‘Me Oh My Oh’: Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy, Jambalaya Edition

Jambalaya is so quintessentially New Orleans that, when menu planning, I considered the rice-sausage-and-seafood casserole to be a no-brainer of a show-stopper main course for our Mardi Gras Dinner. As it turned out, both “no-brainer” and “show-stopper” were painfully apt descriptions, as recounted in this continuation of Part 1 and Part 2 of ‘Catering Lessons from Heather and…

Recipe: Cornbread or Biscuits? Apricot Bread Pudding with Dewar’s Whisky Sauce

I’m going to take a short break from cataloguing the culinary foibles of my pop-up Mardi Gras Dinner at Ratho Farm to write about something that went mostly right that night, the dessert course, Cornbread or Biscuits? Apricot Bread Pudding with Dewar’s Whisky Sauce. The question of whether cornbread or biscuits was more quintessentially Southern came…

‘She’ll Be Alright, Mate:’ Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy Part 1/2

It occurs to me that I shouldn’t let even one more blog post go by without introducing you to Heather Bickford, the Chef of Ratho Farm and one of the most delightful and food-knowledgeable people I’ve ever encountered. She’s charming, eccentric, has a beautiful family and has forgotten more about catering than you or I will ever know. Without…

Acute golf addiction and chasing Mardi Gras ingredients

I remember at some point believing that I would find time to house-make andouille sausage for this Saturday’s Mardi Gras event; the garlicky spiced and smoked pork sausages that many Cajun and Creole recipes rely on for flavor. That was almost certainly before I became hopelessly addicted to golf, a lifestyle change that has been molding my body…

Southern Food Road Trip: Biscuits Lesson with Susan Spicer in New Orleans

New Orleans, LA – Making an iconic Southern recipe with one of the region’s most influential chefs was beyond my wildest expectations when I started planning in December to eat my way to culinary enlightenment through the American South. But Susan Spicer is legendary for being generous with and supportive of other chefs, or, in this…

Southern Food Road Tour: Susan Spicer and NOLA Edition

New Orleans, LA – In just two and a half hours, Susan Spicer, one of the most celebrated chefs in the South, is going to personally give me a lesson in how to make biscuits at her new, New-Orleans themed restaurant Rosedale. It’s hard to overstate how excited I am about this brand new development….

Southern Food Road Trip: Bettie’s Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

Humboldt, TN – My AirBnB hostess here, a ferociously charming woman named Christine Warrington, recently moved back home after making her international fortune, with designs on taking out the sitting mayor. Her very first Machiavellian move? Finding a caterer, of course, since the most effective Southern schmoozing is done over a plate. Christine introduced me to Tim Hayes, owner…