Chef Greg Surrey of Surrey's Cafe (1418 Magazine St., 524-3828) will perform a cooking demonstration at the Crescent City Farmers Market on Jan. 5. While you're there, keep an eye out for Joe Dobie's free-range chickens, raised without hormones or antibiotics. Dobie, whose farm is in Washington Parish, also brings quail and quail eggs to the market on a regular basis. Market Director Richard McCarthy hopes to devise a system concurrent with heath codes so that Dobie can roast the fryers on-site to sell whole. Ricotta salata, a hard, Italian-style cheese perfect for tossing into salads and pastas, is another market newcomer. Seasoned wine guy Henry Amato makes the cheese using whole milk from Mauthe's Dairy, the market vendors who brought Creole cream cheese back en vogue. Amato also recently made a sweet persimmon wine, which McCarthy said made an excellent pairing with mascarpone-Meyer lemon cheesecake. The Tuesday market is at 200 Broadway St. and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Saturday market is at 700 Magazine St. and runs from 8 a.m. to noon. The Thursday market is at 3700 Orleans Ave. and runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Call 861-5898 or visit www.loyola.edu/ccfm.
Former Marisol (437 Esplanade Ave., 943-1912) bar manager Chris Rudge plans to open Bacchanal (600 Poland Ave., 948-9111), a new Bywater wine store, within the week. Located in a long-abandoned building on the corner of Chartres Street and Poland Avenue, the store is designed to resemble a wine cellar, featuring original brickwork and stucco. Bacchanal will open with around 300 different wines representing every major wine producing region the world over. Rudge and co-owner Judy Bolton will also stock beer, spirits, specialty gourmet items and imported cheeses; plans for monthly tastings and wine seminars are also in the making.
Stephen Schwarz, owner of Mat & Naddie's Restaurant (937 Leonidas St., 861-9600) and Chef Clint Whittemore recently wowed diners at the Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. A series of serendipitous events led to the trip, and once they were there Schwarz says, "It was like kismet almost, because the style of this hotel was a lot like the style we go for at the restaurant." In other words (mine), the food was top-notch, the service professional and the vibe extremely easy-going. Schwarz reports that when the hotel staff caught wind that Whittemore enjoyed a beer before bed, a coaster appeared on his bedside table the next day. The duo prepared dishes like seafood court bouillon, braised brisket remoulade, sweet potato pie and turtle soup made with Cape Town local, farm-raised crocodile. -- Roahen