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Hogs for the Cause adds asado dinner

Hogs for the Cause, an annual barbecue festival in New Orleans’ City Park, will expand into a two-day event this year with the addition of the Southern Asado Dinner at 6:30 p.m. March 22 in City Park.

Coordinated by the Link Restaurant Group and featuring members of the Fatback Collective, a group of Southern chefs who love to cook outdoors. Stephen Stryjewski, chef/owner of Cochon in New Orleans, is a member of the collective and will be cooking at the dinner.

“Hogs for the Cause reflects what I hold to be important in both my personal and professional life,” he said in a news release. “As a parent, I am happy to know there are organizations out there to help in a time of need. As a business owner, I am pleased to be able to contribute whenever possible.”

The menu for the Southern Asado Dinner will include hors d’oeurves of boiled crawfish, raw oysters, crab salad and hogtails by Neal Bodenheimer, owner of Cure and Bellocq in New Orleans; a first course of seasonal salads and charcuterie served with a 2011 Petite Couchon Blanc; a second course of family style platters of roasted meat, including fish, chicken, lamb, goat and beef, and platters of roasted vegetables, served with a 2010 Petite Cochon Rouge and a dessert of cordials from Donald Bender and Martha Foose.

Tickets are $300 per person, $200 tax deductible, or $500 for a weekend Boss Hog pass, $350 of which is tax deductible. Cocktail hour music will be provided by the Tom Leggett Trio. Click here for tickets and more information.

Missing “Downton”?

Bayona, 430 Dauphine St., wNew Orleans, will host a Downton Abbey Dinner 6:30 p.m. March 26. Preceded by a champagne reception with passed hors d’oeurves, Bayona invites patrons to dress as their favorite “Downtown Abbey” characters and enjoy white-glove service and chef Susan Spicer’s dishes. Bayona’s usual dinner menu includes dishes ehs such as veal sweetbreads with lemon caper or sherry mustard butter; , crispy smoked quail salad with pears and bourbon molasses dressing; , and a peppered lamb loin with goat cheese and zinfandel sauce. Chef Spicer’s “Downton” menu is not yet set, but a news release promises “a historical menu in Mrs. Patmore style.” Tickets start at $100. Call (504) 525-4455.

Cowbell launches new menu

Cowbell, 8801 Oak St., New Orleans, will now open for brunch on Saturdays and all day on Monday, except from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Chef Brack May’s brunch menu will include dishes such as sourdough pancakes with Vermont maple syrup and fresh berries, corned beef hash with poached eggs and Irish aioli, huevos rancheros with house-made chorizo and buttermilk-fried chicken and waffle with maple sausage gravy and chipotle-raspberry preserves. The bar will also be open, featuring Bloody Marys and Irish Coffee featuring PJ’s Coffee.

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Curbside crew to open N.O. eatery

The crew behind Baton Rouge’s popular Curbside food truck are bringing their grub to a brick-and-mortar store in New Orleans. Owner Nick Hufft said the bar of Barcadia, 601 Tchopitoulas St., wNew Orleans, will open soon. The menu will feature Curbside’s burgers — known as repeat offenders — and some of their best-selling specials, including the KGB, a burger topped with a fried egg; and the Brian, which features the truck’s pork belly preserves.

“We’re taking the concept of (a) smaller menu with lots of weekly specials,” Hufft said in an email. “We have access to so many amazing farmers that have so many amazing products here in Louisiana.” Hufft said Barcadia will also offer appetizers, such as fried pickles, pork cheek meat pies, Vietnamese wings and more. Furthermore, the restaurant will take the food a step beyond the truck. Barcadia’s frites, for instance, will be fried in duck fat.

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Happy Thanksgiving, y’all

We’re going on hiatus until Monday. Y’all have a good holiday!

Besh celebrates Marines Corps birthday

Chef John Besh, a veteran of the Marine Corps, invites all current and former Marines to Luke, 333 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, tomorrow to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday with free wild boar bratwursts, fried oyster and bacon sliders and flammenkuchen. Marine knowledge will be tested and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be found out as an Marine imposter in a bar full of actual Marines. Call (504) 378-2840.


Sara’s Bistro gets new chef, GM

Sara’s Bistro, 724 Dublin St., New Orleans, a 20-year fixture in Uptown, has a new chef and general manager.
Bart Thomas, a Louisiana native, is the chef/general manager. He is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and has worked as a private chef and caterer in New York City. Thomas, who grew up near his grandfather’s farm in north Louisiana, champions the small family farm and “the role they play in providing chefs the tools they need to create quality cuisine in a world of factory canned foods,” a news release says.

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Butternut Squash Fries

Butternut Squash Fries

Butternut Squash Fries
 Serves 4. Recipe is from .
3 sprays olive oil cooking spray
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, long “neck” cut into 16 (Ø-inch thick) sticks (see note)
1 tsp. salt or to taste
½ tsp. chili powder or to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Prepare the squash. (I think the easiest way to peel butternut squash is with a vegetable peeler.)
2. Arrange squash fries on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and chili powder, liberally coat with cooking spray. Roast, turning once, until desired crispness, about 14 to 18 minutes.
 Note: Start with a large squash. You will end up using about 1 pound of squash and have the “bulb” of the squash left over for later use. Any hard winter squash will work in this recipe. Count 1 Weight Watchers  Point for 4 fries.