Off the Menu for June 13, 2013

Photo provided by Nunez Community College -- Lashandra Robinson is the 2013 winner of a culinary arts scholarship from Chefs Move! The John Besh & Bride Mayor scholarship program, an initiative of The John Besh Foundation. The scholarship provides the Marrero single mother the chance to train at the International Culinary Center in New York City. Show caption
Photo provided by Nunez Community College -- Lashandra Robinson is the 2013 winner of a culinary arts scholarship from Chefs Move! The John Besh & Bride Mayor scholarship program, an initiative of The John Besh Foundation. The scholarship provides the Marrero single mother the chance to train at the International Culinary Center in New York City.

Juban’s Creole Restaurant & Caterer in Baton Rouge has promoted Henry “Joey” Daigle III to executive chef. He replaces Jaime Hernandez who is moving to Asheville, N.C., to open his own restaurant.

Daigle, a native of Plaquemine, had been the restaurant’s sous chef.

He began his culinary career as a line cook for Galatoire’s Restaurant under the guidance of Brian Landry, presently chef of Borgne Restaurant in New Orleans. He also worked with chef Alon Shaya at New Orleans’ Dominica Restaurant, a property of the John Besh Restaurant Group.

Daigle then moved to California and apprenticed for six months with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. The group is the owner of The French Laundry, Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery and Ad Hoc in Napa Valley.

In Baton Rouge, Daigle assisted co-owner and chef Nathan Grisham in the opening of Beausoliel Restaurant & Bar, Juban’s sister restaurant, and transferred to Juban’s in February 2011.

Student wins culinary award

Lashandra Robinson, a student at Nunez Community College in Chalmette, is the winner of the Chefs Move! Scholarship for Culinary Arts, a news release from the community college said.

Chefs Move! The John Besh & Bride Mayor scholarship program, an initiative of The John Besh Foundation, will send the 23-year-old single mother of two daughters to New York to train at the International Culinary Center, previously called the French Culinary Institute.

Robinson attributes her love for cooking to the days when she helped her mother in the kitchen and to a stint at Jackson Brewery Bistro Bar under the guidance of chef Paul Rosenbloom. She also has worked at a popular, fast-food chain since 2006, but said she knew “education was the way I could continue to work in an industry I enjoyed and improve my earning power so I could make myself and the lives of my daughters better.”

Even though she had to commute to and from Marrero, Robinson enrolled in an Orleans Parish community college to fulfill her prerequisites before applying to Nunez’s Culinary Arts Program for 2013’s Spring semester.

Robinson was awarded the Chefs Move! Scholarship for Culinary Arts by John Besh and Jessica Bride at “Funkin’ It Up,” a fundraiser for The John Besh Foundation and New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. It was the second time she had applied for the scholarship.

The mission of Chefs Move! is to diversify kitchen leadership by providing minority applicants the opportunity to train up and become leaders in restaurant kitchens and in their communities.

The John Besh & Bride Mayor Scholarship provides two fully paid scholarships — one in Culinary Arts and one in Pastry Arts — for minority recipients from New Orleans to attend the International Culinary Center in New York City. The program at ICC is nine months.

In addition to full tuition to the nine-month culinary program at The International Culinary Center, the scholarship provides chef uniforms; kitchen equipment; accommodations; air travel; a $250 grocery card; $100 subway card; digital camera and lessons; laptop computer and training; media training; job placement assistance while in New York; and a chef mentor from the Besh Restaurant Group.

Ruffino’s new bar menu

Ruffino’s Baton Rouge location has a new bar menu featuring local ingredients.

The menu includes shrimp corn dogs made with Gulf shrimp and braised pork belly sliders featuring pork belly from Chappapeela Farms in Amite.

It also offers Louisiana-inspired cocktails such as the Ruston Peach Julep muddled with Ruston peaches; the Criollo made with Old New Orleans Spiced Rum, lemon and mint; and “Cajun Tea” made with Community Ice Tea and Old New Orleans Silver Rum. And, the menu highlights local beers such as Canebrake, Abita Seasonal and Turbo Dog.

The “Taste Louisiana” menu is available from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The restaurant, 18811 Highland Road, is open every day for dinner, Friday lunch and Sunday brunch.

Zolia Bistro’s happy hour

Zolia Bistro in downtown Baton Rouge is featuring a new summer cocktails menu from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. It is located in II City Plaza at Convention and Fourth streets. Call (225) 490-2312 for more information.

Bayou Rum distributed

Louisiana Spirits Distillery is fully operational and beginning distribution of its first two rums, Silver Bayou Rum and Spiced Bayou Rum, throughout Louisiana, a news release said.

The distillery’s visitor center is expected to open sometime in July.

Set on 22 acres in Lacassine, the distillery is owned by brothers Trey and Tim Litel and longtime friend Skip Cortese.

For more information, visit http://www.laspirits.net and http://www.bayourum.com.