Southern-Themed Send Off for James Beard Dinner Series

August 5, 2015
By: Lucy Cohen Blatter, Wall Street Journal
Photo: Ken Goodman

New Orleans-based chefs John Besh and Alon Shaya celebrate Taste America dinner series

There was a bit of the Big Easy in the Big Apple on Tuesday night, courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.

New Orleans-based chefs John Besh and Alon Shaya—along with NOLA’s own the Bridge Trio jazz band—brought Southern flavor to the West Village townhouse that’s home to the foundation, which is known for its annual awards ceremony (a culinary equivalent to the Oscars), chef dinners and events and culinary scholarships.

Mr. Besh, for the uninitiated, is a Southern cooking superstar who owns 10 restaurants in New Orleans; Mr. Shaya is chef at three of them—Domenica, Pizza Domenica and Shaya. It was Mr. Shaya who was in charge of the party menu, which included avocado toasts with smoked white fish, foie gras on challah, and hummus with za’atar flatbread. Rum-soaked banana cake with butterscotch mousse and chocolate-espresso cookies were among the desserts, courtesy of Cassie Kacvinsky of Domenica.