Louisiana Restaurants | Louisiana Restaurant Association Culinary Showcase
BY: Natalie Daigle

Louisiana Restaurant Association Culinary Showcase

Last Thursday, the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Bayou Chapter hosted its first annual Culinary Showcase.   Cajun Daughters and over 200 attendees were able to try an abundance of great food from our area’s restaurants and caterers.

We embarked eagerly on this wonderful tasty opportunity to try food from the twenty participating restaurants and caterers. Not only did we get to try the food, we met the owners, and spoke with the chefs!

The art of eating is not just about the food. The restaurant experience mainly depends on three things: the food, the people, and the location. When people go to restaurants they go to celebrate birthdays, commemorate a moment, enjoy the company of others, have meetings, go on a date, or just don’t feel like cooking. While the food does play a major role, it is about everything around the food, from the location, the service, the people you eat with, the atmosphere, and the charm. Louisiana Restaurants have meetings where they relish, reminisce, and remember what the art of eating is really about.

We expected to eat some amazing food at the Culinary Showcase. While we did do that, we also had the true restaurant experience…the charm was there because of the location at the Cypress Columns, the people were there (at least 200), and the food was spectacular. I look forward to the second annual Louisiana Restaurant Association Bayou Chapter Culinary Showcase!

Besides all the great food tastings, four of our area chefs gave cooking demonstrations – Chef Roy Guilbeaux of La Casa del Sol, Chef Derrick Smith of Grady V’s American Bistro, Chef Minh Lee of Spahr’s Seafood, and Chef Kevin Templet of Flanagan’s Creative Food and Drink/Fremin’s.

LRA-member restaurants and caterers participating at this years showcase: Big Al’s, Cashio’s Catering, Community Coffee, Cristiano’s, Cypress Columns, Dave’s Cajun Kitchen, Dick & Jenny’s, Flanagans, Grady V’s, Griffin’s, Motivatit Seafood, Nicholas Catering, Oak Alley, Off the Hook, Rouses, Spahr’s Seafood, Spuddy’s, The Foundry, Twin Peaks, and Wing Stop.

Every dish we tried was absolutely divine! As much as I like to eat, I thought that I died and went to heaven. I tried Big Al’s fried alligator, Oak Alley’s pralines, Off the Hook’s fried chicken, Spahr’s seafood, Grady V’s red pepper pesto, Flanagan’s pasta, Cashio’s bread pudding, Spuddy’s jambalaya, and the list goes on! Each dish offered a multitude of flavors and it was all absolutely amazing!

I never tried fried alligator before, but I am sure I will try it again because it was so good! It did not taste like seafood or any other meat I have ever tried before. I absolutely love to eat chicken and the alligator was at least 100 times better than the chicken. Though I am a Cajun Daughter by birthright, I guess you can say I really am a Cajun Daughter in practice now that I have had alligator!