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On the Rails with the Epicurean Express – Top New Orleans Chefs and Local Southern-Style Chefs Pitch In to Help Gulf Coast Fisherman

Jordan Wright
June 2010

New Orleans Chefs (from left) Brian Landry of Galatoire's, Greg Reggio of Zea, Tory Stewart of Broussard's, and Chris Lask of Adelaide's - photo by Jordan Wright

New Orleans Chefs (from left) Brian Landry of Galatoire's, Greg Reggio of Zea, Tory Stewart of Broussard's, and Chris Lask of Adelaide's - photo by Jordan Wright

Sweet and Spicy Alligator hors d'oeuvre from Chef Greg Reggio of Zea Rotisserie Grill - photo by Jordan Wright

Sweet and Spicy Alligator hors d'oeuvre from Chef Greg Reggio of Zea Rotisserie Grill - photo by Jordan Wright

Last night at Union Station aboard the beautifully restored antique locomotive, the Patrón Tequila Express, top New Orleans chefs joined forces to raise money for the fisherman of the Gulf Coast.  On the tracks Brian Landry of Galatoire’s, Greg Reggio of Zea Rotisserie Grill, Chris Lusk of Broussard’s and local chefs, David Guas, pastry chef and author of “Dam Good Sweet, Ann Cashion of Johnny’s Half Shell, and Jeff Tunks of DC Coast and Acadiana lent their considerable culinary talents to the families helped by the St. Bernard Project.  Area mixologists, Gina Chersevani of PS7’s, hot off her RAMMY victory for “Mixologist of the Year”, and Damian Torguson of Brasserie Beck created fabulous cocktails featuring Patrón Tequila.

Heidi O'Leska on the Patron Tequila Express with a Resurected Sangree garnished with cotton candy by Gina Chersevani of PS7's - photo by Jordan Wright

Heidi O'Leska on the Patron Tequila Express with a Resurected Sangree garnished with cotton candy by Gina Chersevani of PS7's - photo by Jordan Wright

Amidst all the lavish food and drink we knew we were here for a very real and immediate disaster relief effort assisted by the St. Bernard Project for residents affected by the recent Gulf oil spill.   The organization, established in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf, by fellow George Washington University Law School grads, Liz McCartney, and Zack Rosenburg, has been helping families in the region since 2005.  The two friends went down after the storm to see what they could do and stayed to build 275 houses, develop wellness and mental health services, and a Good Work Good Pay (GWGP) jobs program with the aid of government grants and the Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center.  Today over 250 volunteers show up to lend a hand every week.  In 2008 Liz, a former Peace Corps volunteer, was recognized by CNN as “Hero of the Year” and both were awarded “Louisiana Social Innovators of 2010” by Lieutenant Governor, Mitch Landrieu.

Fellow chefs, David Guas (left) and Jeff Tunks of DC Coast and Acadiana - photo by Jordan Wright

Fellow chefs, David Guas (left) and Jeff Tunks of DC Coast and Acadiana - photo by Jordan Wright

“We started the St. Bernard project to support the resilient people of the New Orleans area. Through them we’ve learned so much about the importance of family and community and the oil spill threatens their livelihoods, their culture, their health and their way of life and we’re more determined than ever before to protect and restore the lives of people in Southeast Louisiana,” McCartney told me.

The tour, called the “Epicurean Express” will be taking the Patrón Tequila Express train around the country with more stops scheduled in New Orleans, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

What We Couldn’t Get Enough Of

Bisque Marinated Crab Fingers from Chef Brian Landry of Galatoire's - photo by Sara Mosqueda-Fernandez

Bisque Marinated Crab Fingers from Chef Brian Landry of Galatoire's - photo by Sara Mosqueda-Fernandez

From Landry came Crawfish Maison on Endive and Bisque Marinated Crab Fingers.  Fellow New Orleanian, Greg Reggio, prepared Gulf Oyster and Artichoke Soup and Sweet and Spicy Grilled Alligator.  DC Southern-style chef, Ann Cashion filled patty shells with Spicy Bacon and Pan-Roasted Oyster or Beef Brisket with Debris Gravy.  Tunks offered his Deviled Eggs with Louisiana Choupique Caviar, Crabmeat Ravigote, and Bloody Mary Gulf Coast Oyster Shooter.

All aboard the Epicurean Express - photo by Sara Mosqueda-Fernandez

All aboard the Epicurean Express - photo by Sara Mosqueda-Fernandez

Our own New Orleans native son, Guas made a luscious Banana Pudding, while Chersevani and Torguson drowned us in Patrón Tequila cocktail love.

What we do for a good cause!

For questions or comments on this article contact Jordan@WhiskandQuill.com

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