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.
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
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Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
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An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
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A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
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The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
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Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
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