Feed Me: Fresh Feasts, Chowzter North American Awards 2015



Satchmo doing what he does best. Great artists in New Orleans showcased at Willy Mae Scotch House restaurant

What could be more pleasurable than a three day jaunt in one of the loveliest places in America: New Orleans.  It was there that my fellow Chowzters and I nominated numerous ‘Best of Foods’ in North America and handed out awards to chief Chowzters responsible for its nomination.

So firstly, what is Chowzters? In a nutshell… this:

“Chowzter is a global network of the world’s most celebrated food experts and writers, all searching for the tastiest Fast Feasts on the planet. Prepared by passionate and inspired artisans, Fast Feasts are locally sourced, freshly prepared, served hot on the spot and enjoyed immediately. The best of these Fast Feasts reflect the local culture, history and traditions of their cities and countries of origin.

These unique discoveries are highly curated and undergo a rigorous local and international process. They are featured on our web site and App (Android and Apple versions available) and are celebrated at Chowzter regional and global award ceremonies.”


As a fellow Expert Chowzter, I curate the best eats in the Niagara region (Niagara on the Lake, Niagara falls and surrounding areas, St. Catherines).  If you want to read my recommendations, visit their website. http://www.chowzter.com/fast-feasts/north-america/Niagara

I won’t write much more– I’ll let the sumptuous photos do the talking– but truly– this was quite a surreal experience. One I am grateful for.  From the moment the plane landed, I don’t believe an hour went by where I wasn’t eating something divine.  It was a pleasure to meet my fellow Expert Chowzters and talk to them about food.  Their vivacious spirit and curiosity to seek the finest eats made me feel as if I were home.  If we weren’t talking about what we were currently devouring– we would fantasize about the next thing we wanted to eat.   I honestly don’t know how I fit all that food into my stomach.

One more thing.  I forgot to bring my DSLR so I had to bring my old samsung phone from the dark ages.  Apologies for the blurry photos!  I’ll be sure to up my snapping game in my next posts! Pinky swear. 🙂

p.s. these are all photos for Day 1.

Day 2 and 3 to follow.

We stayed at the Hyatt. A little welcome note. Nice personal touch
I arrived on Friday, one day before the Awards Ceremony (which would be held at the famous Commander’s Palace!) and decided to explore the French Quarter. This whimsical painting caught my eye.
Music flows through the veins of the people of New Orleans. At every street corner, you would see talented street performers busking and having a grand time.
First magnificent meal. Raw oysters on the half shell freshly shucked. Add a squeeze of lemon to bring out the natural sweetness of these plump beauties. @Acme Oyster House
We officially meet all the North American Chowzter experts at Antoine’s! Yes, I’ll have a sazerac or two please! After all, this cocktail was invented here!
On to Brennan’s for drinks and fun! Our first night together for food and mingling.
A drink in hand makes a happy man 😉
There was no shortage of liquid libations.
Day 1, the welcome dinner menu at Brennan’s
The chicken was unfortunately dry. The voluptuous hollandaise sauce made a valiant attempt at combating the unwelcomed texture of the protein. The crisp potato nuggets were quickly speared by my fork and devoured.
Sometimes, simple is best. Like this salad. Fun frisee with crisp salty bacon morsels were a delight to eat. Balanced perfectly with a tangy vinaigrette.
Broiled cheesy concoction oozed on top of the oysters. A tad salty, but I appreciated the innovation and mix-match of textures.
A deep, rich roux was the base of this gumbo. Really great depth of flavour. Paired with some cornbread and i’m in comfort-ville.
I tasted the soul of New Orleans in this dish. Fresh shrimp– cooked nice and tender, sits atop of some creamy risotto. On the perimeter– some sass. Heat and bold spices in the tomato sauce.
where’s there’s fire– there’s flavour and fun. 😉
let everything meld together
This this particular sweet was invented at Brennan’s. Yes, I’m referring to the Banana’s fosters.
butter, brown sugar, booze, caramelized bananas, vanilla-bean flecked ice cream. What’s not to like here!