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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Yamazaki Sidecar at Nobu: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Yamazaki Sidecar and Mia Margarita from Nobu in Malibu
While in Los Angeles a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to dine around a few different parts of town. My friend Shelly and I somehow got reservations at Nobu in Malibu, so we drove from Hollywood to the beach in order to get a taste of the acclaimed restaurant. With a Ferrari a few Bentleys in the parking lot, we made our way in and ordered a couple cocktails to enjoy while overlooking the Pacific Ocean before dinner.

In honor of Whisk(e)y Wednesday, I decided to share our cocktails with you here. I, of course, ordered a whisky drink. The Yamazaki Sidecar featured an ice sphere and Yamazaki 12 year single malt Japanese Whisky. I've actually reviewed the whisky before on a Whisk(e)y Wednesday post if you want to read about it. The sidecar also contained Gran Torres Orange Liqueur and yuzu juice from the Japanese fruit. The beverage treated me well as the cool breeze blew in from the ocean and the sound of crashing waves set our ambiance.

Shelly had a Mia Margarita. While not a whisk(e)y drink, I still thought I should mention it. Corralejo Anejo tequila, passion fruit, shichimi, and lime juice filled the glass. The flavor packed punch from the shichimi spice mix combined with a quality aged tequila made this an excellent margarita. Dinner at Nobu impressed even more than the starter cocktails. It was a little dark in the restaurant and my pictures can't do the food justice. We did a 12 course tasting menu that I'm still thinking about weeks later. Nobu is a beautiful restaurant with rockin' menu and some great cocktails, that's for sure.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cocktails Through Time: Bite and Booze Radio Show presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Jay and George toast with Old Fashioneds in Crowntown
George Krause, executive chef and chief bartender at Doe's Eat Place, is currently doing a cocktails though time promotion at his bar, Crowntown. The cocktails through time spends a two week period during each era of cocktails. At this point he's well into the 1900's and going a decade at a time, but when we recorded this episode of the Bite and Booze Radio Show, the program had just started. Chuck P., Blair Loup, and I join George to talk about the drink menus for cocktails through time. It'll continue all summer, so make sure to get over to Doe's to try out George's signature cocktails!



The Bite and Booze Radio Show presented by Calandro's Supermarket airs on Saturdays at 5 PM and replays Sundays at 8 PM on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge. The show is hosted by Jay Ducote and won a Taste Award in January 2014 as the best food or drink based radio broadcast in the country. The producer of the show is Chris Courtney at Guaranty Broadcasting and the field producer is Charles Pierce from the Me and My Big Mouth Show. It is also available on iTunes. The show's sponsors include Calandro's SupermarketVisit Baton Rouge, Portico Restaurant and Bar, Lock & Key Whiskey BarLe Creole RestaurantSlap Ya Mama Cajun SeasoningMama Della's N.Y. City PizzeriaMason's GrillDonner-Peltier Distillers (Rougaroux Rums and Oryza Vodka and Gin), Louisiana Cookin' MagazineJuban's Restaurant, the Tin Roof Brewing Company, the Louisiana Culinary Institute and Triumph Kitchen.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monkey Around and Eat Like a Local: Jay's Adventure in the Dominican Republic Part Dos

I made a friend
Dawn broke on day two in the Dominican Republic as I slumbered at a beachside resort in Cabarete, listening to the sound of the Atlantic Ocean in the background. Our arrival day for MancationDR had come and gone. I witnessed some sights of the country's beautiful north coast, saw plenty of friendly folks enjoying their moped rides in tropical paradise, and gotten my first taste of Dominican bite and booze, but now the adventure really began. Our group hopped aboard a bus operated by Sexy Carlos with Bavaro Runners, as opposed to our Dominican Tourism Carlos, to make our way down dirt roads and over mountains to Monkey Jungle and Zipline Adventures. The great thing about Monkey Jungle is that it is actually a doctor and dentist office, offering free care to many Dominicans who could otherwise not afford any medical treatment whatsoever. The money raised from the monkey hangouts and ziplines is used to pay for medicine and supplies, and much of the treatment is provided by volunteer doctors. The monkeys aren't native to the Dominican Republic, but they sure were playful and adorable, especially when we had food for them. The ziplines took me for a wild ride as well, and I especially liked the brief moments I had to check out the incredible views while speeding down a cable in a rather snug harness.

A view over the zip line course at Monkey Jungle



Medical and Dental Offices at Monkey Jungle

Sandro's Cafe in Cabarete
The monkey feeding and ziplining worked up a hunger in our group, so we took a stroll back to the beach and hit up a restaurant on the main drag in Cabarete. Sandro's Cafe offers up authentic Dominican cuisine which of course made me very excited. There are a handful of dishes that I knew I had to try included the famous pollo guisado and fried plantains.

Of course, Dominican cuisine really starts with rice and beans. We had plenty of puffy white rice and beautiful black beans to pass around the table. The pollo guisado dish consists of chicken that has been braised in a mixture of tomatoes and garlic, as well as some other flavoring vegetables and spices. It comes out juicy and tender. The fried plantains are sliced and smashed into discs of fruit ready to be fried. Somewhere between a banana and a potato in consistency, the fried plantains hit the spot as a great snack when sprinkled with a little sea salt. We also had some fried chicken, or pollo frito, to pass around. I truthfully liked the guisado better, but it is hard to pass up a crispy piece of fried chicken! I could eat this meal over and over again. In fact, perhaps it is time to try to make it for myself. Any volunteers to be taste testers?

Dominican Pollo Guisado, a Braised/Stewed Chicken Dish

A Platter of Fried Plantains

Pollo Frito

A Complete Plate with Rice, Beans, Pollo Guisado, Pollo Frito, and Fried Plantains

Friday, April 25, 2014

Going with the Grain Pop Up Dinner in Crowley, LA

One of the many large silos at the Cajun Country Rice Mill in Crowley, LA
One of the many large silos at the Cajun Country Rice Mill
in Crowley, LA
A few weeks ago, Cajun Country Rice and Louisiana Cookin’Magazine got together to throw a pop up dinner at the rice mill in Crowley. What’s unique about this dinner is not only the pop up style preparation, but that each dish incorporated a different grain from Cajun Country Rice, a local company which is in its third generation of ownership. This is the first dinner centered on rice that I've had the pleasure of attending, and what Chef Justin Girouard, one of Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine’s “Chefs to Watch” and executive chef at The FrenchPress in Lafayette, created with the Cajun Country Rice products truly impressed!
 


Inside the Cajun Country Rice Mill where the grains are separated from the hulls
Inside the Cajun Country Rice Mill
where the grains are separated from the hulls












What’s better than taking a tour of a rice mill? Taking a tour of the mill with a drink in my hand, of course. Each guest got to see the inner workings of the mill and learned more than we thought possible about rice. There is so much to know about everything they do with rice in the way of feed, alcohol adjuncts, and of course, food. After the tour we made our way to the table to sit down to an incredibly creative and delicious meal. While each dish boasted unique elements, the coriander-seared Gulf tuna with coconut lobster fried rice rose to the top as my favorite of the evening. Keep an eye out for dinners like this in the future, because you won't want to miss them!




Cornmeal and Rice Flour Fried Oysters
Cornmeal and Rice Flour Fried Oysters

Foie Gras Dirty Rice Croquettes
Foie Gras Dirty Rice Croquettes

Cajun Country Rice "Tabouleh" Stuffed Quail Salad with Baby Arugula, Feta, Marinated Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Cajun Country Rice "Tabouleh" Stuffed Quail Salad with Baby Arugula, Feta, Marinated Tomatoes and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Coriander-Seared Gulf Tuna with Coconut Lobster Fried Rice
Coriander-Seared Gulf Tuna with Coconut Lobster Fried Rice

Roasted Duck Breast with Duck Rice Dressing, White Asparagus, Braised Kale, and a Sauce Meurette
Roasted Duck Breast with Duck Rice Dressing, White Asparagus, Braised Kale, and a Sauce Meurette

Cajun Country Rice Pudding
Cajun Country Rice Pudding

Bite and Booze Bonus: If you're looking for some booze that uses long-grain rice from Crowley, LA, look no further than the Donner-Peltier Distillery's Oryza Vodka and Gin. You can grab both of these at Calandro's Supermarket!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ole Smoky Moonshine Mint Julep: Whiskey Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Moonshine is typically the term used for illegally distilled spirits from back in the days of prohibition. While we are far removed from that, it certainly is still possible to make illegal moonshine as home distilling, unlike home brewing, isn't exactly legal. There are at least a couple good reasons for this aside from being anti-booze. Distilling is significantly more complicated and dangerous than brewing. The alcohols produced are flammable if not combustible, and methanol is pretty much poison so it takes some skill to separate the ethanol (what you want to drink) from the methanol (finger nail polish remover). The old legend about moonshine making you go blind... well, that's because somebody didn't know how to cut the heads and tails of the distillate properly. 

These days, the word Moonshine is used for commercial production just like White Lightning. It essentially refers to unaged whiskey, or spirits made from grains that have not sat in barrels for years. It goes straight from the still to a bottle, and therefore the name moonshine still fits. It doesn't have to bootlegged or made illegally anymore. For example, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine legally makes quite a few flavored moonshines in addition to their original. And since the Kentucky Derby is coming up on May 3rd, I figured I'd share a Moonshine Mint Julep recipe with you!

Ole Smoky Original Moonshine
Ole Smoky Original Moonshine

OLE SMOKY MOONSHINE MINT JULEP
·         2 oz. Ole Smoky Original Moonshine
·         1 oz. Simple Syrup
·         Fresh muddled lime
·         2-3 sprigs of mint
In a mason jar or silver julep cup muddle two sprigs of mint with simple syrup and 1 ounce of Ole Smoky Original Moonshine, until mint leaves are crushed and give off their liquid. Add remaining moonshine and serve over ice and with a sprig of mint.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cervezas in Cabarete: Jay's Adventure in the Dominican Republic Part Uno

I made my first international trek since starting Bite and Booze in the spring of 2013 with a journey to Toronto for a weekend at TBEX with Visit Baton Rouge. Later in the year, I had a chance to travel to the Dominican Republic for the first time. A little sun and Caribbean paradise is exactly what I needed... though really I most looked forward to experiencing a different culture complete with authentic local foods.

Our trip, sponsored by Dominican Republic's Ministry of Tourism, brought us to the north coast of the nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with neighboring Haiti. We flew into Gregorio Luperón International Airport outside Puerto Plata and then bused to Cabarete, a beach town where kitesurfing is the most popular sport and life is about as laid back as it gets. Our crew, made up of writers and bloggers from all walks of men's lifestyle, checked in at the Millennium Resort & Spa right on the beach in Cabarete. I'd highly recommend this place to anybody looking to visit the area.

The View from my room at Millennium Resort & Spa in Cabarete, Dominican Republic
The view from my room at Millennium Resort & Spa in Cabarete, Dominican Republic

We had a lot planned for all the men on the trip. Our Dominican "Mancation" had been designed by our tour guides Annie and Jess as well as our local expert Carlos from the Ministry of Tourism. Upon arrival to our hotel on a warm and sultry afternoon I immediately requested the local flagship beer of the Dominican Republic, Presidente. In an interesting tradition the beer came wrapped in a paper towel around not only the base of the bottle to serve as insulation but also around the neck. I soon found out that all beers in the Dominican Republic and in fact a lot of the Caribbean are served that way. I suppose you want the ice cold beer to stay frosty, so I understand the napkin koozie. The top napkin dates back to lesser bottling standards and reusing bottles. Beers were served with a napkin so that you could wipe rust off the rim underneath the cap. The beers are still served that way today, though I never noticed any rust issues.  

The Presidente itself is a pilsner style lager beer with a taste of the island. It works well as a beach beer for sure. While it is truly nothing noteworthy compared to the the world of craft beer, when you have some sand between your toes and it is hot and humid outside, the near-freezing cerveza certainly hits the spot.

Presidente Beer in the Dominican Republic Undressed


On the first night there we took a stroll into the town of Cabarete which happens to be right down the beach from our lodging. Along the beach quite a few bars and restaurants gave life to the night breeze rolling in off the Atlantic. I looked forward to a great meal and some drinks to accompany the food. We passed a place called Mojito and I liked the look of the drink menu. That Presidente for 100 Dominican pesos translates into a little over $2. The Cuba Libre, or rum and Coke, even less. I could get used to this.

We ended up stopping at a little spot called the Emerald Beach Club which had a table waiting for us on the sand. I opted for the shrimp curry which came with some steamed veggies and coconut rice. As a whole the dish sufficed for the evening. The coconut rice with the curry sauce created a great flavor combination that worked with my fruity beach cocktail. The shrimp also did quite well in the curry sauce. Perhaps the highlight of the night was the mamajuana that we got from a beach merchant. Mamajuana is a local tonic that consists of rum, red wine, and bunch of unidentifiable bark, roots, and herbs. It is common to see people selling shots of the elixir on the beaches around the Dominican Republic. It is a pretty potent drink that dates back to the days of using such bitters for medicinal purposes. Mamajuana is also said to have an aphrodisiac property. I gave it a shot while in the company of strangers on the beach. The flavor tasted a little like cough syrup, a little like absinthe, and a little like nothing I had ever had before. Drinkable, yes, but I didn't find myself in a hurry to get another.

shrimp in curry sauce cabaretemojito drink menu cabarete


lime cake cabarete
mamajuana in cabarete

This marked conclusion of my first day in the DR. After a couple more beers on the beach I headed back to Millenium to rest up for the next day's adventures. There's more to come about other activities from the trip here on Bite and Booze, so stay tuned. For a little preview of what else I got into, check out the video below!

 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Whiskey Pop Chart: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

How well do you know your whiskey? If you're like me, the answer is pretty damn well. However, even that doesn't mean I know everything! The good folks over at Pop Chart Lab  created this whiskey chart that belongs on all of our walls. The Many Varieties of Whiskey shows whiskey by place on the globe, style, and brand. It is perhaps the most detailed whiskey chart I've ever seen including American whiskey, bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and Canadian whiskey, though still certainly not complete. But barring things like Japanese whisky and the most obscure brands that are really hard to keep up with in the grown whiskey world, this chart pretty much has it all.

Now the real question is which whiskey are you going to drink? And who is going to buy me one of the these posters? If you go the Pop Chart Lab site or click the poster you can get to a version of the chart which you can zoom in on. You can also buy them straight from Pop Chart Lab and shipments start today! Seriously, I wasn't kidding... I need one of these!





Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by Calandro's Supermarket. Calandro's has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys as well as wine and craft beer. This WW feature was scored by Jay DucoteEric Ducote, and Jeremy Spikes. 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, April 15, 2014

Going with the Grain: Bite and Booze Radio Show presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Barrett Miller, Robbie Trahan, and Jay Ducote in Studio at Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge
Barrett Miller, Robbie Trahan, and Jay Ducote in Studio at
Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge
Recently I had the pleasure of welcoming Barrett Miller from Louisiana Cookin' Magazine and Robbie Trahan from Cajun Country Rice in studio to record an episode of the Bite and Booze Radio Show. Third generation owner, Robbie came on the show to talk about the Going with the Grain dinner that was held last weekend at the rice mill in Crowley. Each dish highlighted different types of Cajun Country Rice prepared by Chef Justin Girouard of The French Press in Lafayette. Mr. Trahan also talked with Barrett and I about some of the different types of rice and how those varietals lend a hand to so many dishes.










The Bite and Booze Radio Show presented by Calandro's Supermarket airs on Saturdays at 5 PM and replays Sundays at 8 PM on Talk 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge. The show is hosted by Jay Ducote and won a Taste Award in January 2014 as the best food or drink based radio broadcast in the country. The producer of the show is Chris Courtney at Guaranty Broadcasting and the field producer is Charles Pierce from the Me and My Big Mouth Show. It is also available on iTunes. The show's sponsors include Calandro's SupermarketVisit Baton RougeLe Creole RestaurantSlap Ya Mama Cajun SeasoningMama Della's N.Y. City PizzeriaRestaurant IPOMason's GrillDonner-Peltier Distillers (Rougaroux Rums and Oryza Vodka and Gin), Louisiana Cookin' MagazineJuban's Restaurant, the Tin Roof Brewing Company, the Louisiana Culinary Institute and Triumph Kitchen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dishcrawl: Eating My Way Through the Perkins Road Overpass

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Baton Rouge's very first Dishcrawl. What is it? Dishcrawl is a national company that provides walking food tours to give locals or visitors a taste of the neighborhood. During this Dishcrawl our Baton Rouge Ambassador, Whitney, lead us to three different locations in the Perkins Road Overpass area: City Pork, Frankie's Dawg House, and Rock-n-Sake. While most Baton Rougeans have eaten at these casual dining establishments, having the chance to sample the owners' favorites made Dishcrawl unique.

Chase Lyons at City Pork gave us a trio of a Lettuce Wrapped BLT with Bleu Cheese, an Adouille Smash Burger topped with Slaw, and part of the Cuban.
Chase Lyons at City Pork gave us a trio of a
Lettuce Wrapped BLT with Bleu Cheese,
an Adouille Smash Burger topped with Slaw, and part of the Cuban.

At Frankie's Dawg House: the Bacon Loaded Dawg. A Dawg wrapped in bacon and deep fried, topped with chili, cheese, and jalapeños.
At Frankie's Dawg House: the Bacon Loaded Dawg.
A Dawg wrapped in bacon and deep fried,
topped with chili, cheese, and jalapeños.

At Frankie's Dawg House: an Alligator Sausage Corn Dawg.
At Frankie's Dawg House: an Alligator Sausage Corn Dawg.

Frankie's Chicago Style Dawg.
Frankie's Chicago Style Dawg.

Rock-n-Sake prepared some Sushi Deviled Eggs topped  with Tuna Tar Tar and Caviar and a Salmon Roll as well.
Rock-n-Sake prepared some Sushi Deviled Eggs topped
with Tuna Tar Tar and Caviar and a Salmon Roll as well.

Hopefully more Dishcrawls happen in the future. If executed properly this could be a great culinary entertainment option for different neighborhoods throughout the city. I would have liked to see a few more stops with smaller portions at each location as well as an included alcoholic beverage option. But maybe those things will come with time. For the first showing, Dishcrawl definitely presented something that can be built upon.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hot Tails in New Roads: Dare to be Delicious

I caught Chef Cory Carroll (left) pulling out a fresh batch  of his famous boiled crawfish.
I caught Chef Cody Carroll (left) pulling out a fresh batch
of his famous boiled crawfish.
Hot tails is tucked away in New Roads, Louisiana which is about 45 minutes outside of Baton Rouge, and it is worth every second of the drive! Louisiana Culinary Institute classmates, turned chefs, turned married couple are the creators of Hot Tails. This is a casual yet hardcore Cajun place that has a lot more going on than it might appear. Each dish is prepared with an artful mind, a bold taste profile, and several smiling faces. In its inception, the primary reason for its existence was to be a crawfish house. Chefs Cody and Sam Carroll have a crawfish farm up the road of their own so they know exactly where the mudbugs are coming from. They then boil some of the most delicious batches of crawfish anywhere in the state.

Along the way Chefs Cody and Sam started to incorporate their flare into some of the dishes we all grew up loving. Everything coming out of the Carrolls’ kitchen is spot on. Every site, sip, and bite presents out of control deliciousness. They have been recognized as the Crawfish King and Queen by Louisiana Seafood and have been the subject of many write ups in various publications that adorn their walls at Hot Tails. Trust me--this place is worth checking out.

Here's a sampling of their menu so you don't have to take just my words for it, but you can also see for yourself. To taste and smell, though, you'll have travel to New Roads.


Blackened Alligator Po-Boy with Fried Okra and a pint of Tin Roof Blonde
Blackened Alligator Po-Boy with Fried Okra and a pint of Tin Roof Blonde

The legendary Creole Crawfish Burger topped with sautéed crawfish, onions, mushrooms and pepperjack cheese.
The legendary Creole Crawfish Burger topped with sautéed crawfish, onions, mushrooms and pepperjack cheese.

The monstrous Gulf Platter with a fried soft shell crab, oysters, catfish, crawfish tails, and the most tender frog legs in existence.
The monstrous Gulf Platter with a fried soft shell crab, oysters, catfish, crawfish tails, and the most tender frog legs in existence.

The Seafood Muffaletta: sautéed shrimp, crawfish, mushrooms, onions, and garlic with Provolone.
The Seafood Muffaletta: sautéed shrimp, crawfish, mushrooms, onions, and garlic with Provolone.

Louisiana Seafood Gumbo.
Louisiana Seafood Gumbo.

Chef Sam prepared this beautiful and delicious Bloody Mary while Chef Cory made one of my favorites: fried rabbit with red beans and rice.
Chef Sam prepared this beautiful and delicious Bloody Mary while Chef Cody made one of my favorites: fried rabbit with red beans and rice.

Some of the best boiled crawfish I've had in a while.
The Hot Tails boiled crawfish... legit!

Hot Tails on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How many of the top 20 have you had? Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

I haven't missed a Whisk(e)y Wednesday blog post since it started in April, 2012. Yes, that's two years of over 100 consecutive weeks of whiskey and whisky content here on Bite and Booze. I promise I'll be getting back into scored whiskey reviews very soon instead of just news and current events themed around whiskey. I've been traveling so much that I haven't had time to get together and taste/score whiskey lately. But shortly the reviews will come again and we'll take a look at some brand new whiskey, some really old whisky, and perhaps some other elixirs in the whiskey category. Until then I invite you to check out the list of the top 20 Whisk(e)y Wednesday scores from the last two years and see how many you've had!





Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by Calandro's Supermarket. Calandro's has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys as well as wine and craft beer. This WW feature was scored by Jay DucoteEric Ducote, and Jeremy Spikes. 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.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dram & Ale Tuesday: Whisk(e)y Wednesday presented by Calandro's Supermarket

Last night debuted the initial Dram & Ale Tuesday at Olive or Twist on Perkins Road. I recently featured them in an article in The Advocate, but when I went in last night learned about this new drink special. Every Tuesday a handful of beers, featured whiskeys, and specialty whiskey cocktails will be marked down for your imbibing pleasure. Last night I stuck to whiskey, giving the Honey Tangerine Old Fashioned, French Sazerac, and Chocolate Manhattan all a try. Each one hit the spot, especially the Honey Tangerine Old Fashioned as I'm a sucker for Old Fashioneds these days. The cocktails will rotate each week on Dram & Ale Tuesdays, as will the featured beers and whiskeys. I couldn't resist one specialty choice on the menu below. A dram of Elijah Craig 21, normally priced at $25 at Olive or Twist, had been reduced to $10. I had one. And it was glorious. Check out Dram & Ale Tuesday next time you're in the mood, or just swing by Olive or Twist any time for a great cocktail!

Dram & Ale Tuesday at Olive or Twist with Elijah Craig 21


Whisk(e)y Wednesday is a blog post series on Bite and Booze sponsored by Calandro's Supermarket. Calandro's has one of Baton Rouge's best selections of bourbon, Scotch, Irish, and other whisk(e)ys as well as wine and craft beer. This WW feature was scored by Jay DucoteEric Ducote, and Jeremy Spikes. 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, April 1, 2014

Chef Scott Varnedoe's James Beard House Meal

Chef Scott Varnedoe from Baton Rouge's Restaurant IPO cooked at the James Beard House in New York City on Wednesday, March 26th. I'd like to congratulate him on the accomplishment of cooking there for the fourth time! Baton Rouge locals are proud of our food scene, and it shows! From hands-on activities to James Beard recognized chefs, a new walking food tour, cooking schools and new restaurants joining the ranks of old favorites, Baton Rouge is making a name for itself in the culinary world. Chef sang the praises of Visit Baton Rouge and Louisiana Seafood in the Big Apple and before his big trip, Chef Varnedoe hosted a preview dinner of his James Beard House menu. It was quite the feast--the weather was perfect, and the wines and Tin Roof beers were deliciously paired! Check out the menu that he served in New York!

Crawfish & Tasso Deviled Egg topped with a crispy Fried Oyster and Bacon Fennel Jam
Crawfish & Tasso Deviled Egg topped with a crispy Fried Oyster and Bacon Fennel Jam

Rockefeller "Louisiana Style" Arancini with Pernod Venetian Gel and Micro Tarragon
Rockefeller "Louisiana Style" Arancini with Pernod Venetian Gel and Micro Tarragon

Charbroiled Louisiana Gulf Oyster with Herbed Lemon-Horseradish Brown Butter
Charbroiled Louisiana Gulf Oyster with Herbed Lemon-Horseradish Brown Butter

South pass Shrimp and Wild Mushroom Café Au Lait with a Shrimp & Truffle Beignet
South pass Shrimp and Wild Mushroom Café Au Lait with a Shrimp & Truffle Beignet

Pan-Seared "Scallops" of Grouper on a Smoked Gouda Corn Grit Cake and Bacon Blistered Kale in a Tasso Broth.  Topped with a Petit Salad of Candied Lemon and Watermelon Radish tossed in a Sherry-Brown Butter Vinaigrette
Pan-Seared "Scallops" of Grouper on a Smoked Gouda Corn Grit Cake and Bacon Blistered Kale in a Tasso Broth.
Topped with a Petit Salad of Candied Lemon and Watermelon Radish tossed in a Sherry-Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Jumbo Lump Crab and Potato Goat Cheese Gnocchi tossed in a Louisiana Sweet Corn, Sherry, and Parmesan-Truffle Sauce topped with Collard Green Pesto and a Micro Salad of Brussels Sprouts, Tiny Basil, Heirloom Tomatoes and Cajun Spiced Popcorn.
Jumbo Lump Crab and Potato Goat Cheese Gnocchi tossed in a Louisiana Sweet Corn, Sherry, and Parmesan-Truffle Sauce topped with Collard Green Pesto and a Micro Salad of Brussels Sprouts, Tiny Basil, Heirloom Tomatoes and Cajun Spiced Popcorn.

Cornmeal and Bergeron Pecan Encrusted-Pan Seared Wild Catfish set atop Atchafalaya Basin "Crawfish Creole" Risotto with Shaved Romano and Toasted Butter Crawfish "Pollen" and Micro Tarragon and Celery
Cornmeal and Bergeron Pecan Encrusted-Pan Seared Wild Catfish set atop Atchafalaya Basin "Crawfish Creole" Risotto with Shaved Romano and Toasted Butter Crawfish "Pollen" and Micro Tarragon and Celery

Banana Bread French Toast with Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Toasted Candied Pecans, Brulée Bananas, Banana's Foster Brown Butter Sauce with Minted White Chocolate Powder and Banana Pop Rocks
Banana Bread French Toast with Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Toasted Candied Pecans, Brulée Bananas, Banana's Foster Brown Butter Sauce with Minted White Chocolate Powder and Banana Pop Rocks