Event • June 2017
With the next After Hours Club shining the culinary spotlight on New Orleans at Madison London, The Club meets the restaurant’s head chef, Robin Tarver, to find out more about the US Deep South’s must-eat dishes. The best part? You’ll be able to tuck into all of them at the event.
*The event on 3 July 2017 has now sold out, but due to popular demand, we have added an additional date on 10 July 2017. Don’t miss out on your chance to sample the best of the USA’s soulful Southern cuisine and cocktails at Madison London – you can book your tickets here
This distinctly Southern staple has surprising roots in Scotland. The Scottish were the first Europeans to fry chicken in fat – it helped it travel better in times when they didn’t have refrigeration. We’ve been serving this dish at Madison for three years and it outsells the next most popular dish three to one every month. We use our very own secret spice mix and buttermilk, which helps tenderise the meat, keeping it nice and moist after it’s been fried.
This New Orleans born-and-bred dish was named after one of America’s wealthiest families because of the rich garlic butter sauce the oysters are served with. It’s basically an adaptation of escargot à la bourguignon, but snails were subbed for shellfish in New Orleans because of the abundance of oysters in the Mississippi River. We are going to top them with hollandaise, herbs, celery, Parmesan and breadcrumbs, and then grill them off in our Josper oven.
Pronounced “ben-yay”, these decadent and delightful deep-fried choux pastry bites are a staple of the city’s food scene. The recipe for the doughnut-like sweet treats came down to Louisiana with the Acadians (French Canadians), who were displaced from Nova Scotia during the Seven Years War in the 1700s. You can even find savoury versions in New Orleans, filled with crawfish – but we’re sticking to the sweet ones for the event, dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
While barbecue didn’t originate in New Orleans, the technique certainly plays a big part in cooking here. We’ll be serving up two classic barbecue dishes on the night: baby back ribs, brined in Coca Cola (to tenderise the meat) and then marinated in a treacle (for sweetness) and Cajun spice mix; and Cajun spiced prawns, which will be served with a celeriac rémoulade. Cajun spice mix really shows you how many cultural influences have gone into creating the cuisine of the US Deep South – it’s filled with herbs and spices from Spain, France, the Caribbean and Africa.
New Orleans boudin (pronounced “boo-dan”) is nothing like the traditional French version – it’s more like a black pudding sausage, which is usually served boiled, but it can also be smoked and fried in balls. Traditionally it’s made with pork, but it can be filled with any meat or fish. My twist on the dish will use duck confit, duck breast and rice in the filling, which will then be poached and fried.
Try these (and more) tasty New Orleans dishes at our next After Hours Club event: ‘A Taste of the USA’, which will be held on Monday 10 July 2017, at Madison London. Drinks and canapés from 6:30pm, event to finish at 9:30pm. Tickets cost £50 per person. Book your tickets here