New Orleans Chef Tory McPhail and Pensacola Chef Mike Johnson Partner Offer World Class Dining Event

Jill M. Rohrbach

As if the Arkansas v. Auburn game weren’t enough to look forward to, a world-class dining experience is also taking place this weekend, Friday, Oct. 7, and Saturday, Oct. 8, in Northwest Arkansas.

Two highly esteemed chefs — Commander’s Palace Executive Chef Tory McPhail and Chef Mike Johnson, Owner of Cloud 9 Catering in Pensacola and former Executive Pastry Chef of Commander’s Palace — will work together to serve four incredible meals in the Northwest Arkansas area in just two days.

They will serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UARK Bowl in Fayetteville on Friday with the menu to include Veloute of Honey-Roasted Pumpkin, “Matchstick” Apple Salad, Black Skillet Seared Redfish, Roasted Breast of Dry Aged Duck, Sliced Tenderloin of Milk-Fed Veal, Pesto and Black Pepper Crusted Chicken, and Key Lime “Pie.”

You can catch them in Bentonville for dinner Friday at South Walton Suites. A reception starts at 7 followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. The dinner menu includes Louisiana Soft Shell Crab “Swizzle,” Champagne & Apple Salad, Black Skillet Seared Redfish, Roasted Breast of Dry Aged Duck, Sliced Tenderloin of Milk-Fed Veal, and the evening will conclude with a signature dessert, Spicy Pear Praline Biscuit Cobbler with Brandy Milk Punch Ice Cream.

The duo cooks up lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Laughlin House in Bentonville on Saturday. The menu will showcase traditional New Orleans Cochon de Lait, Grilled Alligator Andouille Sausage, Crawfish Boiled Potato Salad, Smoked Green Onion Boudin, New Orleans Shrimp Boil, Crispy Cajun Cracklin’, New Orleans Red Beans & Dirty Rice, a variety of salads, and your choice of traditional New Orleans desserts.

You’ll fine McPhail and Johnson at Café Rue Orleans in Fayetteville on Saturday night, again with a reception at 7 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. The dinner menu will feature a “Flight” of Louisiana Blue Crab, Commander’s Palace Turtle Soup, Foie Gras “Du Monde,” Autumn Duck Cassoulet, Bacon Fat Injected Black Angus Filet Mignon, and Chef Mike Johnson’s Banana Cake in Cardamom Caramel Sauce with Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream.

After both dinners a selection of truffles, pralines and bonbons from Cloud9Chocolates will be served with aperitifs and ports.

Why are these fabulous chefs cooking in northwest Arkansas? To inspire the community to give back to programs and scholarships that will help shape the next generation of chefs from Northwest Arkansas.

This event serves as the kickoff for a series of similar programs that will take place in Spring and Fall 2012. Proceeds will benefit local non-profit organizations. October’s beneficiary will be the Northwest Arkansas Chefs Association, which will use the funds to create a scholarship for aspiring chefs in Northwest Arkansas. A portion of the proceeds from Friday’s lunch at the UARK Bowl will benefit the Arkansas Alumni Association and the College of Hospitality & Restaurant Management.

Tickets for the Fayetteville events (Friday’s lunch and Saturday’s dinner) are available locally at Café Rue Orleans and online at www.arconventionsandevents.com. Tickets for the Bentonville food experiences (Friday’s dinner and Saturday’s lunch) are available at South Walton Suites and Macadoodles in Springdale as well as online at www.arconventionsandevents.com. Seating is very limited, and ticket packages, including signed cookbooks, are also available. Tickets to each lunch event cost $60 per person, $80 with an autographed cookbook, and $125 for a package includes two tickets and an autographed cookbook. Each dinner event costs $100 per person, $125 with an autographed cookbook, and $210 for a package that includes two tickets and an autographed cookbook.
 
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