John Folse Culinary Institute sets grill event

Students from Nicholls State University’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute will fire up the grill for the next five weeks as part of a cooking competition sponsored by the Dansereau House Bed and Breakfast.

The public is invited to attend the Grill-Off Challenge, which will be held at 7 p.m. every Thursday through Sept. 11. The competitions will take place on the Dansereau House lawn during the downtown Thibodaux establishment’s weekly “Drinkery,” held from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Much like the Iron Chef competitions on Food Network, the competitions will feature two Nicholls culinary students preparing a dish inspired by a secret ingredient. The secret ingredient will be revealed at 7 p.m. and the competitors will have 45 minutes to complete their dishes. Free tastings will be available to those attending.

Each week’s winner will move on to compete against a different up-and-coming chef the following Thursday. The winner of the challenge will receive $100 and a free night stay in the Governor’s Suite at the Dansereau House.

The grill-off is only one aspect of a larger partnership with the Dansereau House, which is also now offering externships and job opportunities for Nicholls culinary students.

Mobile farmers market sets season closing

The Red Stick Farmers Market in Baton Rouge reminds patrons that this is the last week of the summer season for its mobile farmers market. Its Tuesday market, held on Goodwood Boulevard, has closed for the season.

Remaining open will be the Thursday market, which is held from 8 a.m. to noon on Irene Boulevard behind Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road, weather permitting. Also open will be the Saturday market, which operates, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to noon at Fifth and Main streets. If raining, the Saturday market moves inside the nearby Galvez Garage.

The mobile market will be held on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Scotlandville Library, 7373 Scenic Highway, and from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Star Hill Church, 1400 North Foster Drive. It will also be held on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Delmont Service Center, 3535 Riley St., and noon to 2 p.m. at Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center, 950 East Washington St.

For more information about the markets, contact Big River Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance at (225) 267-5060.

Inaugural New Orleans Sushi Fest slated

The inaugural New Orleans Sushi Fest, presented Sunday afternoon by East Jefferson General Hospital, will include sushi creations from location restaurants, Japanese goods for sale and entertainment by Bag of Donuts. It will held at the River City Ballroom at Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, with a VIP reception from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and general admission from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Awards will be given out to participating chefs including a People’s Choice Award and the Grand Champion selected by a panel of judges. Participating restaurants include: 12 Seasons Catering, Aloha Sushi, Daiwa, Kingfish Kitchen & Cocktails, Lakeview Pearl Sushi Bar and Asian Bistro, Miss Linda The Ya-Ka-Mein Lady, Rock-n-Sake Bar and Sushi, RPM FroYo, Saundus Sauce, Toulouse Gourmet Catering, Tsunami Sushi of Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Vega Tapas Café and Vitascope Hall.

Tickets can be bought in advance or at the door. VIP tickets are $50 in advance and $75 at the door. General admission tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. For more information, go to NewOrleansSushiFest.com.

Renaissance Publishing created the New Orleans Sushi Fest to bring awareness to the Japanese culture, a news release said. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Japan Society of New Orleans and the Japan Club of New Orleans.

Galatoire’s Bistro to hold wine dinner

Galatoire’s Bistro, 3535 Perkins Road, will host a five-course wine dinner featuring Markham Vineyards at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Markham Vineyards President Bryan Del Bondio will showcase the wines for each course, exploring how home-grown grapes are used to create award-winning, nationally acclaimed wines.

The dinner will begin with raw cold-water oysters with lemongrass and green bell pepper gelée, grapefruit granita and caviar paired with Markham Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2012. Next will be seared duck breast with Narkham Vineyards Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2012; Thai Spiced Swordfish paired with Markham Vineyards “Philanthropist,” Yountville 2009; Braised Oxtail Bourguignon, Pappardelle and Summer Vegetables with Markham Vineyards “Altruist,” Calistoga 2007; and Poached Apples and Brie Puff Pastry, Caramel Crème Anglaise and Cinnamon Chantilly paired with Markham Vineyards “Cellar 1879 Blend,” Napa Valley 2011.

Cost is $100 per person, including tax and gratuity. Call (225) 753-4864 for reservations.

Red Maple to host Cancer Center benefit

The Red Maple Restaurant, 1036 Lafayette St., Gretna, will host a “Louisiana Legacy Beef & Wine Dinner” benefiting the Cancer Center at West Jefferson Medical Center on Aug. 21.

An informal reception with live music featuring complimentary cocktails begins at 6:30 p.m. in the courtyard and a seated five-course dinner follows at 7 p.m. in the main dining room. The dinner features Louisiana-sourced beef and a selection of premium Alexander Valley wines to complement each course.

The five-course meal begins with carpaccio of blackened filet mignon, baby arugula, pickled wild mushrooms, horseradish double cream and oven-dried baby tomatoes accompanied by a 2011 Alexander Valley Merlot and ends with a white chocolate pecan cookie ice cream sandwich with Creole cream cheese ice cream and white chocolate sauce. The main course will feature The Red Maple Short Rib, a maple balsamic-braised short rib of Louisiana Legacy Beef with red flannel vegetable hash and a bacon-maple cream paired with an Alexander Valley 2010 Syrah.

Local chef Jeffrey Rhodes created the special menu. He and Barry Credeur, The Red Maple’s new executive chef, will supervise execution of the dinner.

Tickets are $120, including tax and gratuity. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the dinner and all proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Cancer Center at West Jefferson Medical Center.

Visit the restaurant or call Mary Romano at (504) 508-4211 for tickets. For more information, go to theredmaple.com.

Besh Steak to host first beer dinner in N.O.

Besh Steak, located in Harrah’s Casino at 8 Canal St, New Orleans, will host a beer dinner featuring high-quality lager and ales of NOLA Brewing Co. at 7 p.m. Aug. 21.

A variation from its monthly wine dinners, this event will be the first dinner at Besh Steak to spotlight local beer. In collaboration with NOLA Brewing, Besh Steak chef de cuisine Paul Robert has crafted a four-course menu comprised of fresh Louisiana seafood and local ingredients that will be paired with a variety of local craft-brewed beer.

The dinner, which is priced at $75 per person, will include Bratwurst “Potstickers” and Nola Brown Ale Braised Choucroute paired with Nola Brown Ale, wild king salmon and roasted heirloom tomato couscous and Meyer lemon preserve with Nola 7th Street Wheat, slow-braised beef osso bucco, paired with Nola Rebirth Pale Ale, and a dark chocolate stout tart, along with cinnamon, caramel and espresso ice cream, paired with Nola Irish Channel Stout.

To purchase tickets in advance, go to wantickets.com/Events/ShowEvent.aspx?eventId=163091 or call (504) 533-6111. You must be 21 to enter the casino.

10 chefs to cook for Dining by Design

Six national chefs and four Louisiana chefs will participate in the sixth annual Dining by Design event at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge, announced chef John Folse and the Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center. The event will benefit the Baton Rouge prayer center.

The gourmet dining experience combines the chefs’ culinary artistry with the creativity of local designers and florists to create a visual and edible feast for the eyes and palate.

Each national chef will serve a table of 20 guests who have paid handsomely ($1,000 per ticket) for the privilege of tasting the meal prepared by the chef. Each diner will be served either an appetizer or soup course that must include crawfish as an ingredient.

A salad course follows with a meat course of beef tenderloin and a dessert finale.

“The creativity of each chef is remarkable,” said Folse, board member of The Sister Dulce Foundation Inc. and managing partner and co-executive chef of Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans. “We basically give the chefs two must-use ingredients: crawfish and beef tenderloin. Their creativity explodes from there.”

The Dining by Design national chef roster for 2014 is: Michel Cornu, of Raymond Vineyards, Boisset Family Estates in Napa Valley, California; Pierre Sauvaget, Los Angeles Tennis Club; Jared Van Camp, of Old Town Social and Nellcôte in Chicago; Peter Timmins, The Everglades Club, Palm Beach, Florida; Charles Carroll, River Oaks Country Club, Houston; and Seth Shipley, The Gasparilla Inn & Club, Boca Grande, Florida.

Participating Louisiana chefs creating $500-per-seat dinners for 30 people per chef include: Peter Sclafani, executive chef at Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant in Baton Rouge and Ruffino’s on the River in Lafayette; Chris Lusk, chef de cuisine at Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans; Dondi McNulty, executive chef at Little Village in Baton Rouge; and Chris Motto, executive chef at Mansurs on the Boulevard in Baton Rouge. Folse will create the menu for the remaining 400-plus guests at $200 per plate.

The national chefs’ tables will be designed by Jake’s on the Avenue Floral Designs & Gifts; Red Door Interiors; Coles’ Floral and Garden Design; Peregrin’s Florist & Decorative Services; Eduardo J. Jenkins, Landscape Architect & Planner; and Interior Design Associates.

The Louisiana chefs’ tables will be designed by Harb’s Oasis; Designs by Milissa; Nancy Zito Interiors; and Bee’s Wedding and Event Floral Designs (New Orleans).

Cypress Springs Mercedarian Prayer Center is located on 51 acres in south Baton Rouge. Its campus includes an office building, convent and chapel, and construction of meditation trails is under way. Cypress Springs is open to all regardless of religious affiliation.

French Market programs scheduled

Joseph Brock, executive director of NOLA Green Roots, and Eliana de Las Casas, the 14-year-old chef and author from Harvey better known as Kid Chef Eliana, will demonstrate dishes during upcoming New Orleans French Market Fare programs.

The programs, free and open to the public, are held at the French Market Fare Demonstration Stage, located between Ursulines and Governor Nicholls streets.

Brock will be at the stage at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, to demonstrate a dish using local fresh produce. His nonprofit organization facilitates garden training for youth, low-income residents and senior citizens by developing community gardens.

Kid Chef Eliana, will demonstrate a recipe from her latest cookbook and sign copies of both of her cookbooks at the New Orleans French Market at 2 p.m. Aug. 24. Her mission “is to educate and encourage kids to become culinary explorers,” according to a news release.

Southern Food and Beverage Museum staff host each week’s cooking demo or culinary conversation at the Farmers Market stage. Visit southernfood.org or frenchmarket.org for more information.

Compiled by Advocate staff