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.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, March 06, 2014:
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
Saluting the red, white and blue — let freedom ring
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Feel the spectrum
Unless you work for an energy company, specific decisions related to the economics, risk, etc. are not conveyed to the public. They are a closely guarded secret.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
Lafayette native screenwriter returns
New standards curb elective induction