Baton Rouge chefs taking over Nashville eateries to promote Louisiana

    Two Baton Rouge chefs are among a team of Louisianans taking over Nashville restaurants tonight as part of an event promoting the Bayou State and its unique culinary scene.

    Eliza Restaurant’s Chef Russell Davis and BRQ Seafood and Barbeque’s Chef Justin Ferguson joined nine other chefs from across Louisiana for a two-day promotion that included a tasting event for Tennessee media and bloggers last night and the restaurant take-over tonight.

    Davis has partnered with Mop/Broom Mess Hall, which opened its doors last month. He’s serving turtle soup, Louisiana jumbo lump crab cake, crispy catfish with etouffee, barbequed shrimp with andouille grits and Eliza’s banana pudding.

    “We think (the dishes) are a pretty good representation of what we do in Baton Rouge,” says Davis. “We really wanted to be able to go to a different state and spread the word about Louisiana cuisine and show the folks in Nashville what we do day in and day out.”

    He says they’ve brought enough supplies to serve about 30 to 40 of each item and he hopes to serve between 75 to 100 people tonight.

    Ferguson, who’s partnered with contemporary barbecue restaurant Butchertown Hall, is serving a stuffed rabbit tenderloin with andouille and pecans, barbequed octopus and an appetizer with homemade duck and alligator sausage served over homemade country bread, chow chow and pickled blueberries.

    Ferguson, who’s expecting to serve 400 people tonight, wanted to go on the Tennessee trip to promote Baton Rouge and the state’s culinary world and culture.

    “I’m using things we have in Louisiana. The rabbit stuffed with andouille and pecans brings Louisiana upfront,” says Ferguson.

    Christy Chachere Lohmann, with Visit Baton Rouge, says this is the fifth year Baton Rouge has taken local chefs to another city to promote the city’s and Louisiana cuisine.

    The annual two-day promotion is presented by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and the Louisiana Travel Association, along with Garden & Gun magazine.

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