Gourmet Weekend Fires Up 2011 Mardi Gras

Soulard Mardi Gras (SMG) announced today its first new event for 2011 and a new location: SMG Gourmet Weekend, a 3-day Culinary Carnival that will be held February 17-19, 2011 at the 1904 World Fair’s Pavilion.
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A 3-Day Culinary Carnival for a Good Cause

SOULARD, Mo., 20 January 2011—Soulard Mardi Gras (SMG) announced today its first new event for 2011 and a new location: SMG Gourmet Weekend, a 3-day Culinary Carnival that will be held February 17-19, 2011 at the 1904 World Fair’s Pavilion.  Mardi Gras, Inc. has chosen to partner with the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center to which a portion of all ticket sales will be donated.  The 2011 SMG Gourmet Weekend events will feature the following:

   When: February 17th, 2010
   6:00 p.m. - The Champion’s Dinner will begin with a cocktail hour under the Bud  Light
                           Tent that will feature guided samplings by AB InBev Brewmasters and
                           Brian Duncan of Bin 26 Wines
   7:15 p.m. – Guests will move under the pavilion to be seated for the five-course meal
   7:30 p.m. – Dan Buck, CEO of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, will make  
                            an announcement and the 5-course dinner, prepared by Chef Jack
                            MacMurray of Sage, will be served.  

   Cost: $1000 for a table of ten or $100 per person

Chef Jack MacMurray is the 2009 Crystal Cajun Cook-Off Champion, 2010 Crystal Cajun Cook-Off Runner Up and the Winner of the 2010 Taste of St. Louis Master Chef Competition.  

The Championship 5-Course Dinner Menu:
1.   Cajun Shrimp & Crab Bisque
2.   Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Salad
Hot Bacon Dreassing
Spiced Pecans and Strawberries
3.   Smoked Duck Breast and Scallion Grits
Spiced Bing Cherry Glaze
4.   Andouille Sausage Stuffed Berkshire Pork Loin
Sweet Potato Gratin
Spinach Cajun Cream
Fried Spinach
5.   Chocolate Truffle Cake, Pistachio Brittle
Duo Spiked Raspberry Sauces

Notes of interest: Guests can choose to pair their meal with either beers selected by the ABI Brewmasters and Chef Jack MacMurray or wines as selected by Brian Duncan and Chef Jack. Price includes drinks and food.

WINE & BEER TASTE – “The Pre-Mardi Gras Happy Hour”
   When: February 18th, 2011
   5:30 p.m. – Doors open.
   9:30 p.m. – Sampling ends.
   Cost: $30 per person in advance (advance sales end Thursday, February 17 at 11:59 p.m.); $35 day of at door

Wines: featuring a variety of vintners from the Hahn Family of Wines (including Bin 36), Missouri Beverage portfolios, Brown-Forman and Missouri wineries.

Beers: featuring selections from the AB InBev portfolio  as picked by the brewmasters.

The “Tasty” Details: Guests receive a sampling booklet that contains twelve (12) perforated tickets, which can be redeemed for 2oz samples of wine and 7oz samples of beer. Guests will also receive four food tasting tickets that can be redeemed for samples of various scrumptious delicacies. Additional samples will be available for purchase.  In addition, this event will feature entertainment from one of St. Louis’ hottest DJs, as well as art from some of the most talented and creative local artists on the STL scene.

   When: February 19th, 2011
   12:00 p.m. – Doors open
   4:00 p.m. – Event ends
   Cost: $30 in advance (advance sales end Friday, February 18, 2011 at 5 p.m.); $35 day of

The Cook-Off: ten professional and ten amateur chefs will compete in respective categories for the title of Best Cajun Chef in one of Soulard Mardi Gras’ most anticipated and best-attended events, the Crystal Cajun Cookoff. While St. Louis Health Department regulations prohibit attendees from sampling the chef's creations, the chefs from Johnny's will provide samples of scrumptious Cajun and Creole favorites.

Ticket details: Guests receive four food tickets which can be redeemed for samples of Johnny's food, access to an open bar featuring Bud Light, Southern Comfort Hurricanes, and soft drinks. There is a live band to keep the heat comin' and the joint jumpin'!!!!! Attendees will also receive a coupon redeemable at a local grocer for a 12 ounce bottle of Crystal Hot Sauce, the official hot sauce of STL Mardi Gras. Recipes from the competing chefs are available for download at stlmardigras.org.

Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center is part of SSM Health Care, one of the largest Catholic health care systems in the country. SSM is sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary and owns, operates and manages 19 acute care hospitals in four states — Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. In 2002, SSM was the first health care organization in the country to be named a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner.
Cardinal Glennon is also a teaching hospital affiliated with the Saint Louis University Schools of Medicine and Nursing.

Mardi Gras, Inc., a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization, is responsible for producing the Soulard Mardi Gras celebration in St. Louis, recognized as one of the largest pre-Lenten festivals in the United States. The seven-week festival consists of fourteen official events and attracts many thousands of attendees from around St. Louis and throughout the United States.  
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