If dinner under the stars seems a bit passe, how about dinner under the gaze of more than a dozen sand tiger and nurse sharks?
A team of New Orleans chefs will prepare a six-course meal at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (www.auduboninstitute.org) on Sept. 24, and guests will dine in front of the massive Gulf of Mexico exhibit and its sea turtles, sand tiger, nurse and brown sharks.
The dinner is a benefit for the Audubon Nature Institute's Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) program (www.audubongulf.org). G.W. Fins (808 Iberville St., 504-581-3467; www.gwfins.com) chef and co-owner Tenney Flynn leads a team of chefs on the G.U.L.F. Chef Council, a group formed in 2014 as part of the Audubon Institute's ongoing efforts to promote sustainable seafood harvesting in Gulf fisheries.
"It's a great group of chefs and a great cause," Flynn says. "The backdrop is going to be incredible. While (diners) are eating fresh Gulf seafood, they'll be sitting right next to the tank. We decided on a small number of guests (64 seats) so that everyone would get that experience."
Participating chefs include Flynn, Susan Spicer of Bayona (430 Dauphine St., 504-525-4455; www.bayona.com) and Mondo (900 Harrison Ave., 504-224-2633; www.mondoneworleans.com), Alan Ehrich from the Audubon Nature Institute, Kristen Essig of Meauxbar (942 N. Rampart St., 504-569-9979; www.meauxbar.com), Chris Lynch of Atchafalaya (901 Louisiana St., 504-891-9626; www.atchafalayarestaurant.com) and Jeremy Wolgamott of High Hat Cafe (4500 Freret St., 504-754-1336; www.highhatcafe.com). Dishes include crab Waldorf salad; a trio of tuna trifle with snapper ceviche, smoked spinach and drum salad; and fresh Gulf fish preparations with sides like cracked pozole with huitlacoche and chanterelles, a dish Tenney says he was inspired to make following a summer trip to Oaxaca.
The meal costs $150 and includes wine pairings, tax and gratuity. For tickets, call (504) 398-3251 or find the online link at www.facebook.com/audubongulf.com.