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Busy in the Big Easy

Posted by Tall Ships America on May 1, 2018

The tall ships have certainly drawn in the crowds to Woldenberg Park. There has been much to see with the tall ships, Coast Guard, and Navy ships all in town. Much to do as well. As the crowds moved out on Saturday evening we prepared for the Tall Ships® Tricentennial Gala Fundraiser.


The event celebrated 300 Years of New Orleans on the decks of the ships and dockside at Woldenberg Park. Patrons were greeted with drinks and a taste of the many local dishes that New Orleans has to offer. Every celebration requires a cake and Chef Tariq Hannah of Sucré produced his rendition of a 4-masted Barque. The cake was cut just in time for the fireworks and everyone was able to enjoy the rest of their night dancing among these great ships. It was a great way to celebrate the city’s long maritime history.


More food was on the menu for Sunday’s activities. The Tabasco Global Kitchen Cook-Off paired tall ship cooks and Navy/ Coast Guard Culinary Specialists with chefs from local restaurants around New Orleans. Teams were challenged on their ability to prepare a local seafood recipe using the special ingredient, Tabasco sauce.


Representing the tall ships, we had Oliver Hazard Perry cook, Donna Vestuti and Picton Castle challenger, Aaron Samet. Donna was paired up with Chef Chris Lusk, “The Louisiana Seafood King” and Aaron was paired up with Chef Keith Frentz of Lola Restaurant. Both teams had 30 minutes to create their masterpieces. All teams were able to plan their dishes beforehand and ingredients were ready for them to start. The sounds of kitchen rustle filled the room. None of these teams have ever worked together but with the proper communication (just like on a tall ship) they were able to work as an organized unit. The sizzles started as fish met fry pan and the smells that filled the room definitely made you hungry. At the final seconds teams added their finishing touches and presented them to the panel of judges. All teams had a great showing but it was the team of Sgt Scott Meadows, USS Kearsarge, and Chef Mike Nelson, GW Fins, who took the judges taste buds. Food is commonality for everyone and it was a great way to end our time in New Orleans.


Thanks to all of the tall ships, small ships, Coast Guard, and Navy ships that made their way to New Orleans for this great event. We certainly drew a crowd that will leave a lasting impression on the people of New Orleans and the surrounding area.





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