N’awlins is coming to Euphoria in a big way this year at the inaugural Big Easy Bash on Sept. 23.
Held at Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest, 10 chefs, two food trucks, and a dessert cart, along with NOLA-inspired cocktails and a traditional New Orleans-style jazz band Soda City Brass Band, will get the good times rolling.
Euphoria Associate Director Jennifer Dennis says, in her opinion, this is the must-do event of the entire weekend.
For starters, there’ll be a special party guest: a barrel of Spanish cider called a txotx (it’s pronounced “CHO-ch,” by the way).
When someone yells, “Txotx,” everyone gathers around the barrel and takes turns trying to fill their cup with cider without any hitting the ground.
Another draw is the addition of New Orleans pastry chef Tariq Hanna to the Euphoria lineup. Why is this exciting? In 2016, Hanna was honored by Food + Wine, which declared he made “one of the 10 best éclairs in the world.” ’Nuff said.
Born and raised in Nigeria and educated in England, Hanna lived in Detroit for 20 years before moving to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. There he opened Sucré in 2007 with co-partner Joel Dondis. Hanna quickly became a part of the post-Katrina renaissance.
At the Big Easy Bash, the pastry chef will be serving his All Things NOLA, a sweet buttery sablé tart with bananas Foster caramel, pecan bread pudding, and whipped meunière ganache.
“I feel my dessert is a modern representation of the post-Katrina renaissance of New Orleans by paying homage to some of the most iconic flavors that is NOLA,” Hanna says. “This is truly indicative of what my cooking style is, in the sense that I love interpreting classic Americana by making it everything you know but nothing you’ve ever had.”
Today, Sucré boasts three storefronts, a Confection Studio, a growing online market, a wholesale business with nationwide distribution, and Salon, Sucré’s first restaurant, tearoom, and cocktail lounge. Salon opened in the French Quarter in spring 2015.
Hanna says his style of cooking is heavily influenced and inspired by both his Middle Eastern heritage and travels, but he’s also usually influenced by his environment – currently New Orleans – and culinary team.
“I moved to New Orleans soon after Hurricane Katrina to open my shop because of the food culture,” he says. “The air in New Orleans itself has a flavor all its own – sometimes a bit funky – so the influence of flavor and local cuisine is every part of what I do.”
He adds, “Although I don’t serve traditional New Orleans fare, I can’t help but be inspired by local ingredients, so there is always an underlying tone of local inspiration.”
Other chefs joining the Bash include locals Heidi and Joe Trull (Grits & Groceries, Belton), Nick Graves (Restaurant 17, Travelers Rest), and Teryi Youngblood Musolf (formerly of Passerelle Bistro), among other regional notables.
Big Easy Bash
Sept. 23, 7-10 p.m.
Trailblazer Park, 235 Trailblazer Drive, Travelers Rest