Prevue July-August 2017 - 10
Attendees find a culinary scene that extends far beyond Southern cooking
o state does F&B quite like Louisiana.
The Southern cooking that comes
out of New Orleans, nearby St.
Tammany Parish and Baton Rouge is always
evolving, fusing current culinary trends with
traditional Creole and Cajun flavors.
"The result is enjoyed at places like
Chef Carl Schaubhut's Bacobar with such
dishes as Vietnamese roast beef po' boy
and tuna poke tostada," says Renee Kientz,
VP of communications for St. Tammany
Parish Tourist and Convention
New Orleans culinary is now highlighting the
city's diversity, says Cara Banasch, MBA,
senior VP of business development and
strategy for the New Orleans Convention
& Visitors Bureau. Restaurants such as the
Middle Eastern- and Vietnamese-inspired
Shaya and Maypop are just the beginning.
Other ethnic influences-Thai and Central
American, to name a few-are also shaping
the culinary scene in St. Tammany Parish,
located about 40 miles from New Orleans on
Lake Pontchartrain's Northshore.
Emphasis on vegetables and healthier
dishes is shaping menus throughout
Louisiana as well as group activities. Emery
Whalen, CEO of Our House Hospitality
Group, a company that owns several New
Orleans F&B outlets, says that groups
visiting New Orleans can take trips to
nearby farms to harvest vegetables for
dinner. In St. Tammany Parish's town of
Slidell, Passionate Platter offers groups
a sensory garden tour before teaching
attendees how to create a meal using
freshly picked herbs. Owner Linda Franzo
guides attendees through the process at
this quaint cottage in Olde Towne Slidell.
New Orleans cooking (photo credit: New Orleans CVB)
Baton Rouge has also seen a wave
of fresh and light foods. Health-conscious
Cocha and Southfin Southern Poke
debuted in recent months. The shared
plates at Cocha include grilled octopus and
mushroom carpaccio, while Southfin's menu
features Hawaiian-inspired street food with its
popular poke bowls.
Creative sweet treats have also taken off
in Baton Rouge, with the opening of District
Donuts (already a New Orleans staple)
and the launch of Mr. Ronnie's Famous
Hot Donuts food truck earlier this year.
Alcohol-infused cupcakes, aka "Back Allie"
cupcakes, are popular at Cupcake Allie. And
Batch 13 Biscuits and Bowls was the first
to introduce the "bonut," a combination of a
beignet and donut, to the masses.
Cooking classes still remain popular
for groups visiting this culinary state. In
New Orleans, attendees can get their
hands dirty at Langlois, an interactive
restaurant and cooking experience. The
New Orleans School of Cooking also hosts
The Southern cooking that comes out of New
Orleans, nearby St. Tammany Parish and Baton
Rouge is always evolving.
10 | prevuemeetings.com
cooking classes for groups of eight or more
to cook and eat an authentic Louisiana
meal-complete with cutting, seasoning
and sauteing instructions. Similar options
are available in Baton Rouge at Louisiana
Culinary Institute, Red Stick Spice Company
With Louisiana's evolving food scene
also came a slew of new restaurants that
are perfect for groups. In New Orleans,
the most noteworthy is Central City BBQ,
a venue so large that it occupies a full city
block. Its indoor and outdoor seating areas
have even played host to past backyard
festivals. Groups meeting in St. Tammany
Parish will want to check out The Chimes, a
multilevel restaurant situated on the banks
of the Bogue Falaya River in Covington.
While the pub fare and views make it
attractive for groups, the goats dining along
the riverbanks are equally photo-worthy.
In Baton Rouge, City Pork Brasserie & Bar
offers seasonal menus using Gulf Seafood
and other only-in-Louisiana cuisines, and
its catering division can cater events up to
1,000 attendees.-Jessie Fetterling