Once again chef Matt Reed won Best in Show honors at the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society’s chef’s competition, part of the two-day Fête Rouge wine and food festival.
At the Aug. 28 event staged at L’Auberge Hotel & Casino, Reed’s Jambalaya Sandwich earned him a repeat top prize. The chef, owner of Reed’s Cakes & Catering, concocted the delectable dish featuring Chappapeela pork belly, shoulder and duck numbles stewed with double-smoked Manda sausage, Abita battered peppers and Creole chutney on a fresh-baked rice seed bun, and served with Vidalia Dijonaise and green bean fries. This dish also earned Reed first place in the meat category.
Coming in second in the meat category was Sullivan’s Steakhouse chef Leighton Carbo’s Grain-fed Bison Tenderloin, accompanied by different textures of beets, blueberries and fennel with cinnamon aromatics.
Third place went to French Market Bistro chef Borivane Khemmanyvong’s Braised Pork Shoulder, an herb crepe filled with braised pork shoulder and goat cheese, topped honey apple chutney and bourbon vanilla beurre blanc.
Taylor Johnson, chef at Tallulah’s in the Renaissance Hotel, captured the People’s Choice Award with his Oh Sweet Crustaceans!, a sweet potato and crab bisque with a smoked pecan syrup. It placed second in the Louisiana Lagniappe category.
Coming in first in the Lagniappe category was 18 Steak, in L’Auberge, chef Jared Tees’ Pieds de Cochon, fried pork served over a ravigot sauce. Third place went to Mansurs on the Boulevard chef Chris Motto’s Teche’s Take on Sushi, a seafood jambalaya and cornbread pinwheel with smoked trout rilette and muscadine wasabi.
Winners in the seafood category were: first place — Tsunami Sushi chef Tracy Nguyen’s Sake Bleu, a soy-marinated salmon sashimi, thinly sliced mango, white truffle oil, habenero masago, yuzu tobiko, scallions and homemade bacon, with a spicy blueberry citrus soy reduction; second place — Galatoire’s Bistro chef Kelley McCann’s Fried Calamari & Sweet Pepper Romesco, which featured fried calamari over bean sprouts topped with sweet pepper romesco, lemon aioli and crispy Serrano ham; and third place — chef Celeste Gill’s Louisiana Gold, featuring Louisiana seafood seared and marinated with Gill’s honey mustard and seasonal fresh Louisiana produce.
Taking home bragging rights in the dessert category were: first place — Mansurs on the Boulevard chef Travis Stringer’s Good Thyme on’da Bayou, a half-baked marshmallow-stuffed brownie, graham cracker-coated, salted caramel all floating on raspberry stream served with an herbed Satsuma Rum Fizz; second place — Cupcake Allie chef Allison Offner’s dark chocolate cupcake with layers of chocolate mousse and dark chocolate cherry ganache, cherry glacé and topped with a chocolate dipped liquid cherry; and third place — Louisiana Lagniappe chef Kevin Ortego’s house-made bread pudding with fresh blueberries served with a warm vanilla cognac sauce.
For a list of the winning wines chosen by members of the media in a special Fête Rouge tasting, check out Pam’s Party Line in Sunday’s EatPlayLive section of The Advocate.