By Tom Fitzmorris
Originally published December 4, 2006
Click here for the current edition
New Orleans Magazine Announces
Annual Food Awards; I Got One
New Orleans Magazine, which is in the throes of celebrating its fortieth anniversary (which makes me feel ancient; I was its editor when we celebrated the magazine's tenth birthday) has announced its annual awards for restaurants, chefs, and other food-related entities. I'm particularly pleased by one of them, but we'll get to that last.
The Chef Of The Year is Adolfo Garcia, who owns the long-running and spectacular Rio Mar--a seafood-intensive, Spanish-flavored cafe in the Warehouse District. After reopening that restaurant quickly after the hurricane, he and partner Nicolas Bazan III took over the former Taqueria Corona on Fulton Street and turned it into an Argentinian steakhouse calle La Boca. Both places have been terrific--but that's no surprise. I've been a big fan of Adolfo's food since long before he opened Rio Mar. He's an unpretentious guy who reseraches his recipes first-hand, buys great ingredients, and knows what tastes good.
The Best New Chef, sez New Orleans Magazine, is Chris DeBarr at Delachaise, that narrow little restaurant on the namesake street at St. Charles. Like RioMar, there's a tapas aspect to Delachaise, which feels as much like a wine bar as it does a restaurant. Chris has been moving through New Orlean skitchens for over a decade, and has a strong following.
The magazine's Best New Restaurant is Iris, the fine French-inspired spinoff of Lilette near the streetcar barn on Jeannette Street. The Best Pastry Chef (now there's a category that can be appreciated, I think, only by food writers) is the guy who does the baking at Stella!, Nolan Ventura. Lu Brow, the "cocktail chef" at Cafe Adelaide--which, due to her efforts, has the best bar in town for those looking for a great drink--got the Bartender of the Year award. Chef Gunter Preuss, owner of Broussard's, was named to the Honor Roll (I think that's the magazine's Life Achievement Award).
And, in a complete surprise, they named Tom Fitzmorris's New Orleans Food the Best Cookbook of 2006. Weill! And that didn't even come from my old friend Errol Laborde, the editor and co-owner of the magazine, who swore to me that he had no input into any of the selections.
The magazine's own stories about all this
© 2006 Tom Fitzmorris. All rights reserved. email@example.com