On Tuesday, April 19, Executive Chef Jared Tees of the Bourbon House (144 Bourbon St., 522-0111; www.bourbonhouse.com) will bravely make lunch for Ruth Reichl, one of the world's most discriminating diners. Reichl, former restaurant critic for The New York Times and currently editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, will discuss her life as a secret culinary agent and the many disguises that allowed her to dine incognito at New York City's finest restaurants. The three-course prix fixe lunch includes Louisiana oyster salad, smoked softshell crab court-bouillon and bananas Foster crepes matched with wines, champagnes and cocktails. As lagniappe, Chef Tees will prepare several recipes that Reichl includes in her new memoir, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise (Penguin). No word if Reichl will don one of her old disguises, but costumes are not required for guests. Reservations are limited and can be made by calling 521-8311, ext. 405. Tickets, which include tax, tip and free valet parking, are $30.
Seven years ago, Roland Adams hired Chef Scott Varnedoe to transform the kitchen of Cafe Marigny. Varnedoe's cooking quickly gained national attention and Bon Appetit magazine named him one of the top five chefs in New Orleans. Wanting to own his own restaurant, Varnedoe departed to Fairhope, Ala., and founded Restaurant Varnedoe. Lured back to New Orleans by the opportunity to take an ownership stake in the restaurant, now called The Marigny Brasserie (640 Frenchmen St., 945-4472; www.marignybrasserie.com), Varnedoe is again at the helm of his old kitchen on Frenchmen Street.
Take a Bow
The International Association of Culinary Professionals nominated Culinary Concierge magazine (www.culinaryconcierge.com) for an Award of Excellence. The quarterly publication, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, covers the New Orleans dining scene with features, recipes and plenty of mouth-watering photos of favorite local dishes. The winner of the award will be announced on April 16.
New Orleans has another source of food news. The debut issue of Delectable (www.delectablemagazine.com), a free bimonthly publication available at coffee shops and restaurants in the New Orleans area, features a profile on Cafe Reconcile, several delicious-looking recipes for artichokes and curious facts about chicory. Sheryn Trahan Villemez founded the magazine with her daughter, Kristen Villemez Remkes. A downloadable version of the full magazine is also available at Delectable's Web site.
Diamond Jim's, the bar inside The Bar and Bistro at La Louisiane (725 Iberville St., 378-8200; www.lalouisiane.com), will keep the liquor flowing a little later with a two-for-one Friday and Saturday night happy hour from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.