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Boudin & Beer
November 2, 2012

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The cuisine of New Orleans and south Louisiana, as is well known, is unlike any other that can be found in America. Delicacies unique to the region's French culinary culture have long satisfied the palates of locals and visitors alike. And, in keeping with the region's tradition of Southern hospitality, we have always been willing and eager to share our culinary blessings with the world.

One of these tasty delights is boudin (pronounced boo-dan). In the versions that originated in Louisiana's Cajun Country, it is a sausage-like meat dish in which a pork rice dressing (much like dirty rice) which is stuffed into pork casings, along with pork meat and herbs. The most common variety is boudin blanc (white boudin), taking its name from the color of the finished product, as opposed to the more reddish varieties that use small amounts of blood. Boudin can be mild or spicy, depending on one's individual tastes, and is frequently stuffed with alligator, crawfish or shrimp meat. It is typically simmered or braised (cooked slowly in fat) to perfection, ready to be served and savored.

This Cajun delicacy will have its day to shine in New Orleans on November 2 when world-renowned, New Orleans-trained master chef Emeril Lagasse co-hosts "Emeril's Boudin & Beer," presented by Abita Beer. On that day 50 of the nation's top chefs will be cooking up their own boudin recipes, using their creative imaginations in a friendly competition. Co-chairing the event are super-chefs Mario Batali and Donald Link.

Boudin & Beer is offering a chance for one lucky winner to win a free trip to New Orleans for the event and a two-night stay for two in a luxury hotel. Plus round-trip airfare, dinner for two at Emeril's famous flagship restaurant and free tickets to the event. See contest details and fill out the entry form at the link provided below.

The event will be held at The Foundry, 333 St. Joseph Street (at Tchoupitoulas) in the heart of the Warehouse Arts District. Among the features, in addition to the food, will be authentic Cajun music provided by Feufollet, The Red Stick Ramblers and country star Drake White. Displays will be set up by the Garden & Gun Club, tobacconist Nat Sherman and the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Tickets are now on sale. For reservations and information, visit the Boudin & Beer website at www.boudinandbeer.com.

About the Principals

Chef Emeril Lagasse
Chef Mario Batali
Chef Donald Link

After more than 30 years of cooking up the highest of haute cuisine, Emeril Lagasse is a household name today. So much so, in fact, that just his first name is sufficient to conjure up familiar images of him "bamm-ing" his way through countless cooking shows and demonstrations, "kicking it up a notch." A native of Fall River, Massachusetts, he made his way to New Orleans in the early 1980s after learning his craft at the world-famous Johnson & Wales University. While prepping at Commander's Palace Restaurant in New Orleans' Garden District, he succeeded Chef Paul Prudhomme as executive chef there in 1982. Eight years later he opened his flagship namesake restaurant at Tchoupitoulas and Julia streets in the Warehouse Arts District and his career skyrocketed from there.

After countless TV cooking and variety shows; more than a dozen restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando, Charlotte and Bethlehem, PA; roughly 30 cookbooks and videos; and an entire product line consisting of everything from cookware to ingredients, Emeril has established a culinary empire that no other chef could come close to rivaling. New Orleans can proudly claim that his international fame and widespread recognition began right here.

Chef Mario Batali is a world-renowned, multi-award-winning American chef, writer, restaurateur and media personality. In addition to his classical culinary training, he is an expert on the history and culture of Italian cuisine, including regional and local variations. He co-owns restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong and Westport, Connecticut.

Chef Donald Link is the owner of the popular New Orleans restaurants Cochon, Herbsaint, Butcher and Calcasieu. In 2007, he earned a James Beard Award for "Best Chef South," and in the same year, Cochon was nominated for "Best New Restaurant."

Abita Beer

Abita Beer, the event's name sponsor, is brewed in Abita Springs, Louisiana with the pure artesian water that originates in the aquifer north of Lake Pontchartrain. They are famous for their dark beer and other varieties with colorful names like Turbodog, Purple Haze, Jockamo and seasonal beers like Mardi Gras Bock. They also brew special ales, flavored beer (strawberry, pecan and satsuma), root beer and other varieties. Some of the "big beer" bottles with their unique designs have become collectors items.

 
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