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[Report] IACP conference in New Orleans 2008


TAPrice
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So how was the IACP conference? And what did you eat?

Due to an unexpected family emergency, I only attended one event and wasn't able to meet up with any of you. Sorry about that. Hopefully some people will be back for Tales of the Cocktail this summer.

I attended an invitation only breakfast at Herbsaint sponsored by Market Umbrella, the group that runs our local farmers market (among other projects). The idea was to bring together New Orleanians involved in food (chefs, writers, farmers, academics, directors of charities) with visiting movers and shakers.

It was informal event. A few words were said at the start, but no one was forced into any sort of formal brainstorming (I hate that kind of thing). And Donald Link fed us well with a three-course breakfast. His crawfish bisque was divine. Personally, I'm giving up breakfast cereal for bisque. Not sure why I didn't think of it sooner. :laugh: A soft shell crab that he fried as a lagniappe just for our table was also killer.

I was lucky enough to be seated at a table with Rick Bayless. I don't know if Market Umbrella's plans to make connections between visitors and locals worked at other tables, but it certainly did at ours. Towards the end of breakfast, the local farmer (whose name I can't remember at the moment) seated between Bayless and myself asked about ways he could add value to his pepper crop. Bayless then basically gave a crash courses on how to process peppers and the history of processing them. Fascinating stuff. The man has a very academic demeanor. Always taking notes. And there is no doubt he knows his stuff.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I volunteered on Wednesday afternoon at the pasta master class & the opening reception. Antonio Pisaniello, chef at La Locanda di Bu prepared two lovely pastas. Best of all, after the session, he gifted me with his heavy grooved brass pasta rolling pin (called a macerono? sorry about my almost non-existent italian). He was great.

Edited by HungryC (log)
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This was my first experience with the IACP and it was pretty great. I was a panelist but I plan to join now. The membership is pretty deep and wide and I was shocked at how easy it was to meet so many of my heroes. The food on the whole at the Hilton was disgusting, however. I smothered most everything I was offered with Tabasco and lemon juice.

There was a very good party for everyone outside on a terrace and there were lots of interesting stations to try local food. The cracklins were AMAZING and I liked the historic lamb soup. I was disappointed in the oysters. They seemed to have been rinsed in tap water. Was there something I was missing?

I like Cochon a lot but I think it's a very good restaurant doing interesting things, not the sacred temple worthy of hushed voices I kept hearing about. Also had a great dinner at Upperline with some of the best sweetbreads and duck, not served together, ever.

It was fun seeing all the different levels of sweetness in the Sazerac cocktail. My favorite was at the Carousel bar in the Monteleone Hotel.

What a great town. I'm sorry my stay was so brief and superficial. I'm going back.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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I was disappointed in the oysters. They seemed to have been rinsed in tap water. Was there something I was missing?

Yeah, the oysters are pretty bad right now. The Mississippi has been incredibly high, which has push fresh water into the oyster beds. They're find for frying and cooking, but they're really just not salty enough to be eaten raw.

I didn't know anyone spoke of Cochon in hushed tones, but it's hard to know what rep these places have outside of town.

Glad you enjoyed the stay. PM me the next time you come into town.

Edit: Rancho, I heard that you have a new bean variety that might be particularly good for red beans? What is it and can I mail order it?

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Steve, glad you enjoyed IACP and glad to hear you'll be joining. You will be a great addition to the ranks! I've been a member for about twelve years but this was only my second conference--it surpassed my expectations in many ways. Glad you got a lot out of it, and I really enjoyed your blogging talk on Judith's panel--funny and very informative.

Re, the oysters, I agreed with what you said about the ones at the reception--blandish--and I had some charbroiled ones at Drago's that were bland, too (on the inside, anyway, away from the garlic, butter and cheese), and I've heard from some sources that the gulf oysters are watery and lackluster now, and from some that they are especially good. My last night in New Orleans I had a half-dozen at the French Market Cafe on Decatur that were exceptional, so I guess they vary.

I did about four blog entries on various aspects of the conference, one while there (dinner for one at Cochon) and three since I got back--namedropping for food writers, post-Katrina for residents, and What I Ate.

Jennifer Brizzi

Author of "Ravenous," a food column for Ulster Publishing (Woodstock Times, Kingston Times, Dutchess Beat etc.) and the food blog "Tripe Soup"

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