Chefs Paul Prudhomme and Frank Brigtsen, and former Times-Picayune restaurant critic Gene Bourg were among the judges who chose firefighter Kevin Harrell's Engine #1 Chili as the winner of the local Five-Alarm Hormel Chili Cook-Off earlier this month. Along with the requisite can of Hormel Chili, Harrell's recipe contains pineapple, filet mignon and bacon. The winnings include a $1,000 prize package for Harrell's firehouse, Engine #1, and his recipe will move on to compete for $10,000 more in the national cook-off in October.
Try Chef Adolfo Garcia's traditional Spanish tapas and a selection of Spanish wines and sherries (including a txakolina from Basque Country) this Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m. at RioMar (800 S. Peters St., 525-3474). The informal wine dinner costs $60.
Thursday brings 'Every Man A King' night, a celebration of Huey Long's birthday, in the Fairmont Hotel's historic Sazerac Bar (123 Baronne St., 529-4848), where the birthday boy often conducted business. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., guests will enjoy hors d'oevres, a cash bar, specialty drinks and the sounds of Bob French and his Tuxedo Jazz Band. Seersucker suits and summer whites are the suggested, but not required, attire. Afterward guests may move into the Sazerac Restaurant for a $30 prix-fixe 'retro-Roosevelt' dinner.
It's another Fungus Fest at Marisol (437 Esplanade Ave., 943-1912), where Chef Pete Vazquez is messing with mushrooms all week long. The Fest culminates in a six-course feast beginning at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Crimini, abalone, portobello and chanterelle mushrooms factor into the wine dinner's menu. The cost is $85.
Plan now for next Monday's (Aug. 30) five-course wine dinner featuring the five 'Chefs to Watch' in Louisiana Cookin' magazine's August issue and benefiting Cafe Reconcile and Kid's Cafe. The magazine lauds Yvette Bonanno of Bonnanno's Fine Catering and Yvette Marie's, Corbin Evans of Lulu's and Lulu's in the Garden, Jared Tees of Bourbon House, Scott Boswell of Stella! and Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace for their keen understanding of Louisiana food culture. Each chef will prepare one course for the benefit dinner, which costs $100 and begins at 7 p.m. at Cafe Reconcile (1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.). Call 482-3914 for reservations.
R.I.P. Big Rue and Julia Child.