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Recap: Winin' and dinin' at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

Written by  Glynda Ferdinand
Have you ever eaten something and thought about it for the next week?! The way the flavors played across your tongue as your eyes closed and your mouth smiled in that moment of pure enjoyment. Culinary excellency inspiring slowed movement as each bite elongates the sheer pleasure of experiencing greatness. If you said “No,” there are two things we can be fairly certain about…#1: You’re not from New Orleans, and #2: You definitely missed out on the 20th New Orleans Food and Wine Experience (NOWFE)!
 
The Grand Tasting, which took place at the New Orleans Convention Center, was a foodie’s playground! Chefs from all over the city prepared mouthwatering dishes, nestled amongst local, national, and international wines. From savory to sweet, spicy to cool, and even whimsically nostalgic, the dishes offered something for every palate.
New to New Orleans and NOWFE, Manning’s came to leave an impression. And that they did with their spiced seared sea scallop with pimento cheese grits and a roasted red pepper demo glaze, perfectly seared and balanced by the sweet, thick grits and glaze drizzle. The Ritz Carlton’s M Bistro packed a one-two punch with their Sazerac with liquid nitrogen paired with Louisiana lump crabmeat remoulade coupled with crawfish andouille and spicy buffalo cheddar mac and cheese. Talk about divine! The Audubon Tea Room was also not to be overlooked. Their Creole shrimp and eggplant casserole oozed with everything that’s right about New Orleans cooking. Fresh Gulf shrimp, plump eggplant and spicy creole seasonings cooked down into a creamy matrimony of goodness!
 
With 175 wineries represented, there was no shortage of superb vino to sample. Rouses’ 2007 Rouses Reserve Pinot Noir was full-bodied with fruit undertones and at $9.99 a bottle, there’s no way you can go wrong with this red masterpiece. On the lighter end, Carmen Gran Reserva 2011 Sauvignon Blanc provided an intense but refreshing experience, which the representative attributed to the cool-climate of the Leyda Valley. California winery Eberle was definitely a favorite with their earthy Zinfandel with ripe berry flavors and the slightest hint of mineral arriving at the very end. 
 
And what cuisine experience would be complete without desert? Bee Sweet Cupcakes thrilled with a New Orleans rum cake made with Old New Orleans Rum. New Orleans Ice Cream Company offered two indulgent cream sensations – Lemon Doberge and Satsuma Dreamsicle. Commander’s Palace put a nostalgic twist on Ponchatoula strawberries, serving them amongst strawberry jam, whipped strawberry chantilly, housemade strawberry caviar, strawberry cane sugar, a strawberry hurricane shooter, and pop rocks! And Brennan’s proved there’s nothing better than a well done classic. Their Banana’s Foster had folks dancing! Talk about an experience!
 
If you missed out on this year’s New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, you definitely missed one for the record books! But don’t worry, next year’s Experience is sure to be another fundraising phenomenon!

Last modified on Thursday, 31 May 2012
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