Last night I had the pleasure of attending a special event at The New Orleans Food Experience with special guests The Fabulous Beekman Boys. Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge are best known as the 2012 winner’s of The Amazing Race and as stars of The Cooking Channel Series: The Fabulous Beekman Boys. The duo are visiting New Orleans and are scheduled as celebrity guests at the NOLA Home Show.
The Fabulous Beekman Boys are authors, farmers and as if their reality show isn’t enough, they have also launched a new magazine AND released a line pantry goods available at almost 1400 Targets Stores Nationwide. The Beekman 1802 Farm Pantry products brings the farm to table concept to the masses at an affordable price point and has a purpose! not only are the ingredients sourced from small American farms (certified organic, and/or GMO free), a portion of the profits go to the Beekman 1802 Mortgage Lifter Project that aids innovative small American Farms.
Farm fresh ingredients are the key to any traditional Creole and Cajun recipe! The New Orleans Cooking Experience teaches tourists and locals how to cook authentic Louisiana cuisine using local ingredients and historic recipes taught by a local chefs.
My husband and I both cook and enjoying testing new recipes so a cooking class is something we have both wanted to do for quite some time. The cooking school offers an intimate class in a historic, 19th Century Victorian New Orleans mansion. As pictured, the kitchen surrounds every guests giving all of us an up close view and is personalized, allowing us to ask questions from get a complete observation of techniques used to create each meal.
The food was fabulous! Locals chef, catering company owner and author Chiqui Collier started our class with Oyster Patties (pictured below) using ingredients many already have in their pantry! The Oyster Patties were followed by Gulf Shrimp & Stone Ground Grits with instruction given by Chef Gerard Mara.
Well known in the food and restaurant industry, Chef Gerard Mara is a cornerstone of creole cuisine in New Orleans for over 35 years. The former restaurant owner, “Gerard’s” from 1998-2002, Chef Mara also created the menu for Mr B’s, Louisiana’s first bistro and is the mastermind behind their classic and most popular dish to date: BBQ Shrimp and Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes.
The personalized class like I experienced include complete recipe packets, unlimited wine service, a tour of the mansion and dinner party style meal. The price covers everything already listed as well as taxes and gratuities. You can schedule a lunch or dinner classes or book a private party or upcoming event. They offer a range of menus and various local chefs are enlisted to create a unique experience for each guest.
Visit the New Orleans Cooking Experience online for more information on classes. Also check out their Pop-up Chef’s Table Cooking Classes, a Monday night dinner cooking classes featuring local restaurant chefs, many of which are James Beard winners. The 2.5 hour demonstration class features today’s chefs from restaurants like Milkfish, Coutelier, Angeline, Maurepas and more!
One question I get asked repeatedly is: What are your favorite restaurants in the New Orleans Area? Like any food lovers, the list is long! So instead of just planning your food itinerary, why not add a New Orleans cooking class into your upcoming travel plans. If your a local, enjoy a date night without the kids and bring a new dish into your culinary repertoire.