Ray Cannata has eaten at over 750 New Orleans restaurants, so he knows a thing or two about hanging out. Margo Moss has turned Ted's Frostop from a greasy spoon into a considerably less greasy but not quite silver spoon. When the sun goes down at new Uptown eatery Chappy's next to Monkey Hill bar, Ray and Margo entertain members of New Orleans restaurant community. Their guests bring along a friend, a +1. Anything can happen.
If you don't hear this for yourself you won't believe it.
It's hard to imagine a more innocent opening question to ask Chef Kevin White, the kitchen mastermind behind the Freret Street bistro success, Wayfare. Margo simply asks Chef Kevin, "How did you get started cooking?" From there the conversation starts down a fascinating road that takes us from eating snakes in the Iraqi desert to cooking pasta with Mario Batali in New York. So far so good.
So how exactly does that turn into a plea for the use of women's breast milk in cooking?
Ray is as enthusiastic about the culinary delights of breast milk as Chef Kevin, and Margo is not exactly opposed to the concept. If you've wondered when you're ever going to hear a serious discussion about recipes for human breast milk, from milkshakes to cheese, complete with a healthy dose of hilarity, you're in luck.
Chef Kevin's serious about solid food too, specifically sandwiches. Describing Wayfare as a "dynamic sandwich brasserie," the Batali-trained pasta chef describes how he set himself a specific goal on moving from New York to New Orleans: "to put fine dining in a sandwich." The skill and imagination that goes into Chef Kevin's sandwiches - from 35 different home-made mayonnaise varieties to the sandwich names - are an ode to the universal staple as lyrical and loving as Mike Coustay's fondness for Scarlett Johansson.
Mike (aka Mikey) is Chef Kevin's +1 guest. Although his appearance with Chef Kevin was a surprise, we'd met Mikey off the air when we first started Midnight Menu +1. He was also starting up a food podcast. Since then Mikey has gone on to become less of a podcaster and more of a Tweeter (@nolachef504) as well as having the distinction, he claims, of being banned first from Whole Foods and now from all 38 of Rouse's supermarkets.
We started Midnight Menu +1 because we believe people in the world of New Orleans food have so much more going on than recipes and as people are as fascinating as our musicians and other creative artists. If we ever wanted proof we were right, this show is it!
This is one of our most entertaining, informative, revealing, fascinating, surprising (to say the least) and fun Midnight Menu +1's.
From the secret to cooking perfect pasta to the marginally weird visionary recipes for breast milk, this is New Orleans culinary conversation at its finest.