Hearts of Hope was again the benefactor of this year’s Acadiana Culinary Classic, an event that brought dozens of chefs together to compete for the gold medal in 11 different categories and the Best in Show $10,000 prize.
|Chef Scott McCue's veal crepinette with truffled veal mousse.|
Scott McCue, executive chef at Cypress Bayou Casino, ultimately took home the Best in Show prize for his veal crepinette with truffled veal mousse served with a moral and cognac cream reduction, for which he also won the gold medal in the meat and veal category.
Gilbert Decourt, the food and beverage director at the Cajundome, told us before the results were announced that it was his favorite in that category, which he judged, saying it was simple but nicely thought out and constructed. He added that he looked for “simple products and better presentation, but still Louisiana fare and well balanced” dishes.
Matt Broussard, a teacher at SLCC, was mum before the awards presentation, but told IND Monthly that he looked for a high quality product, as well as simplicity of presentation. Obviously, he says, taste is the number one priority, but he set his own criteria for the dishes, requiring an evident thought process from the chefs for each dish.
|The gold medal-winning chefs|
I had the pleasure of dining next to Joey Bergeron, the sales manager at Doerle Food Service, who judged the shellfish competition where the fried soft shell crab stuffed with Boursin and jumbo lump crab meat from Cypress Bayou’s executive sous chef, Willie Gaspard, shined. Village Café and POUR Executive Chef Jeremy Conner took home the gold in the finfish category for his tuna rolls — cured tuna wrapped around goat cheese from Belle Ecorce farms — a simple and delicious variant to the generally heavier dishes found around the Convention Center.
More lighter fare was available in the healthy option category, sponsored by Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, in which Willow Brook Country Club’s chef instructor, Melvin Guevara, took gold for his pesto-rubbed orange roughy. The duck valentine from Cypress Bayou’s roundsman Jonathan Freeman won gold in the poultry category with a chocolate-strawberry sauce that was both unexpected and surprisingly tasty — not overly chocolatey, which was my apprehension. Opelousas General Hospital’s executive chef, Bennett Simmons, won the gold in wild game, pork and lamb for his spiced crispy crust pork belly — slap some pork belly on my plate and I’m a happy foodie.
|Chef Booth's salted caramel semifreddo.|
Poupart’s won gold in both salad and bread (are we surprised?) with its Thai tuna salad from Executive Chef Jeremy Robinson and owner Patrick Poupart’s toasted almond onion bread. Almost all the desserts were overly sweet, opined Decourt (I know, I know — is that possible?). However, Laci Booth, the chef at Mr. Lester’s Steakhouse at Cypress Bayou, won gold with her salted caramel semifreddo, which was well deserved — there are a few things I enjoy more than a salty-sweet combo.
This was the seventh year Hearts of Hope teamed up with the Acadiana Culinary Classic. Learn more about Hearts of Hope here.
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday, April 15, 2014:
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Court-appointed examiner says Lafayette businessman was “effectively on both sides” of transactions, opens door for legal action against him.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Lafayette-based insurance broker/risk management group bought by Florida firm for undisclosed sum; principals Landry and Harris continue to run local operations.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
The life and legacy of Dave Perkins will be commemorated with a special INDesign Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2014 event on April 24.
Easy crafts in time for Easter
The Cane Fire Film Series presents “The Great Flood” on Monday, April 14, at the AcA.