Before the thick of Mardi Gras hits, enjoy another type of feast! The James Beard Foundation's Taste America food tour is making a stop in New Orleans with a can't-be-missed gala dinner, held at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans.

On Wednesday, February 12, attendees can expect to enjoy incredible fare prepared by local and beloved chefs. A cocktail and tasting reception kicks off the evening with specialty dishes by chefs Nicole Mills of Pêche, Alex Harrell of The Elysian Bar, Dickey Vilkhu of Saffron, Nathan Richard of DTB, and Jana Billiot of Restaurant R’evolution.

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Chef Nina Compton

Following, is an exclusive dinner benefiting the James Beard Foundation’s educational and awards programs. The meal is a collaboration between Nina Compton, a James Beard Award Winner and Local All-Star, of Compere Lapin; Jamie Malone, the Visiting All-Star, and chef of Grand Cafe and Eastside in Minneapolis; and host chef Thierry Connault of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. The one-night-only dinner menu is sure to be unforgettable. Bread service for the gala dinner will be provided by Graison Gill of Bellegarde Bakery.

To finish off the meal, a new dessert reception has been added to the lineup. The treats will be prepared by Pastry Chef Ashley McMillian (Ritz-Carlton New Orleans), Pastry Chef Maggie Scales (Link Restaurant Group), Pastry Chef Austin Breckenridge (Justine) and Chef Jimi Setchim (Broussard’s Restaurant & Courtyard). 

The national food tour is stopping in a total of 10 cities, including Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Tickets are available for purchase here.