Ten premiere Louisiana chefs will be heading to New York City November 6-8 to prepare the state’s world-class cuisine for key influencers, encouraging media to write about the Louisiana culinary experience. Acadiana will be well represented at the event, with two Lafayette Parish chefs and the “Queen of Louisiana Seafood” from St. Martinville selected to participate.
Lafayette Travel will join Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board and the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association (LTPA) to partner with Hoffman Media for the “Sights, Sounds & Tastes of Louisiana.” This private event will allow guests to experience a true Louisiana festival with live music and special menus featuring Louisiana seafood with a distinct flavor found only in the Bayou State.
“Our goal is to connect key influencers – writers, editors and producers – to our diverse heritage through our cuisine,” said Jill Kidder, LTPA President and CEO. “In turn, the media’s influential stories will showcase our state as a culinary destination to the world. We also aim to connect with companies who book tours for both domestic and international groups, encouraging them to choose Louisiana as a frequent destination.”
Along with the event, Lafayette Travel and KPEL will be documenting the trip on-air and on social media, culminating in a broadcast from Times Square the morning of November 7. “This is yet another chance to take what makes Lafayette Parish special and bring that to another area,” said Ben Berthelot, President and CEO of Lafayette Travel. “After seeing such an overwhelmingly positive response on our social media platforms to "Cray Day", we wanted to bring the same exposure to the talented chefs that give Lafayette Parish and Acadiana such a unique flavor.”
This effort is part of the Louisiana Culinary Trails campaign, a long-standing joint venture of LTPA, the Office of Tourism, Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board and 17 convention and visitors bureaus from throughout the state, including Lafayette Travel. The tourism campaign is championed by Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.
“In Louisiana, good food is just part of what connects us to our diverse heritage, and we want to bring this experience to the people of New York,” said Lieutenant Governor Nungesser. “Just like here in Louisiana, people in New York have a passion for food. While we are cooking up a bit of Louisiana to the Big Apple, the best way to experience Louisiana seafood is to come down and enjoy it in its natural setting.”
Before Chef Holly Goetting returned to her hometown, her culinary career brought her to Maine and then Colorado where she was introduced to classical French cooking and culinary techniques. Although her travels have taught her different culinary customs, she appreciates the special flavors and tastes of Louisiana – especially those in Lafayette and Acadiana.
Chef Ryan Trahan’s passion for cooking was only natural since he was raised in his family’s restaurant. After school, he pursued a career cooking in the service and hospitality industry. In June 2014, he set out with a few of his colleagues to open a locally sourced, community-based restaurant concept. Ryan is now the chef/owner of Dark Roux where he strives to bring the community fresh, locally and regionally inspired new southern cuisine.
Recently crowned “Louisiana Queen of Seafood 2017,” Chef Bonnie Breaux was “discovered” while competing in the World Championship Gumbo Contest. She then served as Executive Chef at Roux in Tampa, FL, where she prepared Louisiana cuisine for the folks in South Florida. Chef Breaux returned to Louisiana and has brought her expertise to The St. John Restaurant where her culinary experience is reflected in every dish.