Monday, October 24, 2016

Cirque de Cuisine in the French Quarter

Juniper-citrus cured steelhead trout with pickled fennel, fermented mustard by Chais Delachaise

A few Sundays ago, I joined a self guided kitchen tour of the French Quarter hosted by the Southern Food and Beverage Museum: Cirque de Cuisine! It was a 4 hour extravaganza with 10 kitchen stops overflowing with wine and small bites. I am obviously always down for the food, but what made me really excited to join this tour was that I got to step inside so many French Quarter homes! I was pleasantly surprised, astounded, and impressed by the whole lot of them. Who knew how spacious some homes could be? Or how many artists lived in the quarter? If there wasn't a courtyard and a pool, there was most definitely a sweeping balcony. Local restaurants were stationed at each kitchen to provide mostly seafood and all delicious hors d'oeuvres-esque bites. There were lots of wine pairings, some refreshing cocktails, oh, and the kitchens were fancy, too. Highly recommend to anyone who is lucky enough to be visiting New Orleans when this event is hosted again! 

Cajun country gumbo with potato salad by Chef Paul Prudhomme's team

Egg yolk carpaccio, grilled shrimp, and crispy sweet potato with andouille vinaigrette by Brennan's

Blue crab cucumber cups with salmon roe by Trinity

Smoked scallop tostada with avocado puree and bergamot cream by Rebel Restaurant Group

Melted leek tart with chive sour cream and Louisiana caviar by Sucre

Fresh local oysters by Two Girls, One Shuck

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A long weekend in Quebec

Customized poutine au poivre at Poutineville
Bonjour! I'm back in the south, but I spent half of last week way up north in Quebec, my favorite province in Canada. I took a ladies trip with my mom and my grandmother (though everyone thought my grandma was my mother and my mom and I were sisters), which means we stayed in ritzy hotels and did lots of eating. What else is new? 

For me, the best thing about Quebec is that everyone speaks French and the food is also heavily French inspired. I've been to Montreal before, an energetic city that is easily navigable. Showed my family the staples (poutine, foie gras, and bagels) and also had lots of French inspired seafood (dover sole meuniere, oysters mornay). It was all of our first times in Quebec City, which has the most charming architecture, giving it a small provincial town a la Beauty and the Beast vibe. For convenience, we did a lot of hotel dining, which came with endless smoked salmon, duck terrine, liver pate, and real Canadian bacon (very reminiscent of hong shao rou with maple syrup). Simply a wonderful weekend with lovely early autumnal views and feels. 

Up at Chalet du Mont Royal, Montreal behind me
Fresh bagels at St. Viateur in Mile End
Highlight: ricotta stuffed "strawberries" at Maison Boulud
Basilica Notre Dame in old Montreal
Duck patte atop crispy rice at the wildly inventive and solely locally sourced Légende

Chateau Frontenac of Quebec City
Breakfast buffet at Place Dufferin inside the Chateau Frontenac 
Highlight of the meal: poached foie gras at Panache
Shrimp salad and arctic char at Restaurant Légende
Side walk cafeing at The Smith
Quebec City from a helicopter!