The culinary tastes of Mardi Gras will fill the Palestine Main Street District during A Taste of New Orleans celebration on Saturday, Feb. 22.
This 2nd annual celebration of Louisiana-style cuisine, set against a backdrop of historic buildings decorated for Mardi Gras, showcases the talents of local chefs and highlights the offerings of local wineries.
A Taste of New Orleans begins the culinary tour at 11 a.m. and the festivities continue at various locations until the 5 p.m. start of the Mardi Gras parade. Local chefs will be doing free food demonstrations and samples every 30 minutes, which can be paired with a wine tasting from a local winery.
“We have something very unique in Palestine and that is our local flavor,” City of Palestine Marketing Manager Breezy Lake-Wolfe said. “From the wineries to restaurants and bakeries, and even award-winning chefs, Palestine is definitely becoming a destination for the culinary tourist.
“The Texas State Railroad is now offering dinner trains which are a great way to kick-off a foodie-filled weekend in Palestine. The Taste of New Orleans is an ideal event to showcase our food and wine — especially the culinary talent that lies behind the pine curtain.”
Schedule of food demonstrations by local chefs include:
• 11:15 a.m. — Jack Kraatz, Executive Chef and owner of Bella Sera Ranch: Jack Kraatz is self-taught in the culinary arts after his interest in cooking began as a young man. As the executive chef at Bella Sera Ranch, a premier wedding venue in Palestine, he has a created a diverse menu that specializes in Italian sauces, Texas smokehouse and southern-style cooking. His Savannah Shrimp and Crab Cakes were a crowd pleaser at the 2012 Taste of New Orleans.
Demo located inside Lee Loveless Photography, 101 W. Oak St.
• Noon — Christian Mailloux, Executive Chef and owner of Red Fire Grille: Executive Chef Christian Mailloux, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has cooked regional American cuisine from New England to the heartland of Memphis and as far south as St. Thomas U.S.V.I. at prestigious country clubs and boutique restaurants. Red Fire Grille is known for sourcing regional fine ingredients and preparing an evolving menu. Chef Mailloux was recently featured in the 2012 Best Chefs America Book. Chef Christian will be demonstrating Alligator Sauce Piquante over Herbed Rice and a traditional Hurricane Cocktail.