|From left, chefs Adam Brenner, Tod MacIntyre, Gilbert Decourt, Troy Baglole and
Gilbert Decourt, who by accident settled in the Hub City in 1980, has since moved up the restaurant ranks to represent Lafayette in the annual Nova Scotian 10-day food festival where chefs are challenged to blend the cooking traditions of Nova Scotia with those of their home regions.
Decourt, the food and beverage director at Artisan Creative Catering at the Cajundome, was one of 10 chefs who worked with teams of local chefs and apprentices at the third annual Right Some Good foodie adventure in Cape Breton Island Aug. 18-26. The teams were charged with the task of creating a four-course meal that incorporated four local ingredients: whole lamb, double-smoked pork belly, jalapeño pepper jelly and mussels. The menu had to blend both Nova Scotian culinary traditions as well as each chef’s local culinary traditions. Decourt says there were many similarities between Nova Scotian and Acadian cultures — it is the motherland for many, after all.
“Around here, you see crawfish traps — there you see lobster traps,” laughs Decourt, 57. Lafayette became the award-winning chef’s home 32 yeas ago after a restaurant venture in Houston fell through. A graduate of the Culinary Institute in Nice, France, Decourt stopped in Lafayette on his way to Houston and stayed.
Nova Scotia is well known for its seafood, which Decourt incorporated into his meal as well. Each night of the festival, chefs from Miami and Los Angeles to China, Ireland, England, Switzerland, Peru and India showcased his meal. The event allowed all to blend their cultures with local ingredients for those willing to try something truly new. “People are very curious by nature, especially about food,” Decourt says.
When it was Decourt’s turn, he began with a gumbo of lobsters, local oysters and lamb. One of the apprentices on Decourt’s team had never made a roux — and Decourt put him on the stove for five hours to perfect the dark brown base. Second was a local trout with jalapeño sweet potatoes and the double-smoked pork belly — braised. For the main course: a honey-roasted lamb leg stuffed with local chanterelle mushrooms alongside a rosemary skewer with radishes and beets and a white-bean-and-corn fricassee. Dessert was a South Louisiana classic: chocolate bread pudding.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of product,” says Decourt. “Everything was from local farmers, and it made a big difference. Give me something great, I’ll give you something great.”
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
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
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.