The Best: Welcome Autumn This Weekend
Unlike the hours-long little teaser that dropped us into the mid 70s last weekend, a bonafide days-long cool front offering evening lows in the 60s and daily highs in the 70s has settled upon our weary, sweaty city. The time has come to turn off the chugging air conditioner, open your doors and windows to welcome the fresh air, and get out and enjoy the atmospheric bliss.
Here are some suggestions for your weekend, indoors (with doors and windows open, of course) or out. Enjoy.
I was recently drawn to the plush, comfortable outdoor space at Copper Vine (1001 Poydras St., 504. 504-208-9535 coppervinewine.com) where a lush hanging garden and climbing wisteria vines separate the intimate space from the bustle of Poydras Street. Gorgeous both inside and out, Copper Vine was opened last year by hospitality veteran Kyle Brechtel to serve as a neighborhood gathering spot for downtown residents like him. Brechtel chose a graceful building on the National Register of Historic Places that once housed the legendary Maylie’s, then restored the original bar inside to serve as a destination offering 30 aromatic and flavorful wines on tap. Chef Amy Marthens menu pairs and shares easily. Happy hour is offered Monday – Friday from 2-6 p.m. when snacks range from $3-$8 and wine flights of three 2-ounce pours is offered for $8 and beer flights of three are offered for $12 .
While still under renovation, The Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Ave., 504-899-9308, the coumnshotel.com) recently reopened its outdoor spaces for cocktails and snacks! Sipping on the veranda while observing the rumbling streetcar making its way down the tracks under a canopy of oaks has the power to fulfill everyone’s Moonlight and Magnolias vision of our hometown. The tranquil, languorous beauty of the space will compel you to linger and reconnect with the more graceful aspects of our city.
New Orleans baker extraordinaire Beth Biundo of Beth Biundo Sweets will conduct a baking class via Zoom on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. with a focus on the ultimate fall dessert — apple tart tatin. The classes, which run 1-1.5 hours and cost $30 per person, are interactive and participants can ask questions in real time as they work with Beth. Go to Vemno @Beth-Biundo or Paypal firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up and please include your email address and the name of the class you are taking so Beth can share recipes, equipment lists and the Zoom link.
The New Orleans Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier (LEDI) is offering three opportunities for career growth and advancement for women in the hospitality industry. This year, the chapter has allocated $1500 to grants and scholarships.
Applications Due are by November 30 and can be completed at lesdamesnola.org for awards in the following categories:
Non-Member Culinary Education Scholarship- – $1000
This grant provides a scholarship to further the culinary education of a novice. A woman of any age who is in the first three years of a culinary career is eligible, as long as she is not a member of LDEI. The awardee must use the scholarship toward her culinary education in a culinary school or other culinary program. The funds may be used in chef training or other training in the culinary or hospitality field. An awardee may use the funds to help support a stage or other internship, including travel and living costs.
Culinary Research Grant for Non-Members – $250
This grant provides research funds to further culinary research, either through travel, traditional historical or anthropological research, or scientific research. The awardee must have at least five years of experience in the field of research.
Member Culinary Research – $250
This grant is for LDEI members. The grant provides research funds to further culinary research, either through travel, traditional historical or anthropological research, or scientific research. In addition that grant can support writing and/or photography or other work for publication.\
With warm spices, preserved lemon and deep, rich flavors the Moroccan Chicken Tagine I currently have on the stove is the ideal way to welcome Autumn. Adapt it as needed to make it your own.
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. coriander
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 chicken, 3-4 lbs, cut into 8 pieces (or a mixture of legs, thighs and breasts)
- Sea salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- The rind from 1 preserved lemon, rinsed in cold water, pulp discarded, rind cut into thin strips (if you don’t have preserved lemon, use whole thin slices of regular lemon)
- 1 cup green olives, pitted and halved
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
In a large bowl, combine paprika, cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper. Pat the chicken pieces dry and place in the bowl of spices to coat well. Let the chicken stand for at least one hour.
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large, thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
Season the chicken lightly with salt (easy on the salt, as the olives and preserved lemons are salty) and place skin side down in the pan for 3 minutes, until golden brown. Turn chicken over and cook another 3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.
Lower the heat to medium-low, add the onions and garlic and sauté for 8-10 minutes until slightly translucent.
Add the lemon slices, olives, raisins, apricots, chicken broth and wine. Nestle the chicken pieces back in, along with any remaining juices from the plate. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Once simmering, bring heat to low, cover, and braise for an additional 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
Mix in fresh parsley and cilantro right before serving. Adjust seasonings to taste. Enjoy.
Have a great weekend, everyone. It is going to be a beauty, use it to celebrate the people and the community you love.