St. Paddy Matty
Irish-born chef Matt Murphy, chef de cuisine at Victor's Grill in the Ritz-Carlton (921 Canal St., 524-1331; www.ritzcarlton.com), will be cooking the food of his homeland this St. Patrick's Day on NBC's Today show. On Thursday, March 17, Katie Couric, Matt Lauer and the crowd at Rockefeller Plaza will get to taste roasted Guinness-marinated Prime rib with bubble and squeak, corned beef boxty and gur cake. Murphy, who cooks special meals for Al Roker when the weatherman visits New Orleans, first appeared on Today last October. For the filming, prep work begins the night before, and by 4:30 a.m. Murphy starts cooking in the Today show plaza. Although Murphy doesn't find much Irish food in New Orleans, he said that he does enjoy the complimentary pints of Guinness at the Aidan Gill shop (2026 Magazine St., 587-9090; www.aidangillformen.com).
Ryan Stotz, formerly at Martin Wine Cellar, has been hired by Cork and Bottle (3700 Orleans Ave. #1C, 934-1386; www.corkandbottlefinewines.com) to establish store's new cheese section. A decade ago, Stotz began searching for cheeses to pair with his homebrewed beer. He became so fascinated with cheese that he made it his profession. The staff at Cork and Bottle will happily offer customers samples of the 75-100 cheeses in stock. Stotz's selections will focus on handcrafted cheeses from around the world, offering varieties not seen in other New Orleans stores. At Cork and Bottle's Wednesday night wine tastings, Stotz will be on hand to talk cheese with curious customers.
St. Joseph Supplies
On Saturday, March 19, the Crescent City Farmers Market (700 Magazine St.; www.crescentcityfarmersmarket.org) celebrates St. Joseph's Feast with an ancient Italian tradition -- a parade of Vespa motor scooters. The market, held from 8 a.m. to noon, will also feature Italian cooking demonstrations, live music and plenty of supplies for a St. Joseph altar. If you can't build your own altar, the online Virtual St. Joseph Altar (politickles.com/thankevann/stjoseph) offers the second best solution.