Off the Menu: BR, N.O., Lafayette chefs to be honored

Chefs from Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans are among the five 2013 Chefs to Watch. They will be honored at an Oct. 21 event at Café Reconcile, 1631 Oretha Caste Haley Blvd., New Orleans.

Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine each year selects five of the state’s most innovative chefs to watch. The chefs use local ingredients and time-honored techniques while infusing their personal style into their dishes.

This year’s winners are Justin Girouard, The French Press, Lafayette; Chris Wadsworth, Restaurant IPO, Baton Rouge; and New Orleans chefs Daniel Causgrove, Dijon; Michael Gulotta, August; and Alex Harrell, Sylvain.

At the Chefs to Watch event, the winning chefs will present guests with tastes of their culinary specialties that will be accompanied by fine wines and specialty cocktails. Proceeds support Café Reconcile, which gives inner-city New Orleans youths culinary training.

To purchase VIP and Chefs to Watch event tickets, go to chefstowatch.brownpapertickets.com. For more information, call (504) 648-2644.

Fête Rouge Chefs event

Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge chef Nelson Chang won Best in Show plus $500 for his Southern Bouillabaisse entry in the 2013 Fête Rouge Chefs Competition on Friday.

The competition was part of the seventh annual Fête Rouge Food & Wine Festival presented by the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society to raise funds for local childhood nutrition and culinary programs.

Chef Chris Motto, of Mansurs on the Boulevard, Baton Rouge, took home the People’s Choice Award for his Abita-braised pork belly dish. He also won first place in the meat category. Other meat category winners were William Wells, Culinary Productions, second place; and Matthew Reed, Reed’s Cakes.

Chang took first in the seafood category, while second place went to chefs Kevin Grelle and Nick Bergeron, of Sammy’s Grill Catering; third went to Jimmy Johnson, of Stadium Sports Bar & Grill at L’Auberge Casino Hotel.

Winners in the Louisiana lagniappe category were Jon Breaux, The Camelot Club, first; Chris Wadsworth, Restaurant IPO, second; and Drew England, The Edible Event, third.

First place in desserts went to Derrick Beverly and Colt Patin, of Louisiana Culinary Institute; second to Arlety Estevez, Bon Temp Buffet at L’Auberge Casino; and third to Nancy DeVille, of Ruffino’s on the River, Lafayette.

Pizza bar for kids at Ruffino’s

Even regular guests may be overlooking the pizza bar at Ruffino’s Restaurant in Baton Rouge and Lafayette — a feature that allows kids to meet their very own pizzaioli — Italian for “a man who makes pizzas” — while their parents enjoy dinner at a nearby table.

At Ruffino’s in Baton Rouge, the pizza bar is behind the hostess. The room features several tables, a bar with seating for about 15 guests and an open-face oven.

At the new Ruffino’s on the River in Lafayette, the pizza bar is in the center of the restaurant, facing its signature wood-fire oven. Throughout the evening, the pizzaioli entertains his young guests while passing out chef hats, refilling their drinks and helping them make their very own pizza.

Call (225) 753-3458 or visit ruffinosrestaurant.com.

Try ‘Wines With Latitute’

Winemaker James Moises of Moises Wines and Bizou Wines has teamed up with Dominique’s on Magazine in New Orleans to host “Wines With Latitude” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Wednesday.

The event features an assortment of wines by the glass for $5 each. Each wine — artisan, boutique selections from top wine regions worldwide — has been selected by chef Dominique Macquet and will be paired with fare with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Wine and food pairings will change weekly.

Dominique’s on Magazine is at 4213 Magazine St., New Orleans. Reservations are not required, but can be made by calling (504) 891-9282.

Best Bourbon

The summer issue of The Bourbon Review names Bourbon House Seafood & Oyster Bar, 144 Bourbon St, New Orleans, among the top 55 bourbon bars in the United States. It is the only Louisiana establishment represented.

Justin Thompson, of the The Bourbon Review, said bars selected “needed to showcase bourbon in a very proud manner, by educating their patrons about bourbon and either providing them with a superior selection or a combination of a great selection along with having a reputation for showcasing bourbon in their cocktails.”

Through its New Orleans Bourbon Society, the Bourbon House is “exposing consumers to smaller, craft spirits,” said restaurateur Dickie Brennan.

The New Orleans Bourbon Society is open to all interested ‘of age’ patrons and membership is free, he added. Members receive invitations to bourbon events, seminars with master distillers from the top bourbon and American whiskey producers, bourbon dinners, cocktail parties and a complimentary pour of the featured Bourbon of the Month.

For more information, call (504) 522-0111.