Ducote makes Baton Rouge test run before James Beard House dinner next week
A week ago, local chef and Food Network Star finalist Jay Ducote was running in and out of the kitchen at the Louisiana Culinary Institute, getting things finalized for his big preview dinner.
As 225 Dine reports, the event served as a test run of sorts for his tailgating-themed dinner at the world-renowned James Beard House in New York next Thursday.
At the Beard House dinner, Ducote and his team will be whipping up some of Louisiana’s finest dishes. So, Ducote thought, why not let Baton Rougeans have the first taste?
“I’m really trying to bring Louisiana and a lot of the dishes that I grew up cooking at tailgate parties,” Ducote says. “This is definitely the menu that is the most me, and the most thought-out, planned-out menu I’ve ever put together. So I kind of owed it to my friends and family in Baton Rouge to do this here.”
The dinner menu featured quail and andouille gumbo with Louisiana rice; crawfish étouffée-smothered fried catfish with stone-ground grits and mustard greens; blackened red snapper with Cajun tasso-corn maque choux and jalapeño relish; venison tenderloin with chimichurri and okra three ways; and finally, Granny’s cinnamon pecan rolls. Each menu item was paired with a different Louisiana wine or rum.
The consensus favorite dish of the night was the crawfish étouffée-smothered fried catfish. The catfish was fried to perfection, with the étouffée adding tremendous flavor. Granny’s delicious cinnamon pecan rolls were also a huge hit.
Ducote got teary-eyed during his post-dinner speech as he spoke about his grandmother’s cinnamon pecan rolls. She passed away a while ago, and Ducote was grateful that he was able to track down the recipe from a family member.
Ducote will be broadcasting daily Facebook Live videos on the 225 Facebook page on Monday through Saturday next week as he makes his road trip to the James Beard House. His travels will take him from Baton Rouge to the Smoky Mountains to Washington D.C. and finally to New York City.