Kneeling: Alex Warnken and Rezalynn Syed, bellydancers from Zeus Cafe of Lake Charles, Isaira Canelo of Isa's Latin Taste, Thomas Greenlee of Community Coffee Co.
Seated: Mario Pacetti of Fat Cat Cafe, Cesar Barachina of Desserts at L'Auberge, Marco Pacetti of Fat Cat Cafe, David Sorrells of Coushatta Casino, Mike Williams of Fat Cat Cafe, Derrick Guidry of Derrick & Paul
Back Row: Pablo Mejia III of Zeus Cafe of Lake Charles, Garret Charkalis of Zeus Cafe of Lake Charles, Karen Vigo of Isa's Latin Taste, Stephanie Richardson of Trailblazin' BBQ & Catering, Haylie Loftin of Fat Cat Cafe, Samu Danja of The Pioneer Club, Jared Rising of Ember Grille & Wine Bar, Nic Hunter of The Harlequin, Ted Gauttreaux of Cookey's Caterers, Joe Heacook of Cookey's Caterers, Pattrick Schaad of Pujo Street Cafe, Sherry Styron of Sha Sha's of Creole, Dave Evans of Luna Bar & Grill, Tracie Koonce of Delta Downs, Mark Ieyoub of Izzo's Illegal Burrito.
So, what wine would you pair with phylo-wrapped salmon and crab Wellington? And what would complement the complexity of Osso Bucco?
Such questions will be answered at the wine and food pairing dinners leading up to the second largest food and wine event in the state of Louisiana - the Rouge et Blanc Wine and Food Event, which takes place Oct. 15.
The main event is sold out, but there are still several opportunities to explore perfect combinations of food and wine at events associated with Rouge et Blanc.
"You will not be left out," promises Lori Marinovich of the Downtown Development Authority, which co-presents Rouge et Blanc with the McNeese Foundation. "There is a whole week of events, including wine and food pairing dinners, a special tasting of Bordeaux wines, wine seminars and a champagne brunch."
The following events are still open:
A French Wine Experience. Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Lake Charles Civic Center, Contraband Room, 5-6 p.m.
A tasting of French Bordeaux wines, accompanied by light hors d'oeuvres by La Truffe Sauvage
Lecture - in French - by Dr. Philippe Girard, translated by Adley Cormier
This tasting will be preceded with a talk about Thomas Jefferson's escapades in Bordeaux country when he was supposed to be conducting business in Paris as the United States' first ambassador to France. It is co-sponsored by Rouge et Blanc and the Great Acadian Awakening, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau. Make reservations by calling 475-5123 or logging on to www.rougeetblanc.us, cost is $25 per person.
Wine and Food Pairing Dinner, at 121 Artisan Bistro, Thursday, Oct. 13
Ryan Smith of Constellation Wines US will be on hand to discuss the wines chosen to go with this five course meal: sampler trio of cold smoked duck with raspberry and cranberry coulis, bay scallop and melon sevieche with gazpacho, alligator tenderloin with remoulade -- paired with Wild Horse Viognier; roasted baby beet and fennel salad with citron vinaigrette -- paired with Borgo Conventi Sauvignon Blanc; phylo-wrapped salmon and crab wellington with saffron hollandaise -- paired with Kim Crawford Pinot Noir; veal Milanese with roasted fingerling potatoes -- paired with Ruffino Ladola Nuova Vino Nobile di Montepulciano; and house-made Eskimo pie and caramel sauce -- paired with Robert Mondavi Napa Moscato d'Oro. Call 310-7499 for reservations; cost is $100 inclusive.
Wine and Food Pairing Dinner at Cypress Grill, Gray Plantation, Friday, Oct. 14, 6 p.m.
Come for a five courses of culinary creations by Michael Parker, which will be paired with wines from the portfolio of Majestic Fine Wines. The menu is: seared sea scallops over wilted spinach paired with Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay; soft shell crab with citrus compote paired with La Crema Los Carneros Pinot Noir; sorbet intermezzo; braised pork shank osso bucco with stewed vegetables and quinoa paired with Freemark Abbey Cabernet 2007; poached pear with brie fondue paired with Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Late Harvest Chardonnay. Call Holly at 562-1206, ext. 3, for reservations, cost is $100 inclusive.
Unusual Food & Wine Pairings, Saturday, Oct. 15, Pujo Street Café, 10 a.m. (at the bar) with sommelier Stephanie Miller Vincent of Ember Grille & Wine Bar
What wine do you drink with hot dogs? Because you don't only drink wine with gourmet foods -- sometimes you want a glass with a handful of Fritos. So, really, this is a class on how to pair wine with "usual" foods. Like things you actually eat all the time. Sign up at www.rougeetblanc.us or call 337-475-5123, cost is $20.
The Rouge et Blanc AFTER PARTY at Luna Live, Saturday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m. Listen and/or dance to the music by New Orleans' Finest - Soul Rebels Brass Band - with special guests The Sol Driven Train. Tickets are available at Luna Live or Luna Bar & Grill.
Bubbles for Banners, a Champagne Brunch, L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort Ballroom, Sunday, Oct. 16, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
This upscale brunch features the culinary expertise of the award-winning chefs at L'Auberge. Sip complimentary Poema Spanish Cava while enjoying tantalizing dishes, exciting action stations, live entertainment and door prizes (which includes a L'Auberge getaway package and a series pass to the Banners Series). A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the McNeese Banners Cultural Series. Tickets available at the L'Auberge Business Center or www.ticketmaster.com; cost is $50. Must be 21.
And for the answer to the pairings: phylo-wrapped salmon and crab wellington go well with pinot noir, and osso bucco pairs excellently with cabernet sauvignon.
For more information about Rouge et Blanc, call the McNeese Banners Series office at 337-475-5123 or check the website, www.rougeetblanc.us.