James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Returns To New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America presented by Capital One returns to New Orleans on Feb. 12 and 13, to celebrate America’s culinary diversity with an exciting lineup of celebrity chefs and mixologists. The New Orleans Taste America events will take place at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans and New Orleans Culinary Hospitality Institute (NOCHI). On Feb. 12, Local All-Star Chef and James Beard Award winner Nina Compton of Compère Lapin, Visiting All-Star Chef Jamie Malone (Grand Café and Eastside, Minneapolis), and Host Chef Thierry Connault (The Ritz-Carlton) will craft a three-course dinner menu, preceded by a tasting reception and followed by a dessert reception at The Ritz-Carlton. At NOCHI on February 13, a distinguished group of mixologists and chefs will serve cocktails and light bites at the Taste America New Orleans Raising the Bar Reception. The Gala Dinner evening will begin with a tasting reception featuring small plates from New Orleans’ own award-winning chefs, including Alex Harrell (The Elysian Bar), Nicole Mills (Pêche), Nathan Richard, and Arvinder Vilkhu (Saffron). A lavish three-course dinner crafted by Compton, Malone, and Connault, with bread service by Graison Gill (Bellegarde Bakery), will be followed by a dessert reception. Desserts will be prepared by local pastry chefs Austin Breckenridge (Justine), Ashley McMillan (The Ritz-Carlton), and Maggie Scales (Link Restaurant Group), with Café Brulot by chef Jimi Setchim (Broussard’s). A live and silent auction will be featured throughout the evening.

Gala Reception Hors D’oeuvre Menu
Alex Harrell, The Elysian Bar – Berbere spiced carrots with carrot-pecan romesco and chermoula
Nicole Mills, Pêche Seafood Grill – Gulf fish ceviche with carrot, citrus and chili oil
Nathan Richard – Crawfish and goat cheese King Cake with blue crab icing, Tabasco pepper jelly and crab fat sugar
Arvinder Vilkhu, Saffron – Gulf seafood uttapum, fermented lentil pancakes, Gulf shrimp and crab with coconut & tomato-ginger chutney

Gala Dinner Menu
Thierry Connault, The Ritz-Carlton – Fromage de Tete: Hogshead Cheese, Sugarcane and Beet Mustard, Mustard Greens and Sourdough Crisp
Nina Compton, Compère Lapin – Caribbean Pepper Pot with Gulf Seafood and Soft Herbs
Jamie Malone, Grand Café and Eastside – Cumin and Coriander Crusted Lamb with Chickpeas and Pickled Cauliflower
Graison Gill, Bellegarde Bakery – Assorted Breads served with Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter

Gala Dessert Reception Menu
Austin Breckenridge, Justine – Banana Cream Eclair
Ashley McMillan, The Ritz-Carlton – Brown Butter Sablé, Citron Mousse, Pistachio Cremeux, Cherry Glaze, Pistachio Crumble
Maggie Scales, Link Restaurant Group – Vanilla Bean Posset with Strawberries
Jimi Setchim, Broussard’s Restaurant & Courtyard – Café Brulot

Raising the Bar will take place in the Cocktail Lab, McIlhenny Hall and rooftop terraces of NOCHI with co-chair Neal Bodenheimer of Cure. Local chefs Christina Balzebre (Levee Baking Co.), Mason Hereford (Turkey and the Wolf) Fredo Nogueira (Cane & Table), Manish Patel (Tava Indian Street Food), and Leighann Smith (Piece of Meat) will serve bites at this casual event starting at 6:00 P.M. Featured mixologists crafting specialty cocktails include Alex Anderson (Cure), Denzel Brown (Thalia), Angela Walters (Windsor Court), Sophie Burton (Bar Politan), and Lisa Nguyen (Elysian Bar).

Raising the Bar Reception Menu
Christina Balzabre, Levee Baking Co. – Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cookies
Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf – Habanero Pork Shoulder Rillettes, Citrus, Cilantro, Duck Fat
Fredo Nogueira, Cane & Table – Gulf Fish Escabeche, Avocado Mousse, Sourdough
Manish Patel, Tava Indian Street Food – Aloo Tikki Chaa: Spiced Potato Patties, Garbanzo Bean Curry, Red onion, Tomato, Pomegranate, Sev, Mint Yogurt, Tamarind Date Chutney, Cilantro
Leighann Smith, Piece of Meat – Chicken Liver Paté with Smoked Duck Breast and Pepper Jelly
NOCHI – Cordero Pibil: Slow Cooked American Lamb, Achiote Marinade, Pickled Onions

Raising the Bar Mixologists
Alex Anderson, Cure
Denzel Brown, Thalia
Angela Walters, Windsor Court
Sophie Burton, Bar Politan
Lisa Nguyen, The Elysian Bar

Tickets to Taste America: New Orleans dinner gala start at $300 per person. VIP tickets and ticket packages are available starting at $500 per person, and include tickets to a VIP reception (6:00 P.M. entry) prior to tasting reception, with preferred dinner seating, plus a photo op and meet and greet with the evening’s chefs, and a special gift. Tickets to Raising the Bar are $75 per person. Tickets to both events may be purchased on the Taste America website.

Gala Dinner Tickets
Raising the Bar Tickets





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