Tag: food

Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar: Food Network Star Viewing Party Premiere with Jay Ducote

FNS VP 3

In my previous post, we talked about how my friend, Jay, is a contestant on the current season of Food Network Star. We are now heading into week 4, and Jay is still going strong!

For the premiere episode entitled, “Food Star Festival,” Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar hosted everyone with signature drink specials and a bloody mary bar while broadcasting the episode throughout the restaurant. Downtown Baton Rouge also set up the episode on the big screen in North Boulevard Town Square, just outside Jolie Pearl.

Food Network Star Contestant, Jay Ducote at Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, Downtown Baton Rouge, LA
Food Network Star Contestant, Jay Ducote at Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, Downtown Baton Rouge, LA

If you live in Baton Rouge, or are planning on traveling to Baton Rouge soon, Jolie Pearl is a great place to try. Nestled in downtown Baton Rouge on the North Boulevard Town Square, the restaurant boasts oysters galore done whatever way you like — from Pacific, Gulf, or Atlantic raw oysters to Brie and Bacon Baked Oysters, the signature mollusk shines on the menu. IMG_2209

 

Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, Pretty Shucking Good
Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, Pretty Shucking Good

 

FNS VP 2

Not a fan of oysters? They have some delicious sandwiches too! I had the turkey, bacon, and brie sandwich and it was divine!

Turkey Brie and Bacon sandwich served with apple cinnamon jam and Zapp's kettle chips.
Turkey Brie and Bacon sandwich served with apple cinnamon jam and Zapp’s kettle chips.

Jolie Pearl has a lovely ambiance with both indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant is split into two sides, each including tables and a bar. And there’s a television live feed to the kitchen so you can watch the chef prepare the oysters on the grill! I thought that was a nice touch. Its a great restaurant for happy hour, date night, or dinner with friends, and it’s extremely affordable! Thank you to Jolie Pearl  and Downtown Baton Rouge for hosting the Food Network Premiere party!

Food Network Star Premiere Party at Jolie Pearl, Downtown Baton Rouge, LA
Food Network Star Premiere Party at Jolie Pearl, Downtown Baton Rouge, LA
Watching Jay Ducote on the big screen in North Boulevard Town Square, sipping cocktails from Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, and LSU baseball on the watch ESPN app. It was a fabulous night!
Watching Jay Ducote on the big screen in North Boulevard Town Square, sipping cocktails from Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, and LSU baseball on the watch ESPN app. It was a fabulous night!

On this season of Food Network Star, Jay continues to excel in every challenge thrown at him, so keep watching and rooting every Sunday night at 9/8 central on the Food Network! If you haven’t been watching and need to be caught up, here’s the episode recaps of what you missed —

Episode 1: Food Star Festival

  • Contestants were required to perform in an introductory video where each would serve a signature dish. Jay made grilled shrimp over a savory corn maque choux, and nailed it. The judges adored his sincerity and loved his dish!

Episode 2: Savory Baking

  • Contestants were tasked with creating a gourmet dish out of leftovers in just 30 minutes, where Jay excelled in creating a salmon barbecue hash. The next challenge was to create a savory dish inspired by dessert. Jay created the “Pillow of Decadence,” little savory beignets made of a buttery biscuits stuffed with an Italian sausage meatball. While both dishes were hits with the judges, Jay’s presentation was less than their favorite. But, Jay was safe from elimination and sailed into the next week!

Episode 3: Trendy Dinner

  • The first challenge was to create a dish that would kill on social media! (You know how we all photograph our food…you do it too, don’t lie.) The Judges chose the top performers and winner of the challenge based on the photos of each dish. Jay did great in preparing a perfectly cooked steak over a purple potato with a chimichurri sauce. (I wanted that bite!) The big challenge was a boys v. girls trendy dinner, where contestants had to create dishes based on what’s trending in culinary experiences — great flavor with new textures like raw, slimy, burnt, incendiary, and stinky. Jay had the slimy dish and only 45 minutes to create his dish. He chose to create his “momma’s momma’s gumbo” with pickled okra. Jay admitted it wasn’t his best gumbo due to time constraints, but his presentation was flawless! Jay was safe again, and is cruising into week 4!

Keep watching, keep rooting, and tweeting with the hashtag #GeauxJay!

Candice and Jay at Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Candice and Jay at Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • Pinterest

Jay Ducote: Baton Rouge’s Culinary Golden Boy Competes on Food Network Star Season 11

Jay Ducote, Finalist on Season 11 of Food Network Star. The show premieres this Sunday, June 7, at 9/8 central on the Food Network.
Jay Ducote, Finalist on Season 11 of Food Network Star. The show premieres this Sunday, June 7, at 9/8 central on the Food Network. Photo Courtesy of The Food Network, all rights reserved.

Jay Ducote is an expert hugger and a big teddy bear, but don’t underestimate his culinary chops. As a Baton Rouge local, Jay has been eating, drinking, and cooking with some of Louisiana’s finest ingredients for years. This Sunday, however, Jay will be competing on a stage far larger than he’s been on in the past. Jay is a contestant on Season 11 of Food Network Star on the Food Network.

 

If you’ve never seen the show, it’s a media-based culinary competition where contestants will be forced to undergo rigorous challenges; they are judged on their creativity, cooking abilities, as well as their on-camera charisma. The judges include the likes of Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Duff Goldman, Sunny Anderson, and Richard Blais, and the ultimate winner of Food Network Star will receive his or her own cooking show on the Food Network. Past winners are now household names, such as, Guy Fieri, Aaron McCargo, Jr., Jeff Mauro, Melissa d’Arabian, and Justin Warner to name a few. So, basically, this is a big stage for Jay. I’ve watched Food Network Star for years, and am very excited to see a familiar face on screen.

Jay is rapidly taking over culinary media. He is currently the owner of the site BiteandBooze, a food and drink blog that highlights Louisiana food, wine, and spirits. He also does a radio show called Bite and Booze Radio Show where he discusses local food, bars, and events in the Baton Rouge area. If that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Jay is also coming up on the first anniversary of his barbecue sauce launch, called Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce and has recently released a vintage of wine in connection with Landry Vineyards, a Blanc du Bois. I asked Jay how he has time to date with his busy schedule. He explained, “I find that these days it’s perhaps difficult to find time.” He’s been to several restaurants multiple times, so when he finds the time to date, he explains that he would rather help a lady choose a restaurant than to simply choose one he’s been to a dozen times. Jay says, “I’d rather help her pick somewhere unique for her.” And they say this breed of gentleman no longer exists? Pfffffttt. Jay is certainly keeping southern gentlemen proud.

Finalist Jay Ducote performs the Mentor Challenge, Introductory Videos, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11. Photo Courtesy of the Food Network.
Finalist Jay Ducote performs the Mentor Challenge, Introductory Videos, as seen on Food Network Star, Season 11. Photo Courtesy of the Food Network.

In the past, Jay has appeared on Cutthroat Kitchen (also on the FoodNetwork) and Master Chef (which aired on Fox). We discussed how Food Network Star compared to his experience on Cutthroat Kitchen. He explained, “Cutthroat kitchen was definitely a different experience but I knew exactly what I was getting into in that there would be those kind of sabotages…With Food Network Star, I had no idea what to expect…But just being there and being in the moment and having to react so quickly on your feet to whatever the challenge might be was certainly intense and very challenging.”

Jay’s journey to becoming a contestant on Food Network Star began back when the show was casting for Season 10 in New Orleans. It didn’t work out at that time, so Jay wanted to try again for Season 11. However, he was unable to make it to the nearest casting session in Dallas. You can imagine with that infectious personality and radiating southern charm, The Food Network was still thinking about Jay after his Season 10 audition. When casting began for Season 11, Jay got a call from the Network, and he was able to audition via Skype interviews with producers. Ultimately, Jay landed his spot.

This season Jay will be serving up dishes to some of the world’s most visible chefs. Seeing as how Jay’s background is hunting, fishing, and tailgating, I cannot imagine how daunting it must have been to serve Grillmaster Bobby Flay something from the grill. Jay tells me, “I certainly felt some pressure to make sure that I delivered my food to Bobby specifically…and I make [my food] pretty spicy sometimes and so grilling and layers of flavor and levels of spice are certainly right up Bobby’s alley, so that’s good in that he likes those things, but it could be bad if I don’t do those right.” When I asked Jay if Bobby Flay liked what he was served, he said, “I guess you’ll have to tune in and find out.” Well, that’s exactly what we will be doing!

At the end of the day, Jay is a Louisiana Food Ambassador. It’s a title I think many would quickly bestow upon him as he represents the state well. Go watch him on Food Network Star with me! It premieres this Sunday, June 7 at 9/8C on the Food Network. If you want to get interactive with us, we will be at the viewing party at Jolie Pearl in downtown Baton Rouge watching it with Jay in the Town Square. Come join! If you can’t make it, we will be live tweeting, so make sure to use the hashtag #GeauxJay so we can see your tweets!

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • Pinterest

Food & Wine Glitter: Louisiana Duck Gumbo and Wine Pairing

 

Gumbo is a delectable fall/winter-time dish commonly served in South Louisiana. The word Gumbo itself stems from the African influence and the Creole culture. I’m from South Louisiana, so for those of you who aren’t, Gumbo is basically a really delicious soup served over rice that can be made with seafood, wild game, or chicken combined with andouille sausage.

Pairing a wine with a soup can be confusing. Most of you have probably heard the old adage “red sauce = red wine; white sauce = white wine; dark meat = red wine; and light meat/fish = white wine,” but this isn’t always the case! Because gumbo can be made with different types of protein, you want to take into account the protein you are using. Last night, I made a chicken, duck, and andouille sausage gumbo, which is a light meat (chicken) paired with a darker meat (duck), so that old adage won’t work if we are trying to stick to it religiously. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great rule of thumb if you are just getting into wine and are worried about what to serve your guests. However, I also realize that many people are solely white wine drinkers or solely red wine drinkers, so I’m going to give you some great pairings, both red and white!

WHITE WINE PAIRING

Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay
Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay

 

White wine with gumbo is a FANTASTIC pairing because gumbo tends to be spicy. The heat and spice is well balanced by a dry white wine. This is because the acidity level in the white wine balances the spice and intensity of the heat you find in gumbo. Acidity is that “bite” or stimulation of the salivation glands; when you suck in, you need water and your tongue kind of puckers up like you’re devouring a handful of Sour Patch Kids candy. To balance that acidity, I would recommend sticking with a dry or drier white such as:

  • Alsace Reisling (France)
  • Gewurtzaminer (Germany)
  • Viogner (France)
  • Chenin Blanc (France)
  • Fumé Blanc (France)
  • Unoaked Chardonnay (California, Oregon, or France) (the higher the altitude, the better, i.e. St. Helena, CA)

RED WINE PAIRING

Moises Mes Amis Pinot Noir
Moises Mes Amis Pinot Noir

 

Red wine can be equally fantastic with gumbo, but BE CAREFUL here!!! You DO NOT want a big full bodied red wine because it will overpower the delicate flavors of gumbo. If you have delicate flavors, you’ll need a delicate wine, so steer clear of a Cabernet Sauvignon. So, if you are exclusively a red wine drinker, you’ll want to choose a light to medium bodied red, which should land you in the Pinot Noir section of the wine store. A lighter bodied red is good here because it has fewer tannins. Tannins usually come from the skin of the grape during the wine making process, and will generally give you the “tongue sticking to the top of your mouth” feeling (like when you feed your dog peanut butter). Tannins produce the darker flavors in a red wine such as a “nutty flavor” or a “dark chocolate,” “cinnamon,” or “clove” flavor. So, for red wine, keep it light and try one of these:

  • Pinot Noir (Oregon’s Willamette Valley has my favorites!! My all time favorite Pinot Noir is Moises Pinot Noir from Oregon. The winemaker is a New Orleans native, and I have taken a wine class from him. He’s fantastic! His wine is SO SO SO delicious!!!)
  • Chateauneuf du Pape (France) (this is a blend, generally 13 grapes you’ve probably never heard of. If you love red blends, this is a great choice for you.)
  • Pinotage (South Africa) (this is a cross between the Pinot Noir grape and the Cinsault grape)
  • Grenache or Grenache Blend/aka Côte du Rhone (France) or Garnacha (Spain)

FEELING DARING? TRY A ROSÉ

If you’re feeling really daring, you can also try a Rosé. If you’ve never tried Rosé or are serving guests, this is not the time to start experimenting with a new wine. But, if you want to hit the ground running, go for it! Rosé is one of my absolute favorite wines, and ANY one from Provence, France or made in the Provence style is a hands down winner. If you’re interested in going this route, stick to French Rosé, and look on the bottle for “Provence.” If you find a Rosé from California, look on the bottle for “Provence Style Rosé.” It’ll be dry, not sweet, but it will provide the same effect as the white wine with a great balance. Nonetheless, seeing as how gumbo is more of a fall/winter-time dish, I think sticking with a white or red is your best bet, especially if you are serving guests. You don’t want to present your guests with a wine they’ve never tried and risk feeling like a less-than-proper hostess.

WHAT I CHOSE

Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay
Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay

 

During the week, I try to keep the wine under $15/bottle. I was feeling more keen on white wine last night, so I went with the Joel Gott Unoaked Chardonnay from Sonoma, California (available at your local grocery store). This is an affordable choice at $13, and pretty damn good! It’s drinkable on its own, but great paired with gumbo. The “unoaked” part simply means that it is not aged in oak barrels, so you won’t get that big thick “buttery” flavor that often accompanies most Napa Chardonnays. Instead, the wine is aged in stainless steel which is going to impart a more “mineral-y” feel to it, which is a super win for my palate!

I’d leave you with a gumbo recipe, but I don’t cook with strict recipes. I usually just call my momma and say, “okay, what next?” If you’re interested in a great recipe, I’ll find one for you. Leave a comment, say hello, and/or let me know if you have any questions.

Now, go eat your GUMBO and drink some WINE!!!

Stay Glittery Winos!

xoxo,

Candice

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • Pinterest