Wednesday, May 23, 2012
|Chef Manny Augello plates his crispy quail with roasted figs,
balsamic-can syrup vinaigrette, sugar-and-spice pecans, and
fried chèvre in the kitchen at Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro.
Some chefs trudge into work each day. Lighting the burners, tossing a pot around once in a while, waiting for that spark they once may have had to return before they find themselves so deep in the weeds one night they tell everyone exactly what they think of them and storm out. Oftentimes these same chefs find themselves deep in a glass by the end of the night as they wonder what exactly they did wrong to find themselves right where they are at that very moment.
Then there are chefs who wax poetic about things like “[u]sing each ingredient so that there is the least amount of waste.” The chefs who tattoo themselves with animals, lines drawn across them marking off the prime cuts. The chefs who don’t put a strawberry on top of a dessert for a Thanksgiving meal because strawberries are not in season and espouse that the degradation of the American culinary experience is due in part to our being able to import them at will.
Manny Augello is the latter. And it is not just the patrons lucky enough to eat at Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro who are noticing. Augello has been invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York for an esteemed crew of foodies, chefs and food lovers.
Known as the “Dean of American cookery,” Beard starred in the first television cooking show and wrote numerous cookbooks that taught five decades of Americans how to lay off the Spam. When Beard died, friends and supporters turned his home into a mecca of all things culinary. An invitation to cook there is commonly thought to be a stepping stone to nomination for a James Beard Award, and it allows Augello to step into one of the most revered kitchens in America and put on his best show.
Luckily, I was asked to attend a press review dinner of the spread he will be presenting May 30 at the Beard House and I can assure you, no one will leave unhappy or unsatisfied, nor will they leave feeling skinnier. Augello’s menu celebrates the farm-to-table movement, procuring ingredients locally to present the best and freshest items to diners. Surrounded by fresh goat cheese, tasso, hogs head cheese, liver, boudin and Zapp’s potato chips, the chef skillfully intertwined these fatty specimens of goodness with seared scallops over corn and crab bisque that was absolutely wonderful. Ending it all was a peach cobbler that was hands down the best doggone sweet thing I’ve put in my mouth since my last bite of salted caramel gelato at Carpe Diem.
I would be remiss to not comment that the service, wine pairings and décor were top notch, as was the company of my fellow food lovers. I simply cannot name another dinner party I have been to where literally 15 minutes was devoted to how to make a bacon straw. Maybe 10 minutes in the past, but 15 was a new record.
Seriously consider tasting Augello’s greatness before the Yankees drag him off to New York so they can nosh cracklins like popcorn.
| Fried rabbit livers were served with Sriracha, wild honey glaze
and bread-and-butter pickled shallots.
| A group of local food writers and bloggers is treated to a preview of
chef Manny Augello’s James Beard House dinner.
|Seared scallop with corn and crab bisque and herbed cheddar-bread crumb crust|
|Jolie’s General Manager Chelsie Lovell shares one of the
night’s fine wines with bartender/server Tanner DuCote.
| Chef Manny Augello scoops the buttermilk ice cream to top his
Ruston peach cobbler with shortbread crumble and buttermilk ice cream.
Dessert was paired with Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti 2010.
The U.S. rep billed LSU for work allegedly performed on the same days Congress voted on major legislation and held important committee hearings on energy and the ACA.
“I am only getting a little nervous about two projects — the proposed Sasol GTL facility [not the new ethylene plant] and the proposed G2X facility — both in Lake Charles. They need a hefty difference between oil and natural gas prices to make sense.”
Abysmally low participation by the public has prompted the council to scuttle the 2014 survey with plans to simplify it and try again next year.
The village now says the ordinance will likely be overturned and authorities will more vigorously enforce existing leash laws.
Lower oil prices also might slow the growth of oil production in parts of the U.S., Canada and elsewhere because it will no longer be so profitable.
Bill Cassidy cast an early ballot Tuesday, seeking to draw renewed attention to a race that has fallen off newspaper front pages and away from people's minds as they plan holiday meals and shopping schedules.
A Lafayette woman faces up to 20 years in prison for running up more than $1 million in unauthorized charges to her company credit card.
Signs that our state’s banking industry is undergoing a downsizing in 2014 were further confirmed today with the FDIC’s latest figures showing a third straight quarter in which Louisiana lost more banks and earned less money.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
Battered all night by Baltimore's relentless pass rush, Drew Brees could feel his protection collapsing and Terrell Suggs getting ahold of him as he urgently unloaded a pass to the right flat toward tight end Jimmy Graham.
After a convincing defeat at the polls on Nov. 4, Earl “Nickey” Picard has decided to let bygones be bygones with his former right-hand man Brian Pope, announcing his support for his former employee’s runoff bid to become Lafayette’s next city marshal.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Odell Beckham on the catch; chaos in Ferguson; snowstorm set to snarl travel and more national and international news for Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
Saturday the athletic department did everything possible to ensure the 2014 Ragin’ Cajun seniors remembered fondly their last home game. Rain and lightning never arrived but turbulence did in the form of the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Even stranger than the Republican Party’s decision to hold a “unity rally” earlier this month for Congressman Bill Cassidy in a Baton Rouge bar, Huey’s Bar, was the fact that the establishment was named after Louisiana’s most famous Democrat.
Bar Code is not a gay bar.
After failing to pass a medical marijuana bill last year, state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, is telling supporters he will return in 2015 with legislation that focuses on different applications like oils and pills.
Voters, obviously, are not yet tuned into the 2015 ballot, despite the intriguing races it will host.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Saints Street cottage or River Ranch condo
By now, the story of how longtime LSU coach Dale Brown discovered Shaquille O'Neal has been told many times: Brown happened upon a massive 13-year-old at an army base in Germany, stayed in touch with him and eventually became like a second father.
Fate simply wasn't ready to give the New Orleans Saints a break from longtime nemesis Steve Smith.
Facing opposition from a powerful industry, the governor and many in the Legislature, a New Orleans-area flood board's lawsuit against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies seemed doomed early on.
"I want to take an opportunity to thank the people of Lafayette for allowing me to serve you for the last three years as your school superintendent."
After Thanksgiving, the small town of Moreauville plans to confiscate and kill all rottweilers and pitbulls, including a service dog.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.