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Jazz themed function

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
What kind of food would you serve for a jazz-themed function? The boss would like to serve a 5-course meal. I was looking at the cool jazz era (50's-60's).
post #2 of 6
sounds like a fun event! i wasnt sure what to say but i googled "jazz food" and found some stuff on new orleans...so im guessing that city was important to jazz history but heres what i found for tradtional new orleans jazzy soul food

Crawfish Monica is a wonderful blend of fresh Louisiana crawfish and pasta. The sauce is a secret recipe invented by Pete Hilzim and named for his wife. It's heavenly. Don't miss it.

Cochon de lait literally translated is milk fed pig. It's actually roasted pork. The whole pig is slow roasted on an open pit. It's fork-tender, juicy and seasoned perfectly. Then, it's put on French bread to make one of the best sandwiches you'll ever eat. Look for it at the Love at First Bite booth.

New Orleans and surrounds are famous for gumbo. It's one of our staple foods and no two gumbos are alike. Gumbo is a thick soup or stew which almost always starts with a roux. One of my favorite gumbos at Jazz Fest is the Pheasant, Quail and Andouille Gumbo from Prejean's Restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana. They are always represented at Jazz Fest, so drop by and taste.

Patton's Catering does two things that are not to be missed if you love seafood. The Crawfish Sacks are pastries filled with crawfish dressing tied with a red onion and deep fried. The oyster patties are oyster dressing in small pastries. Both are great and neither are on you diet. But, you don't come to Jazz Fest to diet.

If you don't like seafood, try a Muffuletta from DiMartino’s Famous Muffulettas. This is a signature sandwich of the Italians in New Orleans and is made of several layers of cold cuts and cheeses topped with a wonderful olive salad. Muffulettas are made on large round loaves of Italian bread and can feed two people. If you're a vegetarian, they do a great vegetarian Muffuletta.

At the Wegner booth try either the soft-shell crawfish po-boy or the 'gator po-boy. Both are highly recommended.

If you like southern food, try the Smothered Chicken, Fried Pork Chops, Smothered Cabbage and Cornbread at Designing Foods Catering. Just like you're Maw Maw makes.

Ready for dessert? Make it over to Angelo Brocato Original Ice Cream & Confectionery for some homemade gelato and Italian cookies.

Loretta's Authentic Pralines makes some of the best pralines in town and you can get them at Jazz Fest. The pralines come in several flavors including pecan, coconut, chocolate and rum.

Sno-balls, the New Orleans version of snow cones, are made with much finer shaved ice and homemade syrups. For my money the best at the Fest are those from Plum Street Sno-Balls.
post #3 of 6
If you're thinking period, the "jazz age" was the twenties - thirties. This might actually be a little easier to date dishes on.

I think I'd be looking at something more regional than time period. The big Jazz areas include the bottom of the river, New Orleans; the middle, KC/St Louis; and the North, Chicago. Then there's Harlem in NY NY. Paris is the capital of jazz outside of the US.

Some foods associated with the regions: Shrimp (or crawfishO Etouffe from NOLA, pork ribs from St Louis, some kind of salad from NY (looking at the rest of the menu), Beef steak from Chi, and a Parisian desert (h/t to Django Reinhart, Stephan Grapelli and the Hot Club).

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for the input. I'll research on those dishes and see if the team can come up with something... Quite challenging since I don't know much about that kind of food (i've worked in mediterranean restaurants mostly).

Thanks for the help.
post #5 of 6
My first reaction (as a Jazz lover) would be to "pair" each course with a style of jazz. You mentioned "cool jazz" (Kind of Blue era Miles Davies, Chet Baker think 50's-60's New York), New Orleans swing jazz, Parisian Gypsy swing (Grapelli, Django), hipster 60's Bossa Nova, and modern Jazz/fusion. There's five courses right off of the bat. This format allows you to play with any number of regional and historical cuisines while doing justice to your theme and its diversity.

Read the introduction the "The Kitchen Sessions" by Charlie Trotter. Its a nice (if brief) mediation on the similarity of cooking and music (especially Jazz). It will help you get into the "mindset."

Oh, another half-baked thought. You could take the name of a classic Jazz number and concoct a dish based on that. "I'll have the Blue Rondo a la Turk with a side of salt peanuts, please." ****, call the whole menu "Take Five"!

post #6 of 6
thats brilliant al :)
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