Famous Chef Supper draws top chefs, appetites to Morgan City

MORGAN CITY, La. — Some of south Louisiana’s top chefs served gourmet delights to the hundreds of people attending the 24th annual Famous Chef Dinner at the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium Sunday.

Chef Brian Blanchard, a Morgan City native who has tapped chefs to attend the event, said his involvement is all about hometown.

“In Lafayette, I get hit up for fundraisers like this continuously,” Blanchard said.

But the Sacred Heart/Central Catholic Alumni Association supper is different, he said.

“For this fundraiser, I don’t have to go out looking,” he said. “These guys have been doing it year after year. Like Nash Barreca (executive chef of Nash’s Restaurant in Broussard) said, he has never done a fundraiser where the people are as appreciative and as enjoyable to be around.”

Blanchard said, “The people of Morgan City have been very good to the chefs.”

Maggie Bergeron, co-director of the Central Catholic Alumni Association, said the proceeds from the event help fund the school.

Nearly 500 tickets are sold for the supper, she said.

“I try to bring the school and community together,” Bergeron said, “That’s my goal because I love Morgan City and I love the school.”

Blanchard’s observation about why chefs attend was echoed by other chefs.

Chef Gilbert Decourt, executive chef of Artisan Creative Cooking said, “It is once a year I get to Morgan City. We love coming here. The people are so nice.”

Decourt added, “When they do a fundraiser here, it is a fundraiser. The people are very dedicated to the cause here. The people are so nice and so kind. I love it.”

Restaurants, chefs and their menus included:

—Chef Brian Blanchard, owner/executive chef of iMonelli, and a la carte, both of Lafayette; Café JoJo’s of Morgan City; River Oaks Catering and Event Center of Lafayette; and NicoBella Catering and Event Center of Morgan City: Crispy Soft-Shell Crab with Balsamic and Cane Syrup Drizzle and Oyster Rockefeller Bisque.

—Chef Wayne Jean, iMonelli Restaurant: Seafood Crepes Topped with a Roasted Pepper Cream Sauce and Puff Pastry Cup Filled with Lump Crabmeat Chardonnay Cream.

—Chef Richard Boudreaux, executive chef, a la carte restaurant: Kibby and Stuffed Grape Leaves.

—Chef Nash Barreca, executive chef of Nash’s Restaurant of Broussard: Crawfish Remoulade and Chicken Marsalla.

—Chef Patrick Poupart, owner/pastry chef of Poupart’s Bakery of Lafayette: Chocolate Marquis and Lemon Mousse.

—Chef Gilbert Decourt, executive chef of Artisan Creative Catering of Lafayette: Pork Orloff and Shrimp Provencial.

Cooking tips

Chefs at the Famous Chef Supper were asked for one simple cooking tip.

Chef Boudreaux – “You got to do what you love.”

Chef Nash – “The best oven is 350 degrees” and “You can burn water.”

Chef Decourt – “Before you eat cucumbers do two things. Take the seeds out because it’s bad on your stomach, and if you want to get rid of the acidity, you cut the tips off the cucumber and you rub the tip against the cucumber. You are going to see some white foam coming out. That’s the acidity coming out of the cucumber.”

Chef Blanchard – “For me, it really is keep it simple.”

Chef Dale Ratcliff Jr. of Café Jo Jo’s – “Never walk away from a roux.”

Ricky Prado of Poupart’s – “Less is more. You want the ingredients to speak for themselves.”

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