Well the behind the scenes of Behind the Cart have been keeping me busy but I am very glad to say we are coming back to bring you the best in culinary collaboration there is.
Top Chef, eat your heart out.
There the contestants get to know each other, bunk together, and form cliques and clans. Here we have 7 local cooks, chefs, caterers, and carters coming together to serve a full course meal without ever working together in an entirely new place. Sure you might get to sleep with another contestant on Top Chef over the course of the show, but here you only get one shot to get screwed by your culinary companions. I’m glad to say we here at Behind the Cart aren’t trying to take this angle anyway, as we keep our love and lovin for our food and our foodies.
Why such colorful words to start off the new year? Because that is exactly how are are starting. The first one of the year goes close to my roots, the south. When you think of one place that has pure passion for their food, for their culture, and for their music you can only think of one. New Orleans. I decided to go NOLA style when I found the place of the next dinner. A little off the beaten path of San Francisco, it is slowly becoming a home to some big food names which is always good to see. The roots of the restaurant have deep jazz roots and the ambiance of the room instantly made me realize what we had to do. Being both a Florida southerner and a French son I have had both cusines separate but never actually made it to Nawlins when I lived there to get the full cuisine. There were times in Gainesville, FL, that someone woul bring a big plastic bag full of crawdads that we would sit and suck on. I also remember sneaking into the frat pledge week parties and having a lot of fried and blackened alligator. Hush pupping also popped up on my plate a lot living in north central Florida. When I started reaching out to some of the local chefs it did not take long to find people that already had been cooking dishes from this corner of the country. Working together we created a menu that covered some of the three most popular seafoods used in the area. Alligator is the only one that got away but lucky enough you will have a Florida Gator as your host for the evening. Just don’t try and cook me, unless things go that bad.
I’m also very excited to partner with our hosts for this event and hopefully many more as the non-profit is one that immediately warmed my heart to learn about and participate with. Old Skool Cafe helps teach at risk youth in our area all the facets of the food industry so that they can get jobs in any area of the restaurant. From bartending to prepping, from bussing to serving, they learn all the ropes. For our special Behind the Cart series with Old Skool Cafe, all the chefs will be taking some extra time to teach the kids the recipes they are going to be making for the dinner. By bringing in so many local cooks with their special recipes and personal stories, I hope that Behind the Cart will be able to inspire more than just the people that come and join us at the table. This new opportunity will let us all go beyond that and pass the passion and respect we have to the kitchen onto others.
I can not thank everyone enough for all the support in 2011 and we look forward to another great year sharing our food and our stories with you in 2012. Look for videos and discussions from the events as well as ongoing new stories about our past participants on the site.
To another great year and we all look forward to seeing you at the table and behind the cart.
Behind the Cart 4: NOLA in SF!
March 3rd, 2012 5:30 – 8:30 PM @ Semi-Secret Location
9-piece New Orleans band MJ’s Brass Boppers are gonna make it become SF in NOLA!
Special thanks to the Loneliest Spacegirl for the design!