‘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…

Even Surprise Vegans Get to Eat: Catering Lessons from Heather and Izzy Part 2/?

Part 1 of this blogpost, ‘She’ll Be Alright, Mate’ introduced Heather Bickford, Ratho Farm’s chef and my catering savior the night of our front-of-the-house triumph and back-of-the-house roller coaster Mardi Gras Dinner. We also went over catering lesson one: An intoxicated guest is one who will overlook or forgive mistakes. 2. Start at LEAST one full…

‘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…

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: Glock Sidetrip in Indiana

I have limited experience with guns, but I did grow up in Kansas, so I’ve shot skeet and been to a gun range and fired shotguns and various pistols with more gun-oriented friends out in the country. John here is amazing, as you will see; someone to have with you when concealed carry is called…

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…

Southern Food Road Trip: Tennessee Holodeck Replies

Memphis, TN – Yesterday and today I’m learning all about smoke and barbecue. I spent half the day yesterday with Helen Miller, the country’s only African American  barbecue pitmaster and, according to her customers, the best bar none. (I had to start a second laundry bag for the BBQ clothes!) Pics and video of that tomorrow. My…