There are flavors that can transcend time and can live forever in a nostalgic moment. Whether simply roasted or lovingly mashed into a buttery casserole and topped with toasted miniature marshmallows, sweet potatoes, those Thanksgiving stalwarts, are a cook’s most trusted friend. As comforting and satisfying as those dishes may be, we must look beyond them to find the tuber’s true greatness.
by paul a. greenberg / photography by william dickey / photo styling by anna pollock
By some estimates, there are upwards of 15,000 places to dine in Louisiana, ranging from mom-and-pop roadside taverns to elegant formal dining rooms high atop plush hotels. It takes a wealth of talent to create the tasty masterpieces that define Louisiana cuisine, and those who choose to make cooking their life’s work are increasingly finding themselves in the spotlight. Rising to the top of the Louisiana chef ranks is not something that happens easily or quickly, and those whose career trajectories are most highly watched, have generally paid their dues to get your attention. For the past 12 years, Louisiana Cookin’ has singled out chefs we believe you should be watching, and those whose exceptional talents are putting our state on the culinary map.
This year’s Chefs to Watch lineup includes Chris Wadsworth, whose dedication to the farm-to-table prototype keeps his purchasing power within a 50-mile radius of his restaurant; Daniel Causgrove in New Orleans who says he is working toward a cuisine based on the history of Southern cooking, with a twist of the exotic; Bronwen Wyatt, pastry chef at La Petite Grocery in New Orleans, who revels in the creative control she has been offered to create desserts influenced by her time on the West Coast; Alex Harrell of Sylvain, a lively New Orleans gastropub that has distinguished itself by blending its bar and food concepts; Michael Gulotta who journeyed all the way to Germany to hone his craft before coming back to his native city; and Justin Girouard, of The French Press in Lafayette, who perfected his skills at the elegant Stella! in New Orleans before opening his own place and offering truffle fries that are quickly reaching legendary status.
All six will combine their enviable talents on October 21 at Café Reconcile in New Orleans to produce the yearly Chefs to Watch event. The partnership between Louisiana Cookin’ and Café Reconcile has been a productive one, raising more than $100,000 for the program, which provides life skills and jobs training for underprivileged youth who aspire to careers in the culinary industries. At this moment, the recently renovated and expanded Café Reconcile may be training future Chefs to Watch. In the meantime, keep your eyes and appetites focused on these six rising superstars.
Join us in New Orleans at Café Reconcile on October 21 as we honor these chefs at an exclusive event benefiting this incredible organization that provides culinary job training and placement for at-risk youths. For tickets and information click here.
Submit your best sweet potato recipe for the chance to win $1000.
The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission is once again excited to sponsor a contest in partnership with Louisiana Cookin’ to find the best sweet potato recipes in the country.
This year’s entries can utilize fresh, frozen, or canned sweet potatoes.
The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission knows that home cooks and food lovers across America cook up some amazing sweet potato dishes. Do you serve them up as an appetizer? Or how about an entrée or side dish? Desserts are, of course, a given!
We will award 5 category winners , one each in the following categories:
· Side Dishes
· Professional Chef
Each category winner will receive $500. A grand prize winner will be selected from all entries to receive $1000. So start shopping for fresh, canned, or frozen Louisiana Sweet Potatoes and send us your best recipe!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited by law.
1. Eligibility: This contest is open to amateur and professional cooks who are legal U.S. residents 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees, members, representatives and their immediate family members of the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission, as well as residents of FL and NY are ineligible to participate. The recipe must be original, should utilize Louisiana fresh, canned, or frozen sweet potatoes if possible, and must include complete instructions for preparation, readily available ingredients, standard measures and the suggested number of servings. Ingredients should be listed in order of their use.
2. Contest Period: The contest period is from December 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013. Entries received via mail must be postmarked by May 31 and received by June 5. Entries submitted online must be received by midnight CT May 31.
3. How to enter: Entrants may enter multiple entries, but with a separate entry form or submission for each recipe. To enter online use this form. You may also print the entry form and mail to:
Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest
c/o Louisiana Cookin’™
PO Box 4430
New Orleans, LA 70178.
Your entry must be completed on the official entry form and contain your full name, mailing address and telephone number or it will be eliminated from consideration. Proof of mailing or emailing does not constitute proof of delivery. Entries will not be accepted via Fax.
4. Winner Selection: Prize winners will be determined based on overall flavor, visual appeal and creativity. Finalists recipes will be prepared by culinary students at Delgado Community College of New Orleans and judged by an independent panel of food industry professionals whose decisions are final. The judging is not open to entrants or the public. The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission will attempt to notify all potential winners by phone or mail by July 24, 2013.
5. Prizes: One overall Grand Prize winner will be awarded $1,000. The grand prize winning recipe may come from any of the categories. One additional winner from each of the categories will be awarded $500. Prizes are non-transferable and no substitutions will be allowed. All federal, state, and local income taxes on prize are the responsibility of the winner. Winner(s) will be issued a 1099 tax form for the estimated retail value of the prize, and may be required to sign a Release of Liability and/or Statement of Eligibility. Failure to submit any required documents will result in disqualification.
6. General: No copies or mechanical reproductions of copyrighted recipes will be accepted. The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission and Louisiana Cookin’™ are not responsible for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, damaged, misdirected or postage due mail. All entries and materials submitted to Sponsor in connection with the Contest (collectively, “Entry Materials”), along with all copyright, trademark and other proprietary rights associated therewith, become the property of Sponsor upon submission, and Entry Materials will not be returned to any entrant. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, you acknowledge that Sponsor will own all rights to use, modify, reproduce, publish, perform, display, distribute, make derivative works of and otherwise commercially and non-commercially exploit the Entry Materials in perpetuity and throughout the universe, in any manner or medium now existing or hereafter developed, without separate compensation to you or any other person or entity. Sponsors use of the entry materials may include but shall not be limited to publication and archived in Louisiana Cookin. You hereby warrant and represent that (a) you own all rights to all Entry Materials submitted by you; and (b) all such Entry Materials are original works of authorship on your part and have not been copied, in whole or in part, from any other work and do not violate, misappropriate or infringe any copyright, trademark or other proprietary right of any other person or entity.
7. Winners List: Winners and their recipes will be posted on the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission website in the recipe section after July 24, 2013 and will be featured in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of Louisiana Cookin’™ magazine. Learn more about Louisiana Sweet Potatoes, including recipes and nutritional information, at SweetPotato.org.
8. General Release: By entering the Contest, you release the Sponsor and the Participating Entities from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Contest or delivery, misdelivery, acceptance, possession, use of or inability to use any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.
In July, 16 judges met at Delgado Community College in New Orleans to determine the winners of the eighth annual Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest. The panel, comprised of food writers, chefs, sweet potato industry professionals, and Louisiana government officials, tasted its way through the finalists in each of the contest’s five categories.