Friday, November 20, 2009

New Orleans Day 4

When I was in NoLa back in May, I did a lot of cooking.  We had some students from the Louisiana Culinary Institute assisting us.  They were really great, easy to work with, and energetic.  

I was asked by Charlie Ruffalo, the director, to come back later in the year and spend some time at the school.  I was more than willing to take him up on the offer to spend some more time in Southern Louisiana.  The school is in Baton Rouge and it's a bit of a drive.  Charlie picked me up at 5:45 (yes, in the morning...after the game...) and we drove to the school.  The place is beautiful.  Not huge, but very well designed and CLEAN!  We spent a few hours getting some food ready, and then I presented two lectures - each just under two hours.  We talked about the business, being on TV, seafood, sustainability, work ethic, molecular gastronomy, and anything else the students wanted to know.  Had a great time, and I felt like my trip was not just about me, but being part of the place.  

Drove back to the city in the late afternoon, just as Hurricane Ida was making landfall.  
Now I've experienced New Orleans:  great food, great music, the Saints, and now a hurricane.  CHECK!

That evening we went to August Restaurant for dinner.  It's John Besh's flagship restaurant and it still kicks ass.  It was hands down the best dinner of the trip.  

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