NOLA a city of gumbo and charm

Bar crawl Arnaud’s for the French 75
Old Absinthe House’s Ramos Gin Fizz
The bar at Irvin Mayfield we were there for the Pear Flower Martini

New Orleans, it conjours up images of drunkenness, voodoo, mystery and food. Last weekend I was fortunate to attend the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) sponsored by in New Orleans. I must confess I have never been to NOLA so it was a great opportunity to discover a new city and discover new foods. The conference brought in some amazing speakers. I met some amazing people and bloggers from all over the US and Canada. The seminars ranged from photography, food science, food and culture, sustainability,  recipe writing and more.

 I witnessed the hearty debate between gumbo with and without tomatoes, I learned the difference between Cajun and creole cooking. The organizers brought in some of the best restaurants to cater the event and we were certainly not disappointed. We were certainly well fed during the conference.

Menu from Saturday’s dinner

Friday started the great food feast with some samples of Fried pork cheek balls accompanied by tomato jam and black eyed pea puree from La Petite Grocery,  chocolate covered hazelnut macaron pops from Sucre, some other samples were from Ste. Marie, Langenstein’s and Sylvain. After a brief afternoon rest there was a bar crawl with the designers of the Nosh app.

Saturday’s food feast started with fresh “dirty” gulf oysters and shrimp from Royal House Oyster House, an oyster Po’ boy with spinach artichoke spread with lemon Thai aioli from the award winning Pierre Maspero’s, turkey and alligator sausage gumbo from Parkway Bakery, crab bisque from Red Fish Grill, shrimp and grits from Riverfront Restaurant all washed down with Abita beer.  I’m sure I missed a few, sorry about that but the allure of the oysters was just too great. 

The perfect  ending was the formal dinner service from John Besh. I was too busy eating to take any good pictures.

Opening remarks at IFBC NOLA 2011

Fried pork cheek, tomato jam, black eye pea puree

Quite a full plate po’boys, bowls full of NOLA goodness

Staff of the Royal House Oyster House

“Dirty” Gulf Oysters

PO’ Boy 

OK, more oysters

Poppy Tooker speaking on sustainability

Cooking demo with Chef John Folse

The conference ended on Sunday at lunch time so that gave me plenty of time to find more great food before I had to fly back home on Monday. I’ll tell you about the naked man in another post.

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