When James Beard Foundation heads south for "Taste New Orleans" from September 30 to October 1, it'll be in famously good hands with the involvement of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, a name synonymous with tasteful dining in the culinary city.
The exclusive "Taste New Orleans" dinner on Friday, September 30 will be co-chaired by Ralph and Susan Brennan, and Terry and Kathleen White, co-owners of Brennan's, together with Michael Smith, GM of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, where local gastronomic stars will come together for one night only, in an unprecedented collaboration of top talent.
Ralph Brennan is uniquely positioned to welcome the James Beard Foundation to his hometown. He has held the prestigious position as president and chairman of the National Restaurant Association, and has presided locally over both the Louisiana Restaurant Association and New Orleans Restaurant Associations. Ralph is also known for his tireless advocacy and contribution for the restaurant industry, the Gulf seafood industry, and the city of New Orleans. He's no stranger to the James Beard House in New York, where he brought a number of his executive chefs last year, to present a dinner in honor of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Slade Rushing, Brennan's Executive Chef and two-time James Beard Finalist for “Best Chef: South,” will be presenting an appetizer at the Cocktail & Tasting Reception. In keeping with Rushing’s creative interpretations of beloved Southern favorites, his “Shrimp & Grits” dish might not be recognizable at first glance without its traditional presentation—but the Shrimp Bolognese, Scallion Grit Agnolotti, and Crispy Pork Belly is every bit as tasty if not tastier than its customary appearance.
Brett Gauthier, executive pasty chef of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, plans to offer a memorable finish of Sabayon Glacé, Saffron Poached Pear, and Almond. Gauthier was named one of “Five Pastry Chefs to Watch” by The Times-Picayune for his enviable career at some of the country’s grandest restaurants, and for making a sweet impact to the city of New Orleans.
The James Beard Foundation will be donating a portion of the evening's proceeds to its Taste America Scholarship Fund. Lagniappe! The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group will be contributing four experiential packages to the live auction including: A dinner for 14 in Brennan's wine cellar; a trip to explore Covey Rise Farm that includes skeet shooting and dinner by Red Fish Grill's executive chef Austin Kirzner; and a collaborative item with New Orleans Motorsports filled with race track driving and a lunch provided by Ralph Brennan Catering and Events.