A Taste of New Orleans

There is so much more that goes on in a top-notch healthcare culinary program than just wowing our patients expectations on the plate.  There’s are our internal customers who are just as important to us as well. These customers (mostly co-workers) whom are loyal patrons of our cafe’s and catering services on a daily basis are entitled to have a little fun every once in a while……hence Fat Tuesday!

To celebrate this event, our team collaborated on an authentic New Orleans style menu, to celebrate Mardi Gras,which is one of our most exciting cafe days of the year. As we do celebrate with authentic Bourbon Street music, beads, and decorations, we put most of our focus on the food. Featured on our menu today were some tasty  New Orleans staples that highlight the unique flavors of this cuisine. We are lucky to have on board one of our Chef’s Stanley “Skip”  Yelonek who spent time back in the day cooking at Commanders Palace  . It has long been one of the best regarded upscale restaurants in the city of New Orleans. Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse are two of its most famous alumni who have worked in its kitchen through the years.When there’s an occasion to celebrate, whether you’re a tourist marking an anniversary or a lifelong regular hosting a daughter’s bridal shower luncheon, people head for this palatial turquoise-and-white Victorian mansion  located in the garden District of Uptown New Orleans. On Fat Tuesday, our very own veteran of the Commanders Palace kitchen, prepared an amazing Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffe  over rice served with a fresh-baked cornbread and spinach biscuit. Trust me, it was as delicious as it sounds! Check him out..

Other menu items highlighted for Fat Tuesday included  a traditional Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Creole Chicken (which is braised in a spicy tomato sauce with lots of fresh garlic, peppers, onions, celery and fresh thyme), Cajun Red Beans & Rice, simmered with a Smoked Andouille Sausage, and Mache Choux- a popular side dish with corn, red bell peppers, onions fresh parsley, basil and heavy cream. As for our patrons who were health conscious for the day…we were even able to celebrate by going Heart Healthy, and making a Spicy Blackened Catfish, served with a Quinoa Jambalaya with Grilled Turkey Sausage.

Notice the color of our Gumbo… deep, rich and flavorful, this is how it looked while simmering a twenty gallon batch. It tasted great with some rice and freshly shaved scallions.

No Mardi Gras menu would be complete, without something sweet to top it off. We even were able to provide some fresh-baked King Cake to our customers!

Special thanks to my team for making this happen.


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About Chef Ryan CEC

I'm the Executive Chef for Rex Healthcare's Culinary & Nutritional Services team in Raleigh, NC. We are doing some amazing things. We are changing the perception of "Hospital Food"- one meal at a time.
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