NOWFE Part 4: Seminar on Duck-Galatoire's Restaurant

Well, we slept through the farmer's market seminar. Truly poor planning to end a grand tasting at 8.00pm Friday and have a farmer's market seminar at 7.45 am Saturday morning. Haha. Poor planning on my part really. Anyway we heard it was packed so it may have worked out for the best (but I'll always have a secret yearning for what might have been).

I digress.

After misreading the schedule and missing out on the Rioja seminar too (I know, I know, get it together, right?) we decided the duck seminar could not be missed. We made our way over the Galatoire's early, hoping that the event wasn't sold out. Its common courtesy for press to give up their seats to people who purchased passes to the event, and I really really wanted a seat.

It filled up quick, but there was just enough room for everyone who arrived on time. The focus was duck duck duck. I have never eaten so much duck in my life. There was a short talk about the wine. Two Pinot Noirs and a Pinot Gris from MacMurray Ranch Winery. We sat to the side and it was hard to catch everything that was being said, so I'll leave the review off the wines up to Collin.

The seminar was set up in a panel type discussion. Chefs from four New Orleans area restaurants prepared and spoke about the duck dishes they have on their menu.
The guest chefs were-
David Gooch, Galatoire's Restaraunt
Greg Sonnier, Gabrielle Restaurant
Philip Chan, Asian Cajun Bistro
Bob Iacovone, Restaurant Cuvee

Here's where it gets confusing. We were sitting off to the side where we couldn't see or hear too well (I said it was packed, right?) and we got mixed up on which chef prepared which dish. Unfortunately, there wasn't a detailed menu of the dishes served. Instead of crediting chef's with dishes incorrectly, I'm just going to give a run down of the duck.

Duck Gumbo served with Potato Salad-
Dark duck stock with duck meat and rice. Really really rich flavor. Excellent way to wet your appetite for the duck tasting to come. Surprising light for such a rich flavor.
The potato salad was fresh, full of red peppers, hard boiled egg and duck cracklin'. It went great with the gumbo.

Slow Roasted Duck in Puff pastry and Seared Foie Gras with Fruit Chutney-
So this was my first time for foie gras. I was super excited when I found out we would get to try it. It was not what I expected. It had a very delicate flavor. Not quite as 'organny' as I expected. The texture was less distinct than I thought it would be. Very smooth with a slightly crisp exterior. I would like to try it again, prepared differently. I think I would have been upset if I had dropped serious coin to taste it.

Beijing/Peking Duck, Duck Egg roll and Orange Duck-
This was my favorite duck by far. All three were delicious. The Orange duck was moist and flavorful. The egg roll was nice, the duck flavor out shined all the other ingredients. The peking/beijing was good too, very straightforward, very traditional. Duck was, once again, the center of attention in all of the dishes. While the flavor could have been easily overpowered by other elements, it wasn't. My only complaint was the dipping sauces. Duck sauce and hoison were served with the dishes. The flavors went well (of course, they are the traditional sauces to accompany these dishes) but my complaint is that they both tasted like sauce you get with your takeout chinese. I was hoping for something a little more gourmet (must be the food snob in me coming out).

In all the duck dinner was fabulous. The food was great but the whole dining and panel discussion experience was even better. I wish we had made it to more seminars.

I apologize to the chefs of each of these dishes for misrepresentation of any sort. It was difficult to hear, and the wine was good. I will gladly make changes to any dish that I butchered.

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