June 1, 2017


I had the most fun judging the "Battle Royale" at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience Saturday night. The format was unlike any I'd ever judged. Six chefs were divided into teams of three, with Chefs Samantha and Nealy Frentz as team captains. It was a progressive event; the teams decided who was going to cook first, who'd pick up where he left off, and who'd then finish the dish. The chefs going on second and third were then sequestered, and the first on each team was presented with the mystery box of ingredients.

He prepped and started the process, then the second chef came on to pick things up, with no idea at all what would be turned over to him. Chefs Tory McPhail and Michael Gulotta went on last, to finish up the mystery dish; I have never seen such a display of working under pressure and creative thinking on the fly. Peter Sclafani and Sal Sunseri were the other two judges, we did not collaborate on our scores, but when all was added up it was a dead tie. That's how good both of the dishes were. 

Tonight you'll find me at Desire Oyster Bar judging the preliminary, qualification rounds for the big, annual P&J Oyster Shucking Competition at the 7th Annual New Orleans Oyster Festival; that contest takes place on the main stage at 1:00 Saturday afternoon. The festival opens at 10:30 Saturday and Sunday, on the grounds of the beautiful Woldenberg Park along the banks of the Mississippi river in New Orleans. Admission to the festival is FREE, although a limited number of VIP passes, which include a private viewing area, limited complimentary food and beverage, and, of most import in this weather, air conditioned restrooms! The VIP pass is $125 for the weekend, or $75 for the day.

Enjoy this week's recipes, share them with family and friends, and, as always, let me know what's on your mind. Have a great weekend.


Susan Ford

Susan Ford, Publisher

Louisiana Kitchen & Culture

Miss last edition's recipes?

• Last week: Come-Back Sauce, Galatoire's Remoulade, and Tartar Sauce

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Blackened Snapper with Corn Relish

Blackened Snapper with Corn Relish

The summer vegetable season is in full swing here in Louisiana; if you don't have access to snapper, any mild firm white fish will do. The trick with blackening is to get your cast iron skillet really hot; be prepared for smoke, so make sure the area is well-ventilated. The paprika in the seasoning mixture is what turns black; it is not burned.

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Simple Summer Squash

Chef Cheramie's Simple Summer Squash

This easy soup is full of summer vegetables and isn't at all short on flavor. Shrimp are in season right now, but feell free to substitute Louisiana crabmeat or crawfish tails if that's what you've got on hand.

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Garlic Shrimp and Pasta

Garlic Shrimp over Pasta

I came across an infographic somewhere on the Interwebs earlier this week that listed the most-googled recipe by state; Shrimp Pasta was it for Louisiana, so here you go! Drop me an email if you have a favorite shrimp and pasta recipe; maybe I'll put together a feature.

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