Cool Stuff I’ve Gotten Invited To

by Emily on June 24, 2013

Some sweet friends invited me to attend a Caribbean-inspired Dinner Lab inside a plant nursery

Since starting my blog in 2010, I have had the honor and privilege of attending multiple invite-only food-related events. In 2010 there was the James Beard Benefit at the Kingsley House, judging at Hogs for the Cause in 2011 (and again in 2013), mingling with the city’s top chefs at The Rising Star Chefs Gala at NOMA in 2012 as well as an intimate dinner with Chef John Besh, Leah Chase, and Marcus Samuelsson for a book tour party, and lest we forget the time I grub crawled with Bon Appetit Magazine. From the wine tastings to the themed dinners and everything in between, I am whole-heartedly appreciative of the generosity people have shown me over these past few years. Eating and drinking is so much more fun when it’s done in the company of great people. You are truly great and I thank you.

About a month ago the recently remodeled and über fabulous Sheraton New Orleans Hotel hosted an event where numerous Sheraton hotels all over the globe took a moment to hold up a glass and share a communal toast around the world. Myself and a guest were asked to join for samples of select wines and incredible food prepared by The Sheraton. My friend and I took our time navigating the massive cheese platter and trying all of the passed hors d’oeuvres.

Clockwise from top left: Rare beef with this really awesome corn salsa, roasted artichoke and oyster bisque (a personal fave), crab cake with remoulade, blacked redfish taco with jicama slaw

This wasn’t just a chance to host a toast around the world, but to also kick off the beginning of Sheraton’s new Social Hour at the hotel. Serving as an opportunity for hotel guests to get out and mingle, Sheraton will be pouring Select wines rated 90+ by Wine Spectator in the lobby every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5-7pm. Compare two 2-ounce pours for just $5 and seize the opportunity to meet new people and try some really fantastic wines.

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In the same week, I was also invited to attend Arnaud’s Speak Easy Dinner. An ode to the recently released movie “The Great Gatsby” and the Prohibition Era, Arnaud’s put together a beautiful four-course dinner along with French wine pairings by Martin’s Wine Cellar inspired by the Arnaud’s menu archives from the 1920s.

To start, Crawfish and Mirliton Salad. Wine Pairing: Chateau de la Ragotiere Muscadet Vieilles Vignes 2011

Second, a Trout Marguery of poached filet topped with shrimp, crabmeat, mushrooms and a sauce Marguery. Wine Pairing: Jean-Marc Biollot Montagny Premier Cru 2011

Third, a Filet Mignon Perigueux (perfectly cooked!) topped with foie gras mousse and sauce Perigueux. Wine Pairing: Coudoulet de Beaucastle 2010

Fourth, a Mille-Feuille (basically a Napoleon) which is a classic French pastry layered with a delicate pastry cream. Wine Pairing: Parigot & Richard Cremant de Bourgogne

And….Cafe Brulot to end the feast.

This meal was, for lack of a better word, epic. I sat at a table with Arnaud’s co-owner, Archie Casbarian Jr. and his lovely wife, along with some local food writers, photographers, mothers, and PR gurus. I haven’t seen very many of these great people since this evening but I feel like I left this meal a few friends richer.

Carrie, Michelle, Renee, and Archie, if y’all are reading this, thank you so much for your invitation and generosity. It took me a while to write about them but I assure you that these events are still being talked about!

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