Thanks to Kipper Club Test Kitchen, tomorrow evening, Houstonians will have the chance to experience the cuisine that earned Michael Gulotta's MoPho in New Orleans a nod as one of the 50 Best New Restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit magazine.
For those not familiar with MoPho, the restaurant offers a contemporary take on Vietnamese and New Orleans cuisine. "We have a really big Vietnamese population here. New Orleans is really good at assimilating cultures -- that's what creole food is. We've taken these elements from French and African cuisine and melded it into one. My food is not creole-cajun, but it's not Vietnamese, either. It's just a new evolution of how I view food -- where I take local products and Southeast Asian influences and create things that are fun to eat," says Gulotta.
"One of the courses we're doing is a twist on the traditional roasted oyster. We add kaffir lime, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and Allan Benton's bacon, so you have something that's identifiable yet new in terms of flavor. In this dish, you'll taste the brininess of the oyster, the creaminess and slight sweetness of the coconut milk, a pop from the kaffir lime, and then the smokiness of the bacon."
Before opening Mopho, Gulotta was the Executive Chef at John Besh's August. While at August he was twice nominated for a James Beard award for Outstanding Restaurant.
"Michael is the most talented chef I've ever worked for. His presence and professionalism in the kitchen is infectious," says Daniel Blue. Daniel was a sous chef under Gulotta at August and will be the Executive Sous Chef at upcoming Hunky Dory. The two will reunite for this dinner at the Kipper Club.
"Michael will be the last out-of-town guest chef we have this quarter," says Graham Laborde, Kipper Club's culinary director. "I'm excited because Michael's food at Mopho is proof of his understanding of balance and flavor. He takes familiar flavors and techniques and is inventing a whole new cuisine that we haven't seen before. It isn't just Kipper Club that is lucky to have him, Houston is lucky to have him. This is absolutely a can't miss dinner."
The dinner is being offered in two seatings; one at 6:30 p.m., and another at 9 p.m.. Tickets are $120 each and include beer and cocktail pairings by beverage manager Travis Hinkle. The menu is below. For tickets and more information, please visit: http://shop.treadsack.com/products/mopho-nola-with-michael-gulotta.
Cured Gulf Tuna shaved Brussels sprout and pear salad curry leaf and cashew
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Oyster Pan Roast coconut milk, kaffir lime, poached bacon lardon brown butter fried bao
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