If you're traveling in the Southeast this summer, tune into Turner South 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays (EDT) for a peek into the Commander's Palace (1403 Washington Ave., 899-8221) kitchen and trips through the Louisiana outdoors. (The network hopes to come to the New Orleans area soon.) Judging from a preview of the new "catch-and-cooking" show, Off the Menu, you'd never guess Chef Jamie Shannon's New Jersey roots. Fishing for bull reds in the first episode, Shannon is a Louisiana cowboy in blue jeans. Ponytail flying, he whoops it up as he lassos a fish half his size and then watches gleefully while another one bangs a death beat on the dock. In the episode's second segment, Shannon demonstrates two dishes with the farm-raised redfish served at Commander's; later, another Commander's employee tours a redfish farm. Shannon currently is recovering from a successful battle with cancer, and plans to return to the kitchen full-time in the fall. The comprehensive half-hour program is so funny in parts that I laughed aloud. Turner South currently is distributed in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Log on at www.turnersouth.com for recipes from Off the Menu and anecdotes about hunting and fishing in the Southeast.
Fun With Bastille Day
In Paris, the citywide celebration of Bastille Day (signifying the end of the French monarchy) long has included a highly competitive waiter's race down the Champs de Elysees. This year on July 14, Midi South of France (Le Meridien Hotel, 614 Canal St., 527-6712) is holding the first waiter's race on Canal Street. Festivities will begin at 11 a.m. with a country picnic on the sidewalk outside Le Meridien Hotel. Then, servers from 20 restaurants in New Orleans will hustle down the racetrack balancing glasses and a bottle of wine on a tray. The server with the most liquid at the finish will receive a medal, a weekend stay for two at Le Meridien and brunch at Midi. Channel 4's Eric Paulsen is the event's scheduled emcee.
While you're downtown, stop by the Crescent City Farmer's Market at 10 a.m. for a Bastille Day-inspired cooking demonstration by Maison Bleu (228 Camp St., 571-7500) Chef-Proprietor Howard Ferguson. Saturday's market is located at 700 Magazine Street and is open 8 a.m. to 12 noon. Call 861-5898, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.loyno.edu/ccfm.
Emeril's Delmonico (1300 St. Charles Ave., 525-4937) is celebrating the French holiday with French dishes composed by Chef Neal Swidler, French wine pairings chosen by Sommelier Richard Fletcher and entertainment by French musician Norbert Slama. -- Roahen