Saturday, April 26, 2008

IACP and New Friends

Last week the conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) ended. The group decided to hold their meeting in New Orleans in support of the city's recovery. Thanks to them for coming to New Orleans and letting the city do what it does best.

There were special tours - culinary and architectural - that kicked off the conference. Then on the Mississippi River there was a grand reception of heritage foods - shrimp, oysters, jambalaya, great New Orleans bread, gumbos, turducken, calas, Creole cream cheese and cochon du lait, just to name a few. Leah Chase and Chef John Folse were serving up delicacies. The Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry was on hand.

SoFAB showed off its space with a hard hat tour, which was well attended by the curious. We made friends for the city of New Orleans and for SoFAB throughout the conference. The IACP adopted SoFAB as one of the organizations that IACP would support. One form of support was Chef Jam, a fundraiser starring Emeril Lagasse, which was sponsored by the Culinary Trust. A great time was had by all. Another form of support has been a very generous outpouring of cookbooks that members of IACP have been sending to SoFAB.

Thanks to all of the generous IACP members, thanks to Emeril Lagasse and thanks to the Culinary Trust.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


wow. I haven't blogged in a month. ok, here goes. New York was great, though slightly chilly. I arrived Monday morning, and let me just say for the record that 6am flights are awful. I got some work done and that night I met with Christine Carroll of the Culinary Corps, Jamie Tiampo of Seefood media, Courtney Knapp at Martha Stewart and Meryl Rosofsky who just left my house at del'Anima, a restaurant where Jamie is a partner. Everything was delicious, especially the housemade pasta. I spent Tuesday morning at the Google Headquarters helping Jamie who was a guest chef there. He served this yummy butternut squash bisque with a crabmeat and fennel topping. I usually don't care for fennel, but this was delicious. Of course anything mixed with crabmeat usually goes down easy. It was accompanied by bacon and tarragon biscuits. also yummy, but again, anything with bacon...I actually participated in their program indirectly, since Jamie (from Vancouver) had little experience with making biscuits and since I honed my biscuit making expertise on my hurrication in Oxford, I assisted. They were light and bacony...not a bad way to begin a day. The Jamie and I schlepped over to the Astor Center for Wine and Spirits to prepare for the fundraiser. It was exciting to know it had sold out and the whole crew there really worked hard to ensure everything was in place. I visited all night and at the end of the evening, we got some new members and I got to meet Ray Sokolov, whose food history work I have been a fan of for some time. Susan Spicer of Bayona was on hand to do a demonstration and she coordinated all the delicious food, including the smoked duck with cashew nut butter, pepper jelly and red onions, also known as the best sandwich on the planet (according to my friend, Gavin). Late night finished with dandan noodles which yes, did burn my mouth but not in the way I'd expected. I spent the next day working on the Gumbo Project with Jamie, a book documenting the ingredients that go into gumbo, whose proceeds will benefit the museum and IACP Culinary Trust. That evening, I met with Meryl and her friend Tina who took me around the corner to Bonnie Slotnick's, who deals in antiquarian cookbooks. Soooooo nice to just look and laugh. Had a slice from Bleeker Street Pizza, voted by somebody as the best pizza in NY. Very crunchy crust. The adorable Eastern European behind the counter who flirted shamelessly with me didn't hurt, either. Off to see Patti Lupone in Gypsy. Yes she was very very very good. Sleep. Thursday I got to hand out with my friend, Neil, and I spent a whole day not talking about the museum. Then I headed out to Newark and spent the next 12 hours trying to get home. Ah, the modern wonders of air travel. got back in time for lunch with Betty Fussell and IACP, but I'll talk about that in my next post.

Friday, April 4, 2008


FRP has generously supported the new edition of Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours. The book looks wonderful. The cover is slick and attractive. The red bean logo graces every page. The text is red bean colored. A very nice upgrade of the booklet thanks to FRP. Many thanks.

Work continues on the museum. We have advanced to painting. Special installations have begun. We have begun printing and planning. Artifacts are being dusted off and prepared. We are putting together the details of the gala. In every way we are preparing for this exciting opening.

Please mark your calendars so that you can join us.