Scott Varnedoe after judging Jambalaya
Chef Scott Varnedoe got his call to cook in the James Beard House for the first time in May, 2010. To him, the Beard awards are the pinnacle of the culinary world. While cooking in the house is not quite the same as winning one of the top awards, it still holds some exceptional prestige. “Not to sound like a sissy, but there were tears involved. It just doesn't get any better than that.” No, it sure doesn't.  The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and preserve America’s diverse culinary heritage and future. James Beard himself authored cookbooks and taught culinary arts to the point where he is recognized as an early champion of American cuisine. The historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village regularly gets used as a performance space for visiting chefs, like Varnedoe as well as the likes of Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck, and many more before him. Upon getting that first call to cook at the exclusive house, all Scott could think about was “What am I going to do that chefs from around the world haven’t done there before?” Fortunately, all he had to do was follow his roots. His “Upscale Downsouth” motto carried him through his “Antebellum” themed dinner, and he got a second invite in 2011. This year, Chef Varnedoe received an invitation to cook the Thanksgiving Dinner at the James Beard House. He gladly accepted.

Duck Duo by Chef Scott Varnedoe at Stroubes in downtown Baton Rouge


FOR MORE ABOUT CHEF SCOTT VARNEDOE, KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED FOR A PROFILE I WROTE ON HIM IN 225 MAGAZINE!

As for this year's Turkey Day menu, behold this culinary porn in text form:


Here I am at the James Beard House in NYC

MENU

  • Hors d'Oeuvre
  • Pecan-Crusted Turkey Nuggets with Applewood-Smoked Bacon and Roasted Jalapeño–Peach Preserves
    • Duck, Turkey, and Foie Gras Meatballs with Sweet-and-Spicy Pumpkin Beer Glaze
    • Char-Broiled Louisiana Oysters with Garlic, Lemon, and Pernod Butter; Smoked Duck Crackling–Parmesan French Bread Crumbs; and Bacon, Onion, and Fennel Jam
    • Collard–Cochon de Lait Arancini with Duck Fat–Braised Pork Belly, Creole Mustard–Bacon Demi-Glace, and Tasso Ham–Cranberry Preserves
  • Dinner
  • Roasted Butternut Squash–Louisiana Jumbo Lump Crab Cappuccino with Red and Green Chili Oil, Allspice Whipped Cream, and Toasted Chestnut Dust
    • Smoked Ash–Crusted Lamb T-bone with Papa Tom's Gouda Grits, Roasted Vidalia Onions, Garlic–Mint Lamb Jus, and Candied Tomato Gel
    • Fried and Compressed Sous-Vide Turkey Breast and Thigh with Oyster, Andouille Sausage, and Sage Cornbread Soufflé; Brown Butter–Roasted Brussels Sprouts; Duck Fat Snow; Foie Gras–Giblet Gravy Broth; and Cranberry Foam
    • Smoked Steen's Cane Syrup and Abita Root Beer–Cured Louisiana Duck Ham with Brown Sugar, Pecan, and Sweet Potato Soufflé; Brûléed Housemade Marshmallows; Clove, Brown Butter, and Toasted Pecan Crumble; Orange Gastrique; and Bacon-Sautéed Kale
    • Individual Apple–Pecan Pies with Buttermilk–Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Calvados Caramel, and Dehydrated Apple Baklava Stick