Taste Louisiana cuisine at restaurants in Charlotte, NC

Chef Ryan Trahan's tartare, which he prepares at the Vestal restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Chef Ryan Trahan’s tartare, which he prepares at the Vestal restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Get ready, Charlotte. Louisiana arrives in Queen City.

On November 3 – and for one night only – 14 chefs from across the Bayou State will take over select Charlotte restaurants to showcase some of their best culinary creations.

Presented by Louisiana Culinary Trails, Louisiana X Charlotte Restaurant Night is part of a campaign launched more than a decade ago to offer big-city foodies a little Louisiana lagniappe to whet their appetite and make them want to take a trip to the Bayou. Past takeovers have taken place in New York, Atlanta, Nashville and Houston, among others.

“We’re coming to you Charlotte, and we’re going to give you amazing dishes that you can only find in Louisiana. I hope you leave hungry for more,” award-winning chef Samantha “Sam” Carroll said. Food Network Star, restaurant owner and executive director of Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board.

Carroll’s team, which works closely with the Louisiana Tourism and Culinary Trails Board, will send about 1,000 pounds of seafood to Charlotte for the event.

“Not only are the chefs some of the best in our state, but we supply them with fresh Louisiana seafood from our waters so people can enjoy the work of our fishermen. It couldn’t get more authentic than this,” said Carroll, who has also been a star chef in past takeover events. “But it’s not just seafood. There will be something to delight lovers of meat and a bit of everything.

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Okra is one of Louisiana’s staple dishes. Tim Mueller/Louisiana Office of Tourism Trip to Louisiana

For the Charlotte event, each Louisiana chef will come from a different part of the state, all named by tourism officials as the best of the best. They will be paired with a local restaurant and work closely with management and staff to create a special menu.

The Goodyear House in NoDa is one of the participating Charlotte restaurants and will welcome chef Ryan Trahan, owner of Vestal Restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana. He will work closely with Goodyear House chef Chris Coleman to help prepare five specialty dishes for the event.

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Chef Ryan Trahan of the Vestal Restaurant Green Olive Media

“Ryan will do wagyu tartar with oyster mayonnaise, crispy crab and rice cake, and cracklin crusted red snapper, which I’ve heard is quite interesting in terms of preparation,” said Coleman, whose family has roots in Louisiana. “And then on our side, I pay homage to my mum’s jambalaya, with a Carolina gold rice creole with shrimp and chicken. Our junior sous chef, originally from Monroe, Louisiana, prepares his mother’s Creole spun okra. »

Coleman said the Louisiana takeover experience is a great way for local kitchen staff to learn from experienced chefs from another culture. He also said it was a way to expand his network and make new culinary friends. Most importantly, he says, it will help put Charlotte on the map as a culinary destination.

“In the past, these events have been hosted by more recognized food towns, so for them to choose Charlotte is a great honor,” Coleman said. “It shows that we are a city that appears on people’s radar in terms of food culture. We’re excited to learn from these Louisiana chefs, but we’re also eager to show off what we are.

Charlotte’s chef Chris Coleman has appeared multiple times on the Food Network, with successful projects on “Chopped,” “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Alex Vs. America.” Courtesy of Chris Coleman

The other participating restaurants are:

Reservations are strongly encouraged. Walk-ins will be welcome at some locations, while others may require reservations or a pre-purchased ticket.

And what makes Louisiana cuisine so special?

“In Louisiana, it’s all about ‘Where do we eat and what are we going to eat?'” Carroll said. “We have become such a culinary destination, in part because of the influence and legacy of all the settlers who brought their cuisine with them. Now, the dishes that are famous in Louisiana are the stars of every culture. It’s history on a plate. And with all the new blood and new people in the restaurant business, it’s revived and updated, with chefs using more local ingredients and bringing those dishes to today’s times.

If you can’t wait until November for your next bite of Cajun food, go ahead and check it out Carroll’s Recipes.

Visit www.louisianaxcharlotte.com for more information.

This story was originally published September 28, 2022 5:00 a.m.

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Shannon Greene is a Charlotte native and graduate of Winthrop University with over 20 years of journalism and communications experience. Outside of work, she enjoys having adventures and making memories with her 6-year-old son, Evan. Follow her on Instagram at Shannon_Greene_SC or Twitter @Shannon_Greene

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