The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

February 20, 2014

Annual Mardi Gras parade, 'Taste' event set Saturday

By GRACE GADDY
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE —

To most, the words “Mardi Gras” conjure images of painted bodies, bright masks and metallic beads. But the history of the celebration centers around something a bit more fundamental — eating.

The annual party also known as “Fat Tuesday” draws people from all over the world to line the streets of New Orleans and feast before the traditional Lenten fasting season.

Accordingly, this Saturday, the Main Street District of Palestine will host its own version of the historic festival through the Second Annual A Taste of New Orleans.

The event will serve up a showcase of the local culinary talent through cooking demonstrations and complimentary tastings, and a parade to wash it all down. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., demonstrations will be held every 30 minutes at various locations in the Main Street District.

Palestine's historic buildings will be decorated in the spirit of Mardi Gras, where local chefs and wineries will be represented.

“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 tasting tour will culminate with the 5 p.m. Mardi Gras parade, complete with New Orleans-style jazz music and flying beads and moon pies.

Parade organizer Joellan Walley said this is the fourth year for Palestine to put on the Mardi Gras-themed parade.

“We have a good lineup in the parade,” she said.

Participants will include “four real Mardi Gras floats,” she said, along with The Jaywalkers Second Line Jazz Band from New Orleans, the Palestine High School Marching Band, the Shriners of Tyler, an antique ambulance from Corsicana, the Civil Air Patrol, and others – such as Corn Pop the clown, who will be walking around on stilts.

Walley said the parade will start at the Anderson County Courthouse, travel downtown and disband at the Palestine Visitors Center.

“One reason for forming this was to get something going downtown and have people come and enjoy the town for the day,” she said.

Schedule of Food Demonstrations

• 11:15 a.m. Jack Kraatz, Executive Chef and Owner Bella Sera Ranch.

Demo located inside Lee Loveless Photography, 101 W. Oak.

• 12 p.m. Christian Mailloux, Executive Chef and Owner Red Fire Grille. Chef Christian will be demonstrating Alligator Sauce Piquante over Herbed Rice and a Traditional Hurricane Cocktail.

Demo will be in the Redlands Hotel Lobby, 400 N. Queen St.

• 12:45 p.m. Carmen Santone, Head Chef and Co-Owner Switch Brick Oven Pizzeria and Wine Bar. Carmen will be demonstrating Blackened Chicken with Creole Alfredo.

Demo located inside Lee Loveless Photography, 101 W. Oak

• 1:30 p.m. Michele Merryman, Culinary Instructor. Michele will demonstration how to prepare a Mudbug Martini.

Demo located inside O’Sweet Pea, 103 W. Oak

• 2:15 p.m. Chef Simon Webster, Chef and Owner Sabor a Pasión Estate and Vineyard & Christine Gardner, Food Editor Tyler Morning Telegraph. Chef Simon will prepare Bourbon Street Bread Pudding and Christine will prepare Maque Choux Pie.

Demo located inside Granny Muffin Wines, 301 W. Oak.

• 3:15 p.m. Lulu Dyess, Owner/Operator Fork in the Road. Lulu will be serving Atchafalaya Jambalaya and Homemade "Cracklin's."

Demo located inside Lee Loveless Photography, 101 W. Oak.

• 4 p.m. Chef James Harp, Executive Chef Denby’s Restaurant & Bar. Chef James will be preparing two dishes: Seafood Gumbo and a Mini New Potato bowl with Dirty Rice, shredded beef tenderloin and crawfish, served with spiced rum creole sauce.

Demo located inside Denby’s Restaurant & Bar, 201 W. Crawford.

Wine tastings will be provided by Anderson County wineries Granny Muffin Wines, Sweet Dreams Winery and Texas Vineyard and Smokehaus.